This is my story:
It all started when I was a little girl…. I never played with dolls, I played with stuffed animals. For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with animals. Perhaps this was born into me as a genetic trait from my father who I heard stories about growing up in Philadelphia and sneaking into the zoo to be near the animals as a boy, because he loved them so much he wanted to spend as much time with them as possible… and when he grew up and got married, my mother told me she was warned by his mother to not let him get any pets – because once she said yes, he’d have ALL THE PETS (Ma didn’t listen and Grandma was right!). We always had a house full of pets for as far back as I can remember. We had a pond in the yard with koi & frogs. We had fish tanks galore full of gorgeous generations of guppies and crayfish, water frogs, shrimp and various other fresh water fish – I remember a pair of Oscars that would come to the top of the tank for us to pet them. We also had bunnies, guinea pigs, hamsters, and we had rats- lots and lots of pet rats! (Yes rats… I love rats!) there were occasional garden snakes, newts, toads & I even remember a wild Starling that my father found somewhere and nursed it back to health then set it free – I’m pretty sure I remember that bird learning to talk a bit while it lived with us too. Oh… Can’t forget, we also had a dog too! My fondest childhood memories were going to the pet shop with my father to look at all the animals (and it was SO EASY to convince him to bring another one home!) I think I loved my Daddy about as much as I loved the animals.
When I got older and moved out on my own, I found myself again with fish tanks, turtles, bunnies, guinea pigs, rats, finches, parakeets, cockatiels, and even a Mynah bird for a while… AND – of course dogs and cats. I also had (still have) 3 daughters but they are now all grown and have moved out on their own. I have set free into the world 3 more animal lovers… I have quite a few grand-dogs, grand-cats and even a grand-guinea pig and a grand-gecko. (oh, and four grandchildren too!)
Well, now I am a real “grown up” with an empty nest, who can finally make decisions to do what I actually want to do with my life (Thanks to my awesomely supportive husband). I have 3 dog-daughters that I want to spend more time with and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I have determined that I like animals way more than most people – I no longer desire to be making money working for someone else in a corporate environment, or to be responsible for what other people do or don’t do. Managing others is not very much fun if you want to know the truth, and 50-60 hours a week away from home spending time in an office while paying other people to be where I want to be & should be (with my dogs) really stinks! I want to do what I love and control my own life. I want to spend my time making sure that other people’s pets are properly taken care of when they are unable to be there themselves the way I do for my own. I also want to be the one who cares for my own pets as much as possible. I have personally experienced the difficulties with finding a pet sitter you can truly trust that really cares about your pet’s wellbeing and isn’t ONLY there for the dollar.
A few years ago, I went back to school and obtained an Associates Degree in Business Management. I wasn’t sure WHY I went back to college when I was in my forties at the time (other than I knew I needed a change) but I felt that the experience would do me good- you’re never too old to learn & it could possibly open new opportunities for me. So now’s the time… Time for me to take that education & knowledge, add it to my life experiences and make that leap I’ve been wanting to make to go out on my own, start my own business and give people what I know they are looking for: Reliable, loving care for their furry family members.
That is the beginning of the next chapter in my life that starts NOW!
(well – actually in a few days, my last day working my other job is next week- but you get the idea)
So- after reading all that (if you made it this far) I bet you are wondering who that adorable red fuzzy doggy in the photo is. His name was Teddy Bear. He came to live with me at 6 weeks old back in 2001. He was part of a litter of pups that someone I knew of had and while I first met him and picked him out at 2 weeks old, he wasn’t supposed to come home to live with with me until he was 8 weeks. The family who had him wasn’t used to a litter of pups. My Teddy was apparently “the bully” of the litter – all 1.5 pounds of him – and the pups (mostly him) were driving them insane so they asked me to take him home early… I am aware that was too young, but wasn’t sure what to say other than “yes” at the time, so come home with me he did. This was a time in my life not too long after I had split up with my husband, it was just me and my young children on our own. Teddy brought a lot of fun and joy back into our lives with his antics and cuteness and grew to be about 15 pounds. He became my “main man” – so smart, so adorable, so perfect (to me!) I loved him more I thought it was possible to love an animal (and I’d loved a lot of them in my lifetime) Teddy lived to be just over 14 years old then due to health issues he had to be put to sleep. November 7, 2015 – one of the worse days of my life. But enough about sad things, he is my reason. He is the one who allowed me to realize that not only did I want pets to be part of my life, but he made me realize that I wanted my life to be all about them. From his teeny puppy days to his elderly sickly days, he was my world (okay, my kids and husband were part of it too – but he was the star… just ask them! haha)
So that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it 🙂
I’m confident this change in my life will bring positivity and happiness to my future, both for myself and all the clients I haven’t even met yet! I’m excited for this…. are you?!?!