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September week 3

 

A Broken Heart's Survival Guide

I love all dogs but there have been a few that stole my heart! Isabella joined my life in 2004, she was the cutest thing I'd ever laid eyes on. "Isa" was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy born from two DWE clients. I visited her mom Mele every week throughout the pregnancy and when the pups were born I bothered them as much as they'd allow me to visit the house!! Finally at 8 weeks, I took my first baby home with me and she was perfect! 

As Isa grew I home-cooked her food, bathed her every Friday without fail and took her everywhere I went. She eventually developed the typical CKCS ailments. She lived a beautiful life til the age of 12.5, pretty good for a girl with a stage 4 heart murmur since age 2! Isabella's passing was sudden and unexpected in the middle of the night. I knew she was getting up there but no parent wants to think their time is winding down. I was shocked and numb. A suddenly quiet house was unbearable. I just wanted to sleep. I even researched if it would be possible to erase her from my memory because the pain was so unbearable. And at the same time, I realized I had to move each day, I had to go on. 

Dreaming up ways to memorialize Isa became a joyful objective in first few weeks. What pictures I wanted to frame and what the frame itself would be! Those little details gave me hope and got me to the end of my day. The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. I commissioned a painting of her, as big as it could be! The artist I chose, Courtney Kelly, painted dogs full of whimsy and fun,  just like her. The painting took a few months to complete and each week Courtney would send me little updates on it's progress, each week that gave me hope.

Four months after Isabella passed I thought I could maybe try fostering a pup- under NO circumstances would I keep it! Just trying to do my part to help out a rescue organization and as a plus, love a scared homeless pup! I contacted my colleagues at the local non-profit, FurAngel Foundation and said I might be open to the idea. Within a day Tiffany called me back and wanted me to meet Daisy, a little scrappy pup that kept escaping the fencing at her current foster situation. Sounded like a headache I did not want but I drove to the North Shore to meet her anyway. I arrived midday and walked into the waiting area. In minutes the head of operations brought out this hairless shaky little girl and promptly shoved her into my arms. "Here" she said, "Don't let her fool you, she won't break, she just needs a lot of love!" I sat down on the floor and held Daisy for the next two hours. I hadn't even realized how much time had passed! I gave her back to the director and said I'd let them know. I left- YES I actually left! I couldn't sleep all night, my thoughts now only on Daisy and how much I needed to help her, I could save her- and how she could save me! I drove back to the north shore early the next morning and scooped her up. Daisy has now been a part of my dog filled home since 2016 and was my saving grace in learning how to love again. I haven't commissioned any life sized paintings yet but it's not out of the question!

 Isabella 2.6.2004 

 


 

 September week 2

First Aid & Prevention:

WHO: Amphibians secrete a mucus through their skin to help evade predators, but in some species this slime is toxic! If you haven't already met, please allow me to introduce you to the CANE/BUFO TOAD! Toad poisonings are very common. During evening hours when Bufo's like to come out, many dogs and some cats mouth the toads and become poisoned. The toxicity can be serious and life-threatening if not addressed and treated properly. 

CLINICAL SIGNS: signs will vary dependent upon the amount of toxin that is absorbed by your pet and the length of time since exposure to the toad. In general, toxicosis can cause cardiac arrhythmias, increases in blood pressure and hallucinations. Soon after exposure, you may notice your pet experiencing severe head shaking, pawing at its mouth as if irritated, a foul odor and hypersalivation. If untreated, the toxicosis may progress with clinical symptoms of incoordination, vomiting, diarrhea and an increase in respiration rate. Severe cases may lead to blindness and convulsions. Death results from a critical form of a cardiac arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation that has been reported to occur quickly within 15 minutes from the time of exposure

TREATMENT: To prevent absorption of the toxin into mucous membranes immediately begin rinsing out the mouth of the animal with copious amounts of water. Usually, a garden hose is recommended to accomplish this. It is important to direct the nose of the animal downwards to allow the water along with the toxin to flow out of the mouth. Do not allow the animal to drink or swallow the flushing water; hence the water is contaminated with the toxin and can be absorbed at the lower mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract. At the same time you should be seeking veterinary advice or already in route to your vet's office!

PROGNOSIS: For most pets (especially those in here in Hawaii) the prognosis is usually good with treatment. However, Bufo encounters can be fatal so always be vigilant when allowing your pets outside in the evenings. Likewise, if you happen to cross the path of a smushed Bufo in the road, remember that slime/toxins may still be on the skin and best to avoid when walking.

 


 September week 1

 

Should My Dog Walker Have Insurance? Absolutely!

Paying for Peace of Mind...

Hiring a professional dog walker or pet sitter offers a greater chance of avoiding accidents altogether. But even when accidents happen, you want the issue resolved without having to file a claim against your own homeowner’s insurance or worse, be held liable.  

We always suggest you do your homework when interviewing a pet sitter and/or dog walker for your baby.  Many independent dog walkers or pet sitters will not carry their own Business insurance policies. They are costly and often, out of range of a one-person operation. You’ll want to read closely, the level of coverage provided by referral or match-making sites like that simply pair you with someone who filled out an on-line profile.  Our staff are personally interview by the company's owner, background checked & trained before beginning assignments.

The pet sitting and dog walking industry has grown exponentially in the past ten years and while competition may drive prices down, be careful to consider your total costs, including any risks. Since 2001, Dogwalker etc has offered Oahu's pets reliable and trustworthy Pet Sitting and Dog Walking services. We’ve had insurance policies in effect since the beginning, as every professional service should. Feel free to give us a call, text or email at petsit@dogwalkeretc.com

Here are some actual claims published recently by the company we use for General Liability, Bonding and Workers’ Compensation coverage: Business Insurers of the Carolinas:

  • While staying at the pet sitter's home, one dog was running around and another dog gave chase. An altercation occurred. One of the dogs suffered multiple injuries. Total paid $49,998.00
  • A puppy in the care of a pet sitter ingested a foreign object and required surgery. Total paid $1,381.00
  • A pet sitter was walking a client's dog when a person approached them on the sidewalk. The person leaned down to pet the dog without asking and the dog jumped up and came in contact with the person's mouth. Total paid $20,000.00
  • A dog ate sheetrock  off the client's wall and became sick. Total paid for vet bill and wall damage $6,218.00

 


August week 4 

Right around the corner, September is Pain Awareness Month. Started in 2001 by the American Chronic Pain Association, this annual event raises public awareness of issues around pain and pain management. Now is a great time to learn about symptoms of pain in cats & dogs. 

Cats and dogs experience many types of pain, just like we do. Being injured or having an illness is unpleasant to experience and causes a different type of pain. Our pets can also be prone to these conditions that lead them to feel pain. 

So how can we tell if our pet is in pain? In some cases it's quite easy but in others it may not be so obvious. Check out the chart here for some obvious & more subtle signs of pain in cats and dogs...

It is important to recognize these symptoms. Depending on the type of pain your pet is experiencing, different treatment options will exist. Working together with your pet's vet can determine the best treatment plan to help your pet feel better! If you notice your pet displaying signs of pain, contact your vet- do not give your pet any human pain medications unless directed by your vet as certain human medications are toxic to pets. If your vet is unavailable and you feel the situation is an emergency, contact VERC which is open 7 days per week/24hrs per day specifically for pet emergencies! 

VERC (Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center of Hawaii)

1347 Kapiolani Blvd #103, Honolulu, HI 96814

 (808) 735-7735

 

 


August 2021 week 3

 

Can you tell them apart?

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers...

Which Is the Best Fit for You?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies dogs into seven categories, based on the type of purpose the dogs were originally bred to have. Goldens and Labs are from the sporting group and as retrievers, are often exceptional outdoor companions, exercise buddies, and family members.

Sunny (doggo on left) is my dog; she is the sweetest (I'm not biased)! Sofia (doggo on right) is also the sweetest however she's one of our awesome private boarding clients!! These girls have loads in common BUT they are as much different as the same. When I walk the girls I'm always amazed at how many people stop us to comment on them, so cute! I'm also amazed at how many people do not know the difference between the two breeds. It's because of these differences I urge prospective owners to do their homework. The more you know about a particular breed's general characteristics, health, and environment for his best life, the greater chance you'll have choosing a terrific pet!

 

Similarities include: 

  • Goldens and Labs live best in an environment with a bit more space, such as a large fenced backyard. 
  • They're super pets for families with children, especially when socialized at a young age.
  • They both do well with other pets too. 
  • As retrievers, they're usually good swimmers, because they were bred to fetch waterfowl for hunters. 
  • Both breeds live approximately 10–12 years.

 

Golden Retriever vs. Lab:

Which Breed Is Right For You?

It simply depends on which one fits your personality and lifestyle. Labs generally require more stimulation and exercise than a Golden. Here's a little cheat sheet.

You could be more of a golden retriever lover if you're:

  • Appreciative of a good-natured pooch simply happy to exist, even if she might not have many ideas of her own.
  • Not planning to leave her alone for long stretches of time during the day.
  • Able to provide a solid training foundation so she can be an eager helper in the family and stay mentally and physically stimulated.

You might prefer a Labrador retriever buddy if you:

  • Really desire a canine best pal and loyal companion AND can say no to extra begs for treats!
  • Understand how smart he is and keep him engaged with physical and mental opportunities.
  • Are able to manage his need for balance between activity and downtime. 
  • Can train him for useful work such as hunting, fishing, farm chores, and so on.
 


 August 2021 week 2

"TALES From the STRIPY RUG"

 

Luxury Private Boarding is one of our most requested services!

I started DWE in 2001 with the premise that I would always travel to the client's home. However over time, client's expressed the need (or desire) to simply lock up their house and travel without pets back at home. Whether it's the way we were raised ("dogs go to kennels") or out of necessity (a tented house) I started to offer private boarding in the homes of our employees. Trust me, everyone thinks they can board a pet but not all homes (or pet sitters) are created equal! I carefully vet each staff member and inspect their homes as well. If I wouldn't leave my pets there- I won't leave yours! I want each guest that stays with us to feel like family; loved and safe, cuddled and cared for (just like home). We never use kennels or crates and we keep guest numbers low to keep an intimate level of care. 

We have homes across Oahu to welcome clients (mostly dogs although some homes welcome cats!). Keep in mind- not every dog is a fit for private boarding. Dogs with issues like separation anxiety, used to living outside or lack of socialization with other pets are usually better off staying in their own home with one of our professional house-sitters!  We make sure to provide a complimentary interview to see what fits your family best. And each stay is complete with lots of photos showing how much fun your pet is having on their vacay while you're off on yours! Hence- "the stripy rug" pics...I have so many but these are some of my faves.

In my home I have this blue/white "stripy" runner, it seems to be where so many of my photos are taken- haha! It's soft enough for a dog nap but durable enough to take all those tiny dog butts sitting pretty on it! The thing I love most about it is I can WASH IT! With dogs (and kids) you can have beautiful things but they better be washable! Love this backdrop, it's welcomed so many of my favorite pups :)

And...if you think you could handle these faces- we're always looking for new homes! Click to apply here!

 

 


 

August 2021 week 1

Dogs need exercise every day and a lot of pet parents ask us “when is it too hot to walk my dog?” during these hot days. It can be easy for your dog to overheat, so it’s important to understand what your dog can safely handle. Even on hot days, it’s still inevitable that you’ll have to take your dog outside to go to the bathroom. There are lots of things you can do to keep them cool even when the temperature is over 86'F. As midday dog walkers, we like to find shadier paths instead of walking in the direct sun. It's also a good idea to walk on the grass/dirt instead of pavement so that they don’t burn their paws. Plan out your path so that you can have stops every so often in grassy or shaded areas so their paws can get some relief. AVOID the metal sidewalk covers, those can scorch paws/pads in seconds!

PRO TIP: If it is too hot for you to walk outside barefoot, it is too hot for your dogs, too! Always feel the pavement with the bottom of your bare hand before letting your dog walk on it. If you cannot comfortably hold your palm to the asphalt for 10 seconds or more, it is too hot for your dog’s paws. Unfortunately, pets can and do suffer burns on their paw pads from walking on surfaces that are too hot. Burned paw pads may look swollen, red, or blistered. Burns to the paws are a serious medical issue and require prompt attention from a veterinarian. 

PRO TIP: Dogs that are short-faced, such as Boxers, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzu’s are dogs that typically overheat very quickly in hot temperatures. Overweight dogs are also much more likely to overheat and have a higher risk for dehydration. 

 

If your schedule doesn’t work for walks, give us a shout!

We’d love to make sure your dog gets all the exercise they need and still stay cool! 808-384-3164



July 2021

These are a few of

my favorite things!

If you have a dog that pulls or lunges on walks this blog is for you! We have loads of clients that absolutely ADORE their pets but for one reason or another (lack of experience, time, budget) they skip the training and end up with a walk that's just not enjoyable for anyone. It repeats itself and eventually you end up with a bored destructive dog- boo! I've met many of these dogs and with the two products mentioned here, gotten successful results in making the walk fun again!

The Easy Walk Harness is my go to piece of equipment for dogs if they're not the best walkers. I myself have a rambunctious, loving golden retriever named Sunny. She wears this for every walk (she sports the red/black version). Easy Walk Harnesses are pretty straight forward, but they can be complicated if you aren’t sure how they work. Before you purchase one, we suggest reading up on them so you know exactly how to put them on. Easy Walk harnesses actually encourage dogs to focus on their owners and redirects unwanted behavior like pulling without causing harm or frustration to your dog the way some traditional harnesses or choke and/or prong collars can do.

Conversely, traditional dog harnesses that clip from the back can actually trigger your dog to pull. Many traditional harnesses press against your dog’s throat and can cause choking and, in severe cases, lead to tracheal collapse. Since many dogs have a natural instinct to pull against things that are either tugging against them from behind or putting an uncomfortable amount of pressure on their throats, it makes sense as to why traditional dog harnesses and collars don’t always work.

Spray Shield Animal Deterrent Spray is my other "do not leave home without". A little more complicated getting in Hawaii (due to shipping) but worth the effort to have. This little bottle contains a Citronella spray formula and offers a humane way to deter aggressive animals (I can attest to it- I have had to use it and it works!). Spray Shield's formula is just as effective as 10-percent pepper spray, yet without harmful side effects in cases where it may blow back into your eyes/throat or the animal's eyes/throat.  Spray Shield is highly effective in stopping low- to medium-level aggression and safe to use indoors. Dogs can sense our energy and if you're calm, they will tend to remain calm as well but this little bottle gives you reassurance you have a plan in case the unexpected happens. 

I know you're wondering "Is she just recommending these cause she's sponsored?" No but I should be! (pssst if you're reading this Easy Walk or Spray Shield)! Over the last 20 years I have been a great advocate for both these products because THEY WORK! So there's my walking 101 tips/tricks to try if you have a dog that pulls or lunges. 

~ Erin

And training is great, it's never too late! Here's a few great local dog trainers we know:

A to Z Dog Training

Barkhaus

Pro-Dog Hawaii

 

 

 


 

"The Pandemic Life (and Pet Care)"...

2020 was like no other! For us, the industry was grinding to a halt. It was as if life stopped, a deep freeze. Taking a snapshot from our clientele, it was crazy to watch the pandemic not only change our lives but everyone's so rapidly. Our clients that work within the medical field were busier than ever fighting to keep us safe. Our hard working teachers, pilots, waitresses, actors, hotel managers, mothers, fathers, now found themselves without direction and dying to get out of the house. Memes of people walking their dogs 20 times per day started to circulate social media- very funny but scary for us, "hey that's my job you're too busy remember!" With uncertainty on the horizon, fear grew and people stayed home. 

Thankfully our little business was deemed "essential" by the state and we were able to continue working for whatever work still existed throughout each lockdown.

The Pandemic Life was new to all of us. Neighborhoods that I had walked through for 19 years now looked like never before. In late March 2020 the streets were abandoned and it seemed like we were walking through a zombie apocalypse movie set! In the next few weeks, the streets became filled with folks dying to get outside, the whole family in tow. People were cautious and nervous, not making eye contact and keeping to themselves. I knew everyone was silently thinking, "do they have it?!"

One of my favorite things to do at that time became taking photos of dogs in the middle of an empty road (parks were closed with a $5000 price tag of you dared enter)! Streets that were that once filled with traffic and tourists now became our stomping grounds. The world became serene & quiet but we silently worried, what if this is the new normal, how long will this last?"

Fast forward to Summer 2021 and boom! ~ it feels like the industry is rebounding! In the silent year that was 2020, it was probably the one year where I saw more families get a pet than ever before. The Hawaiian Humane Society actually had no animals available to adopt on more than one occasion! Anyone who had reasonably argued in the past "I would love a dog but i work too much" or  "I'd love a pet but I'm never home" now had nothing holding them back!

So now what...folks are heading back to work; leaving for vacations again. I see loving pet owners all the time struggle with the decision of what to do when they leave. Well, we want you to know, we got you covered! We are not just a dog walking company. Our vetted team provides our clientele with peace of mind (from Great Danes to Guinea Pigs)! Whether a busy professional or anyone who needs help caring for their furry family- we are there! We have loads of care options and deliver customizable care plans! We strive to make each client feel as if they were our only one.

I want to acknowledge our amazing clients! Clients that trusted in us when it was everyones guess, do we wash every doorknob, wipe our shoes, mask or not (these were the early days of Covid 19). Thank you for sticking through it with us, you are Ohana.It's been twenty years since we first began, we continue to do just that ~ Leaders in Hawai's pet care industry since 2001 is what we are and will continue to stay "leaders of the pack"!

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Photo of My Friend Darby in the middle of Kalakaua Ave on 7/04/2020 at 5pm