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Where Do Pet Store Puppies Come From?

pet store puppiesSo you hit the mall to do a little window shopping and what do you see? That cute little puppy in the window. Your local mall has a beautiful pet store boutique with tons of puppies to chose from, supplies to pamper your pooch and you find you just can’t resist that ball of fur in that cage. Please, STOP and count to ten before you start singing “How much is that doggie in the window”. There are many, MANY things you need to know before you let your heart strings tug you into making that purchase.

Most pet stores purchase their dogs from places known as “Puppy Mills”. (NOTE: Read all the way through to find out about the pet store at the Fashion Square Mall)  If you have not yet heard of a Puppy Mill, don’t be fooled into thinking it is a darling little camp where they pamper momma and her pups before sending them off to their new lives. No, these places are horrendous farms where it is all about the money. There have been many raids over the last few years on these places, if you take a few moments to simply search the web you will see. And I can guarantee you won’t like what you find.

Many pet stores will tell you that they are not one of “those” places and would never purchase a puppy from one of these breeders. They claim they only work with USDA Licensed breeders. However let me tell you this: That label is used lightly. While a breeder may have the label, the standards of care required are far from what we would consider remotely humane.

At a USDA breeding facility the dogs can legally be housed in cages six inches longer then the dog in EACH direction. Their cages can legally be “stacked” one on top of the other and they can be kept confined for their entire life. The floors are made of wire and they are bred continuously. Once they no longer serve their purpose these places no longer have a need for “momma”.

Save a pet from a shelter or a rescue. Find a reputable breeder via the AKC site or through word of mouth. If you must purchase from a breeder, visit that home and assess the living conditions. Request to see the parents. Do not purchase a puppy online and meet at some gas station half-way. Reputable breeders will want what’s best for their puppies so they will invite you into their home because as you are assessing them, they will be sizing you up too!

These days there are many Rescue organizations opening up store fronts and filling their windows with rescued dogs so keep an eye out for facilities such as these.  In fact, did you know that the pet store, Trendy Pet & Rescue in Fashion Square Mall only features dogs who need to be rescued? They sell all the accessories for pets and then give the rescues free space to home their pets until they get adopted. In fact, a lot of pet stores are starting this trend, although not every one is doing this yet. Kudos to this business for knowing the value of a life!

Please, refrain from purchasing a puppy from a pet store that uses this practice. “No Pet Store Puppies Day” is on July 21st but if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to celebrate that day, every day. Just say no to pet store puppies and contact your local humane society and legislature to start a campaign to toughen the laws that regulate puppy mills! If you want to learn more about how completely inadequate the current laws are, just read this report by the Inspector General.  Tell us – what are you doing to help?


List of Mobile Groomers In Scottsdale

Bella washing Rocco

Groomer washing Rocco

When you become a pet owner, there are many responsibilities that accompany this role. Keeping your dog healthy, happy and clean are a few of the duties you take on. Now when it comes to grooming your pup I have to say it’s not a one size fits all. It completely depends on your pup.

What do I mean?

Some pups are really terrified of being bathed, some are big and require space and heavy lifting which some owners can’t handle and unfortunately some dogs are either too elderly or not well enough to handle the trip or experience of a regular trip to the groomer. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to find a reputable groomer who can cater to not only your pet’s needs but yours as well.

These days you can find groomers on almost every corner, just like a Starbucks. That doesn’t mean they are qualified to care for your pets grooming needs. You need to research, ask around for referrals and most importantly pay attention to how your pet behaves when they come home.  Their behavior can sometimes be a signal as to how they may have experienced their visit with the groomer.  You must choose a groomer with experience as well as credible references.

scottsdale groomers

One of the best ways to ensure your pet’s safety and happiness along with your peace of mind and convenience is to find a great mobile groomer. This is an amazing mobile service which allows you the ability to get your pet bathed right outside your home in a van that is fully equipped for grooming – think grooming shop on wheels.   You can monitor the situation, and your pet doesn’t have to be transported further than your very own driveway. Additionally, your pet doesn’t have to be left in a cage while he dries or waits his turn for bath time. That alone causes a huge portion of the stress your pet endures while getting bathed.

Below I have listed a few local Mobile groomers in Scottsdale, Arizona. Visit their sites, give them a call and set up a consultation (your pet should be present for this). See who you and your pup likes best and go with your gut – even if everything seemingly looks ok on paper just trust your instincts.  Who is your favorite mobile groomer in the Scottsdale area?

Heaven Scent Mobile Dog Grooming
Telephone: 602-799-7641

Blue Ribbon Grooming
phone: 602.481.0612

The Natural Pet Mobile Groomer

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
6909 East Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ 85253, 480.596.1190

Raintree Pet Resort and Medical Center
8215 E. Raintree Drive, Scottsdale, AZ, 480-991-3371

Always Unleashed Pet Resort
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

Cat litter 2Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.48.27 AMScreen Shot 2015-02-10 at 11.50.27 AM

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.

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