Dealing with a Bad Dog

   I found a link to this story in a review of some of the best journalism of 2013.  Thank you Rachel Maizes for sharing your experiences.  A lot of dog owners can relate to this.

    Does this sound familiar to you?  

       Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at  


Shopping For Pets and Pet Owners

       If you’re not very far along with your Christmas shopping, I hope that you have at least been thinking about the presents you are going to get for your friends and family.  I also want to remind you not to forget your pet.  And if you have pet owners on your list, I have some ideas for you.

      One of the main ways I promote my company, Fetch! Pet Care, is by attending networking groups around the area I serve.  RuthE Levy is one of the people I met early on and her newest venture is a must stop for animal lovers. ImageThe website is   She has a wide selection of animal products. If you like to dress up your dogs, she has some handmade dog scarfs available, even some for Thanksgiving.  She has scarves available from most area colleges so you can dress up your dog to match your gameday outfits.  Personalized products are available as well.  Under the link pet tales, she has must-reads for every animal lover. 

      One other idea for pet lovers is a professional photo of your pet.  Every animal owner has hundreds of cell phone pictures of their pet, but nothing will preserve the long term memory of your pet better than a professional photograph. Image Just because it’s professional doesn’t mean in a studio.  But a professional photographer like Alana from ABJ photography can capture the proper light for the best possible picture of your loved one.  Alana is one of our sitters and is very involved with the Atlanta Lab Rescue.  She has some holiday specials that you can take advantage of and help that great organization by going to her Facebook page. 

     Another great way to spread holiday cheer to animals is to make a donation of cash or merchandise to a shelter or rescue organization in your area.  ImageMost of these facilities operate strictly on donations and welcome anything.  You can also volunteer your time with them as well.  That doesn’t cost as much but can provide you with that great feeling of doing something for these animals that are longing for love and attention. 

       Fetch! Pet Care provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Marietta and Woodstock, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at  

Is Your Pet Camera Shy?

       Is your pet camera shy?  Does it not like you to hide your face when you use a camera to take a picture of it? Image I take a lot of pictures of the pets my company cares for.  I love to get pictures of sitters when they are dog walking or pet sitting and I’ll use the pictures to let the clients know everything is fine with their pets.  I also use it to post on social media or in a blog post. 

     I’ve noticed that many pets will turn their heads even when I call their name.  The Lab I used to have did not like it when I would put a camera up to my face.  It’s a little easier with a camera phone because it’s not as big and you have a much bigger viewfinder.  I asked Xalina Labarge, an animal behaviorist and co-owner of the Dog School 101 about how dogs react when you have a camera covering your face. Image  She told that dogs become uncomfortable when they can’t see your eyes or your facial expression.  “Dogs react more to facial language than body language,” said Xalina.  “When they see something blocking your face, they don’t know how to react. “  It works the same way with sunglasses. When I’m meeting a new client and their dog for the first time, I make sure I take my sunglasses off so it can see me.  I want it to see me smiling and happy to be with the dog and it can read my face.

    So what can you do to get your pet to “smile” for the camera?  “Put the camera (lens cap on so it won’t get slurped) or the phone on the ground and let the dog smell it and determine that it’s okay,” said Xalina.  “Then when you hold it the dog won’t be worried about it and will let you take the picture.”  I hope this helps you getting some better pictures of your pet!

    Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at

Spring and Snakes

    You may not believe it if you are outside very long today, but Atlanta is in store for a very pleasant weekend.  Many of you will be spending time with your pets outside or start working in the garden.  You may not be the only one looking to enjoy the warm temperatures and the sunshine.  Venomous Snakes of Georgia has sent out a notice that snake activity will be on the increase with the temperatures and the sun. Image

Pet owners should be careful when they walk their dogs through wooded areas and the dogs start to investigate away from the trails. 

    According to the group, the first snakes to emerge from hibernation are the smaller snakes because they can’t store as much as the larger snakes.  As you would expect, they say the most likely time to encounter a snake is in the afternoon, when the sun has warmed things up a bit.  They offer some great advice for reducing the likelihood of snakes around your home in their latest news release you can see here.

    Dogs are usually bitten on the head, neck and front legs because that’s what they investigate with.  Bites to the head and neck have a higher potential of being dangerous because they can affect the pet’s breathing. 

    If you do encounter a snake and you think your pet has been bitten, try and identify the snake.  DO NOT put yourself or anyone else in danger of a bite to do this.  If envenomization has occurred, the symptoms will be almost immediate.  A bitten dog will show signs of pain, swelling, bruising and oozing blood around two puncture wounds.  The dog may also appear nervous or depressed, weak and salivate or vomit.  The bite wounds may not be visible because of the dog’s coat.

     Muzzle your dog as soon as possible.  This is something you should keep in your pet first aid kit.  Keep an eye on its breathing and the muzzle may need to be loosened if it has a hard time breathing.  Get the dog to a vet right away so antivenin can be administered.  Snakebite kits don’t work, so don’t waste your time with that. 

     Enjoy the spring weather this weekend, but be sure to keep a close eye on your pets (and your family).  Remember that the best way to avoid problems is to be prepared and stay away from situations that could cause problems. 

    Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at

The Night Before Christmas at the Shelter

I got this from a sitter I was working with last winter, Sarah Gross, of Sarah’s Pet Corner.  I wanted to share it with you and remind everyone of the animals that don’t have a loving home.


The Night Before Christmas at the Shelter


‘Tis the night before Christmas
and all through the town,
every shelter is full ~ we are
lost but not found.
Our numbers are hung on our
kennels so bare,
we hope every minute that
someone will care.

They’ll come to adopt us and
give us the call,
“come here, Max and Sparkie ~ come
fetch your new ball!”
But now we sit here and think
of the days…..
we were treated so fondly ~ we
had baby ways.

Once we were little, then we
grew and we grew ~
now we’re no longer young, and
we’re no longer new.
So out the back door we were
thrown like trash,
they reacted so quickly ~ why
were they so rash?

We “jump on the children,” “don’t
come when they call”,
we “bark when they leave us,”
“climb over the wall.”
We should have been neutered, we
should have been spayed,
now we suffer the consequence of
the error they made.

If only they’d trained us, if
only we knew…..
we’d have done what they asked us
and worshiped them too.

We were left in the back yard, or
worse ~ left to roam….
now we’re tired and lonely and
out of a home.

They dropped us off here and they
kissed us good-bye….
“Maybe someone else will give
you a try.”

So now here we are, all
confused and alone……..
in a shelter with others who
long for a home.
The kind workers come through
with a meal and a pat,
with so many to care for, they
can’t stay to chat.

They move to the next kennel,
giving each of us cheer….
we know that they wonder how
long we’ll be here.

We lay down to sleep and sweet
dreams fill our heads….
of a home filled with love and
our own cozy beds.

Then we wake to see sad eyes,
brimming with tears ~
our friends filled with
emptiness, worry and fear.

If you can’t adopt us and there’s
no room at your inn ~
could you help with the bills
and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each
day of the year ~
can you give more than hope to
everyone here?

Please make a donation to pay
for the heat……
and help us get something
special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us
wants us to live,
and more or us will, if more
people give.

Author Unknown


 Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.  You can see the happy pets by following us on Pinterest at

Walking Your Dog in the Dark: Tips to Stay Safe

Now that we have had the autumnal equinox this morning, the days will be getting even shorter.  And with Daylight Saving ending on November 4, there will be even more darkness for you to walk your pet in.  Sunday morning the sunrise in Atlanta is at 7:45am, so you are likely walking your dog in the dark in the morning.   Here are a few reminders for things to be aware of when walking your dog in the dark.Image

   Wear reflective or light colored clothes.  You want to make sure others, especially drivers see you.  A reflective vest may be a good investment.  If most of your jackets are darker, slipping that vest over it is easier than buying a new, light colored coat. There are reflective jackets for pets too.  Plus there are a lot Imageof lighted leashes and collars.  These all work, but You’ll have to decide if your dog will wear the vest.

   I’m not a big fan of the retractable leashes at any time, but especially at night.  A car may see you, Imagebut if the dog is at the end of the leash, they may not see the dog.  A sitter in Phoenix was walking a dog at night in one of those situations.  The driver was looking out for the person and didn’t see the dog and hit it.  If you do use one of those leashes, you may want to use a collar that has reflective material on it.

Even if the area you walk your dog in is well-lit, you should carry a flashlight.  It’s easy to find a small, light flashlight that has a cord on it for you to loop around your wrist.  Not only will it help you see where you are going, you can make sure your dog is not doing something he shouldn’t.  Also, if a car approaches you, you can shine the light on the dog, to help the driver to see it.

Take your cellphone with you in case something happens, but don’t use it unless necessary.  It can be tempting to get on and check all the overnight emails and news, but you need to keep your focus on your dog when it’s dark.  There is a flashlight app for smart phones, but they tax the battery and a hand will have to be tied up holding the phone and your other phone will have the leash.  With the loop on the flashlight you won’t drop it if you need both of your hands for some reason.

Don’t wear headphones, for the same reasons as above.  Plus, you need to be listening for things because you may not be able to see them.  You may not see another dog out being walked and you may get to close to each other before you realize what has happened if you are distracted by headphones.

As I mentioned in my dog walking kit blog entry, it’s a good idea to carry a boat horn with you to scare off dogs that approach you and your dog.  Depending on the make up of your neighborhood, you may run into wild animals like a coyote.  A good  blast of the horn should send the animal on a quick retreat.

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.  You can follow us on Pinterest at

Fall Festivals and Fun For All, Even the Dog

Football and cooler weather aren’t the only great things about autumn.  Many communities hold festivals to provide family fun, build spirit, raise money and promote local businesses.

Many of these festivals invite pets and the Taste of Acworth on October 13 even has a pet show as part of the fun.  These events may seem a great opportunity to include the dog in the outing, but unless the dog is advanced socially, the fun can be spoiled.

In order to make sure the day is fun for all involved, here are some things to remember even if you’ve taken your dog to many of these things before.    You want to make sure your dog has been fed before you leave.  You will want to take your own water supply and travel bowl.  Some of the pet oriented vendors will likely have bowls at their booth for this purpose, but you will want to make sure the dog stays hydrated.  If you are going to take it to many of these things, you may want to buy a backpack for it.  That’s a great place to put water bottles, the bowl and some food or treats.  It may also serve to make him feel more secure with the pack around him.

Take care not to spend too much time on the asphalt.  Remember that even if the air temperature might not be as hot as a month ago, the asphalt will heat up much faster and cause them discomfort.  Give them a break off the asphalt in the grass or if there is no grass, spend some time in the shade.  If there are other dogs at a group water bowl, you may want to wait until those dogs finish before you let your dog drink.  Strange dogs can get territorial and react if they feel threatened.

If you are taking a dog that’s not used to being in a social situation be sure and watch it carefully.  While most of the people are having fun, the activity, the heat and the noise can create stress in your pet.  Signs of anxiety include pacing, drooling, slumped body posture and its tail is down.  Acclimate it to the situation by hanging around the edges of the crowd instead of going straight in.  Also if your dog seems a little nervous, you may want to keep others away from it, especially children.  When a dog is anxious it is more likely to become agitated and could bite if it feels threatened.  You may not want to plan on a long stay for your first few times taking a dog to one of these festivals.  If it seems fine, great enjoy the day. 

If it doesn’t seem fine, you may have to cut your day short and take it home.

This weekend there’s a big event in Cobb County, with the East Cobber Parade and Festival.  I’ll be there at the East Cobb Business Association booth and I’ll be stopping by the booth of my friends at Dog School 101.  If you’re looking for some other pet-friendly events around Roswell and Cobb County, I have a list on the Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta Facebook page.  I’ll be at most of these events.  Stop by and say hey and I may have something special for your dog and for you!

Fetch! Pet Care of NW Atlanta provides pet sitting, dog walking and cat care services for Roswell, East Cobb, Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.  You can follow us on Pinterest at I’ll have pictures from Saturday posted on Pinterest and Facebook by Saturday afternoon.