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This blog will be a little more personal, and brief, as my daughter is laying asleep next to me on the couch as I type.

Olivia is finally home!

Incredible news and a true testimate to how faithful God can be. For 182 long days… ever since her birth on July 21st to January 19th, my husband and I have been traveling back and fourth to the NICU. Day after day… through the ups and downs and all arounds. It was a really hard journey. I first told you about it in July when I announced that Rocco was a big brother

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For those of you just finding out for the first time, Olivia was born at ONLY 12oz. She was the smallest baby the hospital has ever had, nonetheless, survived….and might I add, thrived. When she arrived, she was 28 weeks, measuring that of a 22 week old. Her eyes were fused shut and her skin translucent. She went through a mired of obstacles. She has kidney failure, liver failure, stage 3 ROP. She has sever chronic lung disease due to prematurity, and was on many life saving ventilators. We would take 2 steps forward, one step back. Living on egg shells and dreading that late night phone call from NICU saying something was wrong.

After 182 long days… and learning more than I ever need to know about the medical field, we are home, happy, and on our way to healthy. Every day she gets stronger. Every day she grows. She is now almost 7 months, 4 months adjusted. Her growth is on a steady trajectory and the Dr’s are baffled and amazed at her perseverance. Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 8.41.08 AM

I am taking the time to update you all on my personal life because every single day you trust me and the people I have hired to represent Bella’s in your home with YOUR fur baby. I want to let down the curtain and share and celebrate from my family to yours. We aren’t just a company… we are a family. It is the Bella’s family. When you let us come into your home and trust us to care for your fur kid, take care of your home, sleep in your bed, that is family.

So we wanted to let you know, that OUR family is doing incredible.

There are a few things that I feel the need to draw attention to:

1.) Amazing Amy: By now, you have called into the office, or gotten an email reply from Amy. She has been incredible the past year sliding into the office manager role. Not only is she an incredible pet sitter, but she is also great at welcoming in new clients and helping our existing. Without her, things would have collapsed and I think you will join me in saying THANK YOU to her for stepping up for not only me, but the sake of your fur kids as well.

2.)  Aubrey: Another amazing pet sitter who has kept her head down and happily and sometimes hilariously carried on with her pet sitting work and just knocked it out of the park. Without asking, she has aided a pet in its last moments when the client couldn’t be there and refused to be paid for it. She has put her tricks into action getting sky and fearful pets to warm up to her and love her visits. She has done overnights, sometimes outside her territory, just to help serve our incredible clients and work as a team with the rest of the staff. Without her, I would be lost.

3.) On a more personal note – the one thing I want to scream from the roof tops is: ALWAYS HAVE HOPE. ALWAYS BELIEVE IN MIRACLES. Even when the odds are stacked against you…. there is a less than 1% chance (which by the way, the Dr’s told us that was Olivia’s survival chances) there is ALWALYS HOPE.  We hear it all when we work with our clients. If you think about it, when they travel, they are traveling for happy times, or sad times. In a world where it is so negative, this is so important to me to tell everyone.

4.) You can’t change your circumstance, but you can change your attitude. My husband and I fought for 182 days to always find the silver lining. BEHIND EVERY CLOUD, THERE IS THE SUN. Things got real serious. We really thought we were going to loose Olivia more than one time. But we had a choice. Stay optimistic or crumble. Being positive saved us.

I could go on and on and on… but I will spare you. (Are you even still reading?)

Why should any of this matter to you?

Recently, I have seen so many pet sitting companies sprout up from the ground. I welcome businesses and I love other entrepreneurs. In fact, I am willing to chat it up with anyone you might want to talk (In my other life I am a business coach!).

I want you to know that throughout all my personal turmoil and blessings, the company, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting, that you have come to know and love, never skipped a beat. It was the ultimate test of loyalty and strength for us. Most businesses would have closed their doors or crumbled, but when my team pulls together, there isn’t anything we can’t do.

I want you to remember that. In this day in age, it is important to have people you can trust and I hope that you can continue to trust us. No matter what is going on, we will find a way to be there for you. I believe that a business should run on systems and processes and I am so pleased to say that we passed with flying colors. I am so proud of my team and I want you, as you read this, to be as well.

If you have friends looking for a pet care solution… tell them to consider things like:
What will the company do if they are in personal crisis?
What is their back up plan?
Where do they go when the going gets tough?

I hope you can hear my heart in all of this. Bottom line,
1 – My daughter is alive and well. We are home and incredibly happy!
2 – Bella’s House & Pet Sitting will ALWAYS be there for you, our clients, who are our family that we love.

(PS) Rocco has been soon sweet with her. He watches over her and has even learned how to barks softly when someone comes to the door. He is still trying to realize that the baby talk isn’t for him anymore…. well, not all the time. :) Woof!
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Best Boarding Kennels In Scottsdale

 

As we know, being a pet parent is a rather large responsibility.  Care of your pet is very important.  We can’t always bring them with us when we have to leave home so it is important to ensure that you are leaving your pet in quite capable and compassionate hands.  These days there is such a large variety of pet care options.  Today we are going to review Boarding of your pet.  As always, please do your part by going above and beyond and research, research, research to the fullest, each site you see below as well as every site and or person you leave your pet with. You don’t want to end up in a place like this. No matter the type of service, home care or boarding, you must ensure that the place you’re leaving Fido at will have his best interests at heart and that Fido will thrive while you are away.

Below are a few sites within the Scottsdale area which boast rave reviews.  Stop by their websites and check each one out.  If you like what you see online, then make an appointment to visit the premises.  Whether it is any of the boarding facilities below or any others that catch your eye – you MUST scope out the environment, the other dogs and see what your vibe tells you.  Trust your instincts!

Applewood Pet Resort
http://applewoodpetresort.com/
6909 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, 480.596.1190

Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center
http://raintreepet.com/
8215 E. Raintree Drive, Scottsdale, AZ, 480-991-3371

Always Unleashed Pet Resort
http://dogboardinginscottsdale.com/
7230 E. Adobe Drive, Scottsdale, AZ, 480-767-7046
Did you like what you saw as you perused these websites?  Remember, the next step is to visit the boarding facility.  Not sure what to look for or what to ask?  Here are a few pointers to well, “point” you in the right direction:

Questions to ask:

  1. Is the establishment clean?
  2. Where do the pets go potty? Is it inside or outside and how ofter are they offered?
  3. Will they allow to tour the facility? (this is a MUST)
  4. How much do they charge and what EXACTLY does the fee include?
  5. Are the employees friendly?
  6. How are the employees interacting with the animals and people?
  7. Do they crate the dogs and cats?
  8. How much exercise do the animals receive?
  9. How are the animals separated? By size?  Behavior?
  10. Are the animals required to be vaccinated? Which ones?
  11. Are there any medical professionals on staff?
  12. Are the animals left alone after hours?
  13. How do they handle medical or other emergencies?
  14. Will your pet receive any one on one attention or do they charge extra for that?
  15. What happens if your dog exhibits our of the ordinary behavior? (Not eating, stressed, sad)

These tips should be a great starting point for you as you research boarding facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona – or anywhere for that matter.  Write these down and don’t be embarrassed to bring your list of questions in with you!  Remember, your dog depends on you to choose a safe environment for him while you are away.  Don’t disappoint him.

Still have questions about pet sitting or boarding your pet at a facility?  Call us!

I almost spit out my coffee in laughter this morning when I saw this cat litter commercial from Arm & Hammer. They suggest that the person in the commercial is a pet sitter as she is dressed like she is going to a BBQ in the Hamptons. Her claims that it is the best cat litter, the shot of her taking the “lightweight” box out of her van that is filled with litter, and the claim that she is a pet sitter is just absurd.

 

Don’t just take my opinion either. I put it to the test and I posted this in some of the private pet sitting groups that I moderate. I wanted to know if maybe I was having a bad day or if they agreed with my initial reaction. The consensus was unanimous. Here is what they said:

 

cat litter

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Let me tell you what is totally wrong about this commercial:

First, the wardrobe is all wrong for a pet sitter. Put a pony tail on that woman and give her some workout clothes (think yoga pants) and that would be more believable. I mean, come on. A clean, white, button down shirt doesn’t exactly make sense. As a pet sitter we are covered in hair, drool, and sometimes even poop. In fact, most of the pet sitters I know actually wear darker colors so the stains don’t show up.

Next, I would get ride of the van packed with litter. We do not deliver litter, nor do we really have to “carry” it anywhere as it is always usually next to the cat litter pan. There is a scoop and we just refresh the pan.

Last, many pet sitters agree that the smell of this particular litter is gross.

So the next time you see a “pet care expert” on TV and hear that they are a “pet sitter” please DON’T think of us, because that isn’t who we are or what we do.

If anyone from Arm & Hammer is reading this, I would LOVE to hear from you. Please contact me using the contact form on the side and I would be more than happy to help educate, advise, or make suggestions for your next commercial using a “pet sitter.”  Clearly, this commercial didn’t really hit the mark.

Timmy

Timmy

Do you let your dog sleep with you?  Did you know that this is a highly debatable subject that has strong opinions on both the “pro” and the “con” side. Let’s review a few of the “for” and ” against” points of view.

 

  • Pro: Many pet owners feel a sense of comfort when they have Fido cuddled up close with them in the night. Who wouldn’t like to feel the love of your pet snuggling up with you? Dogs are social creatures and in the wild they do enjoy the company and security of their pack. Many times they sleep touching other pack members to feel that safety. Not only that is considered a bonding period as well. You and your family members are your dog’s pack and many dogs like to be close to their owners – AKA pack leader.Allowing Fido to rest with you each night keeps him occupied and out of mischief. When you lock them away in a garage or outside they do get lonely and often even depressed at times. This mental and physical state can lead to trouble. One other remarkable benefit of letting Fido sleep with you is that cuddling with your pet is a huge stress relief and can aid in the lowering of blood pressure. Hence, the reason dogs are used in many therapy sessions. Cuddling and hugging release chemicals in the body that help you relax.  Who needs medication or a teddy bear when you have Fido!
  • Con: On the other hand, some people feel that your dog may not be able to differentiate your bed from other furniture and feel it is acceptable to lounge about on all of your belongings. Other folks are allergic to pets and the dander and hair from them can cause allergies to flare up. That’s not all, some people truly feel that your dog can become too dominant, claiming your bed for their own space and that boundaries must be set. Finally, there are some who say you won’t be able to get a decent night’s sleep with the dog interrupting your sleep all night, moving and scratching.

Are you ready to kick Fido out of your bed yet?

Well, before you put your dukes up, what it all comes down to is your personal preference. There really is no right or wrong answer. How does your dog interact with you, what are your circumstances? If you work with your dog, set boundaries and address bad behavior from the start then you can find that balance with them. Why did you decide to add a dog to your family? Why not embrace the chance to reduce stress and let that unconditional love make its way into your heart? Should your dog sleep with you; YES!

 online game

Bucket lists have grown in popularity over the past several years. While some bucket lists are created by people who have dog scottsdalejust learned they have a terminal illness, others are made by adventure-minded folks at any time of their life. Why not dogs?

You enjoy spending time with your beloved pooch, and maybe you find yourself wishing that your dog could accompany you on certain trips or get to experience new adventures. If this is true for you, it might be time to create a bucket list for your dog that the two of you can enjoy doing together. Check out this Huffington Post article about a boxer named Romeo who was diagnosed with bone cancer—he got to experience all sorts of wonderful things with his human dad, like riding in a police car and eating out at a steakhouse. You don’t have to wait until your pooch is old and gray or seriously ill to start a bucket list. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Canicross

If you and your dog love to go for jogs in the neighborhood, Canicross might be a great activity for you both to try. Canicross is a hybrid of the words “canine” and “cross country.” The dog will wear a harness and be attached to your waist with a line. As you run, your dog will essentially help to pull you along. Canicross takes a dog’s inherent desire to pull and turn it into a sport where you have to work as a team to run faster, rather than just be jerked forward by your pooch.

Swimming

Most dogs adore being in water—especially if you are right there with them. If you have never taken your dog swimming before, this is a great item to add to his or her bucket list. If you have a friend who has both a pool and dogs, ask if you can go swimming there. Or, Google “local dog parks” and look for some that have water features for dogs. Make sure your dog knows how to swim—not every breed is a natural swimmer, as most people think. If you are not sure about your dog’s swimming ability, you can purchase a raft or other flotation device and walk around the pool with your dog riding along like royalty.

A Long Hike

For dogs who enjoy heading out for long walks, you might consider adding a memorable hike to your dog’s bucket list. As REI notes, it’s important to first know and respect your dog’s physical abilities—for example, an older dog might not be able to hike as far as a younger one who walks all of the time. Google the name of your city or town and the words “hiking trails” and see what is available right in your area. Or, if your dog adores riding in the car, you might think about scheduling a doggie road trip to a nearby locale that has scenic trails.

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