I am sure that no one will be surprised to find out that rescue animals are significant to my family.
Volunteering, fostering, and adopting have been the stepping stones for opening Mutts N Scruffs.
It all started with a couple of rescue kitties. Chloe, an orange tabby who only enjoyed our company. Piper, a big grey Maine Coon, he fit in the palm of my hand when he joined our family.
Then a sweet staffy, Maggie, who drove me crazy when I volunteered at the Lloydminster SPCA, but she fit so perfectly into our family the second we fostered her for a weekend, that she never went back.
Next came Nyla, our crazy, tripod shepherd, who sounded exactly like Chewbacca. It was basically the same situation except I knew I was adopting her before I fostered or even met her! I saw her picture on the Lloydminster S.P.C.A. website and instantly had a connection to her.
Those two dogs taught me so much about love, empathy, and kindness.
We think about those four critters often, and miss them all so much.
We now have a whole new group of rescues, some on purpose, some by accident. Persephone our sweet shepherd cross that loves to chew.. anything and everything. Mia our loving, and intense lab/shepherd/pointer cross who has more energy then any dog I've ever met. Newt our timid little terrier cross who is slowly coming out of his shell. We adopted Persephone from AARCS in Calgary, Mia and Newt are both foster fails, we adopted them from Furbabies Furever Homes.
And of course a few comical cats to keep life crazy! Whiskers, Littlefoot, and a little extra one, who a customer found at an oil well and didn't know what to do with. We don't really know what we are going to do with Cookie either, but she is safe and loved while we figure it out.
We have fostered more then a few dogs and they all have a place in our memories as temporary family members.
There is one foster dog however, that specifically touched our hearts! Sweet Birch, we fostered Birch and four of her puppies through Furbabies Furever Homes, two from another litter that she had taken in. They have all found their homes now, including Birch, the perfect family adopted her.
There was one catch though, Birch has a heart condition, and to prolong her life expectancy she will require surgery. She will be ok without surgery, but will most likely have a significantly shorter life, 3-5 years they figure.
Her family adopted her knowing this and wanted to ensure she has a loving home for the rest of her life, however much time they have with her.
After her family talked to the specialists, it sounds like Birch might be a good candidate for the surgery.
Birch’s family is currently considering all their options, and any decisions are on hold while they think it all over.
Whatever they end up doing is the perfect choice for them, I am more then happy to have a great family to visit with and get to see their wonderful dogs occasionally.
If they choose to try the surgery, then a few of my friends and I are ready and willing to fundraise to get this sweet dog's heart fixed.
In the meantime, we have decided that every month Mutts N Scruffs will donate a percentage of our proceeds to a charity, fundraiser, or a family in need.
If any of our wonderful customers know of a group, family or other good cause that is special to you, please send me a message and we will add them to our list! Any suggestions for a family in need will be kept completely confidential.
March 2019 donation went to Furbabies Furever Homes
April 2019 donation went to the Lloydminster S.P.C.A.
May 2019 donation went to a local family.
June 2019 donation went to a dog needing vet care.
July 2019 donation went to a local family.
August 2019 donation went to a local family.
September 2019 donation went to Big Brothers Big Sisters.
October 2019 donation went to a local family.
November 2019 donation went to "The Gift of Christmas".
December 2019 donation went to the Vermilion Food Bank
January 2020 donation went to K9 Recovery Services
February 2020 donation went to a local family.
March 2020 donation went to a dog needing emergency vet care.
April 2020 donation went to the Lloydminster Food Bank.
May 2020 went to a local family.
June 2020 donation went to a local family who lost their home and belongings in a fire.
July 2020 donation went to a local family.
August 2020 donation went to the Lloydminster Rescue Squad.
September 2020 donation went to a local family.
October 2020 donation went to a local family.
November 2020 donation went to the Lloydminster S.P.C.A.
December 2020 donation went to Baby’s Breath
January 2021 Donation went to a family needing a Service Dog for their daughter.
I cannot wait to see how this list will grow, and to find out how a small, but quickly growing pet sitting business can make even a small difference to those who need it!
So, every one of you are contributing by simply continuing to book our pet sitting and dog walking services!
Thank you all so very much!
**Please note - I am not asking my customers to donate. **
Running my own pet sitting/dog walking business is wonderful! I get to spend my days mostly outside, with all kinds of animals, and the animals I get to spend my days with love to see me almost every single time, and why not? They get my attention, walks, playtime, and treats! It doesn’t come without a few challenges though! Mostly what you would think, pups that pull, kitties that aren’t quite sure of people that aren’t theirs, random messes that you weren’t expecting… Every once in awhile there is an animal or situation that is a bit trickier. With time, patience, flexibility and persistence situations can be resolved, at least most of the time.
Dogs that pull, I wait or change direction, I reward them with a “good pup”, a pat, moving forward, letting them sniff, or a treat when they have a loose leash. Cats, and dogs that aren’t as comfy with someone new, I wait again. I don’t try to approach or pet them, I go about freshening water, adding food to their dish, or changing litter boxes. Most of the time, they get curious enough to come check me out, even if they aren’t ready to be pet, they can sniff my hands or feet. If they are obviously, extremely uncomfortable, I will leave them be and let their person know. Messes don’t really need to be explained…
For the “once in awhile” situations, there is a bit more brainstorming required. One example is a great dog who I get to visit often, his person has me walk him everyday that he is working to ensure he is getting exercise, and to alleviate boredom. You see, this pup is extremely smart and when bored he can get himself into a bit of trouble! To relieve his boredom, he likes to open the fridge! Yes, the fridge! Funny enough he usually doesn’t eat anything, just likes to take a few things out! He sometimes even shuts the door when he is done! His person and I thought of more then a few solutions, child locks for the fridge, placing food in the drawers to make it more difficult to get, putting something in front of the fridge, longer walks, etc. Through trial and error, we have figured that for the most part he is simply bored in the morning! I now walk him twice a day, he never gets into the fridge after his morning walk! I get there before his boredom strikes and reward him every time I arrive and he hasn’t gotten into anything. Like most things, the solution isn’t perfect, it still happens but not often. It took some time to figure out and some wasted food… but we are on our way to success and avoiding frustration by laughing about it. I commend his person for the patience he has shown his dog, I know there must have been days it was difficult!
The messes and time were absolutely worth it to help figure out a solution, to make most days just a little easier for a dog and his person.
If someone asked me if I enjoy walking, without a destination or company I would probably say “um no…”.
Walking dogs though is a completely different situation! There is rarely a rush, unless it is because a pup thinks it is going to get to someplace just a little faster then I can walk, but there are easy (sometimes) solutions for that. Whatever pace I choose is typically just fine with a dog, slow, fast, it doesn’t matter. If they get to check out the world, they are content at any speed.
Even though I talk to dogs more then I talk to people some days, or more accurately most days, its simply not required. I can talk endlessly to them and although I do get some funny looks, from the dogs and sometimes people.. they never judge my chatter or disagree with me! On those days where I just want to enjoy nature, dogs happily do the same. There are so many things we usually don’t take a minute to enjoy or are too focused on other things to notice. Just over the last month I have watched crows play, helped a very small garter snake get to a safe place, and a mouse (I know, I know but I personally find them adorable) and watched what appeared to be a very young woodpecker for this time of year fly from tree to tree looking for the right spot to find food, along with countless other birds and bunnies.
Walking with dogs I stop often, so they can sniff, and boy do they LOVE to sniff! Sniffing might just be what dogs do the most and on our walks they can, at their leisure, because these walks are for them and their enjoyment. I read something once that said not allowing a dog to sniff on a walk is the equivalent to asking a person to go on a beautiful scenic drive with their eyes closed (no peeking) and I instantly realized the truth in that statement so when life and time allows my dogs, and yours, get to sniff as much as they want as long as they aren’t pulling, if they are pulling to get to an unbelievable spot, I simply wait until they stop pulling and come back a bit to relax the leash, and then say “ok, go sniff!”. They do and then we carry on until the next unbelievable spot (two steps further into the park 😉).
Dogs just enjoy life in the moment, I truly think us humans should do the same a little more often.
Some of you may know, that in addition to having 4 of our own pets (2 entertaining cats and 2 energetic puppies), we are also lucky enough to be a foster home for Furbabies Furever Homes.
Being a foster for these puppies and dogs is rewarding, fun, and sometimes a little heartbreaking. So far, we have been fortunate enough to foster Bella - a chocolate lab cross, Blossom and her sister Sunshine - terrier crosses, we had these 3 and my 7 month old pup all at the same time! Wowza! We were soooo busy, but it couldn't have been more fun. 😊 All 3 were adopted close together, yay... but we missed them. So, when we were asked to take Puddles, we of course said yes! Puddles is Sunshine and Blossoms brother and he had been returned to Furbabies Furever Homes 3 times total. Puddles didn't seem to mind a bit, as he was able to meet so many people, cats, and dogs before he was finally adopted to his perfect family! We were so happy for Puddles, my son was proud of him for finding his home at the adoption days at Wag's and Wiggles Pet Store in Wainwright, Alberta.
Next, we fostered Mia, a Lab/Shepherd cross, we foster failed with Mia and are happy that she is now part of our family! We took a little break from fostering to let our family adjust to a second dog.
We recently started again, whoop whoop!
We had a sweet little 9 week old terrier cross puppy, named Lonnie, she was unbelievably cute and was adopted quite quickly of course, almost before we had a chance to fall head over heels in love with her.. almost. We now have Zeus Jr. or Zeusy as we like to call him, he is a terrier cross and happens to be Lonnie's older brother! Zeusy might stay with us a bit longer, as he hasn't had much contact with people so he is fairly shy, but you can easily tell that once he lets himself get to know and trust some kind, patient people, that he will prove be one of the most wonderful, sweet dogs. Whoever is lucky enough to adopt Zeusy will have a great friend ❤ and until that family finds him, we will happily keep showing him that humans can be kind.
If you are considering fostering dogs, cats, rabbits or any other creatures for your local animal rescue go for it! Here are a few that are in or near Lloydminster. Furbabies Furever Homes (Lloydminster), Lend a Paw (Maidstone, SK.), and the Lloydminster S.P.C.A. If you are unable to foster animals, then maybe consider volunteering in another way, or just spread the word.
I will admit, I am heartbroken every time one of these pups gets adopted, saying goodbye sucks.
However, it is impossible for any of us to adopt them all, and unfortunately these animals NEED our help, and seeing the updates of how well loved and how great these dogs become makes it worth it all...
My 6 year old sons tells his all his friends about how happy he is to foster and that we are their in-between home, he handles it better then I ever thought was possible. So as long as we are able to, we will foster and I will keep telling people all about it, because it matters.
I am so excited to begin this new journey, as a few of you may know it's a bit out of my comfort zone to throw myself into the public eye, but I have sat on the sidelines long enough, I want a career that involves animals.
Making sure they get walks and loving attention even when their people are unable to fit it in sometimes. I know my dogs and cats would love for someone to be here just for them, with no distractions, or other responsibilities, but it's just not that realistic. Between kids, work, errands, social commitments, time for ourselves...there's only so much time in one day. Sometimes all of the stuff we need to get done can result in no walks for our dogs or play time with our cats. That's where I come in, to spend time with your pets, I am dedicated to make sure that the time I spend in your home or with your pets is only for them, to ensure they are comfortable when you're out of town or played out so they don't get into trouble while you are at work. Mental stimulation and exercise is as important to dogs as it is to people.