Autumn is upon us

Autumn is truly setting in now, time to think about all our friends who will be getting ready to hibernate, hedgehogs in particular.

Their numbers have fallen by 30% over the last 10 years, it is thought that there are less than a million in the U.K. now, so very sad.

Please do help to make your gardens a safe haven for these wonderful little creatures.

Log and leaf piles, wilderness areas and purpose-built hedgehog homes make great places for hedgehogs to nest and hibernate.

Fallen leaves also make the perfect nesting material, so make sure you don’t clear all of these away.

Polly would like to introduce to 2 adorable new clients of ours, Casper the Maltese and Trixie the Yorkshire Terrier, both about 5 months old this month.

They have recently come into their owners life after the sad loss of her much loved Yorkshire Terrier cross, Benji, last year.

I am sure you will agree that they will bring much joy to their owner in the years to come.

June News – Overweight Cats

Hello to all readers of Polly’s Blog; this month we are touching on the tricky subject of overweight pets, cats in particular.

Believe it or not, over 42% of our much loved felines are overweight; vets would tell you that more than half the cats they treat need to lose weight. This could be partly due to the rising number of “house cats”, resulting in cats not getting the outdoor exercise and stimulation they need.
Cats kept indoors suffer more stress and also some behavioural issues on occasion. They need added stimulation to make up for the lack of outdoor fun and, most definitely keep their food levels at an appropriate level, way less than an active outdoor cat would have.

One of the most common obesity related problems in cats is diabetes, overfeeding being the leading cause. Other related illnesses are urinary problems, joint issues and heart disease.

Just look at our magnificent client, Charley (right). What a perfect specimen he is, slender and glowing with health; Charley is an African Savannah crossed with a domestic cat.

If your cat is overweight, then see these tips below, to help your cat lose weight and follow in Charley’s footsteps, isn’t he just beautiful?

Portion sizes

Stop feeding your cat so much; remember 2 or 3 extra pounds for a cat is equivalent to 40 pounds in a human being.

Don’t suddenly cut the portions drastically however, this could create liver problems. Ask your vet, he will help with guidance on feeding your cat the correct amount and cutting down gradually.

Exercise

If you have a house cat, encourage lots of play; use a torch, cats love to chase the beam of light on the floor. Make a “ mouse on a stick “ toy, using a catnip mouse and some string. Even better get a cardboard box, with holes cut in it and watch how your cat will love trying to work his way out, where you will be waiting, for even more fun and games with said “mouse on a stick.”

Have fun everybody !

We are recruiting … plus more April news

Hello to you all, now Spring is here, from Polly and all of us in the office!  How lovely it is to see new life everywhere, such a beautiful season.

We are on a full scale recruitment drive this month, as many of our long standing home and pet sitters are retiring this year.

Please do call us on 0333 234 0404 or complete the online application form, if you think this is something that may appeal; it is a lovely “hobby job” to have in retirement and we would be delighted to chat to you.

We are looking for couples and single sitters, who are true animal lovers, with a sense of adventure. Do talk to us, we would love to have you on board.

Here is our wonderful sitter Irene Skyner knee deep in four legged friends and loving every minute of it!

The particular areas we are recruiting for are:

  • South Shropshire
  • Birmingham
  • Worcester
  • Cotswolds & south Birmingham
  • Telford
  • Shrewsbury

In conclusion, this month we have lost Joe the beautiful Greyhound; everyone loved him, such a lovely boy, he would have been 12 years old later this year.

You will be so missed gentle Joe, by your sitters, who just loved you so, as well as by your family.

How dogs have become our best ‘friends’

“They have now got me answering the phones as well as all my other jobs”

An interesting ‘doggie’ fact for my readers; For centuries, the standard English word for ‘dog’ was “hound” or “hund”. It wasn’t until the late Middle Ages, that the word ‘dog’ ,which was etymologically unrelated to any other known word, suddenly and mysteriously appeared.

All dogs evolved from the grey wolf, our dogs’ closest living relative.  They were first kept by humans around 14,000 years ago. It is believed that abandoned wolf cubs were adopted and gradually the aggression bred out of them.

How we arrived at the myriad breeds, sizes, coat colours, temperaments and characters, would take too long to explain in one blog!

So, in brief, bones and fossils found throughout the world, going back to roughly 6,500 years ago, we are able to safely say that, at that time, there were just 5 types of dog. Mastiffs, wolf-like, Pointer types, Greyhounds and Sheepdogs.

Since then literally thousands of breeds have been developed by artificial and natural selection. Many were lost over the centuries, leaving us with around 400 different breeds today.

All this from one little mammal, somewhat like a weasel, that ran around the primeval forests 60 million years ago!

Christmas message and more…

We wish all our existing clients and prospective new clients too, of course, a very Happy Christmas 2016 and a wonderful New Year too!

tara

Whilst not wishing to be doom and gloom at this festive family time of year, we would like to remind you all that Christmas can be difficult for our four legged friends.

Why buying a puppy for Christmas is a really bad idea!

Getting a new pet on Christmas day would seem to be a lovely idea for your children, but it’s not great for the pets. Christmas time can be a stressful time for pets – noisy, lots of people coming and going, all clamouring to hold the new bundle of fur; excitement, parties, decorations…..all of these things can be stressful for a pet at the best of times. Moving into a new home is stressful enough, so bring a new pet into the house at a quieter time in the New Year instead.

Also, Christmas is a wonderful time for us humans, but sometimes we are so caught up in the festivities we forget about the dangers to our pets.

Please be aware that the following are hazards for our furry friends, dogs in particular.

  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
    (all of the above are extremely toxic to dogs)
  • Cooked bones from the Christmas roast
  • Mistletoe and holly berries
  • Christmas tree baubles

All are toxic/dangerous for our much loved pals, so please keep them out of harm’s way!

A tribute to Harry

Last month, we lost beautiful Harry the Maine Coon cat.  He was a great age and had been a much loved friend of ours for many years.

Harry, you will be very much missed by our sitters, who had cared for you for many years, and of course missed and mourned by your owners too.

photo

Want to become a home or pet sitter? We are recruiting now!

Hello to all our blog readers,

labrador_june2016This month we are starting a big recruitment drive for home and pet sitters, all over our area, Central England, North and South Midlands and Cotswolds, in particular.

We need some single sitters but also would love more couples to join our merry band of sitters too.

If you are animal lovers and would like to do something in retirement, that is fun filled and adventurous, then call us for a very informal chat.

I have attached a photo of Joe Ellis, one of our sitters, reading a story to Monty the Labrador and Kay Walker, bulldog_june2016saying hello to Marmaduke, one of the gorgeous feline friends in her care.

And who could resist our lovely friend, Jeff the Boxer, every one of our sitters, who has looked after Jeff, loves him to pieces.

Dogs, cats and small domestic pets are the mainstay of our service; however we are always looking for sitters capable of equine care too, some of the work with horses is hands on, some is basic care, so all competent lovers of horses and ponies, not forgetting donkeys too, please speak to us!

wyaa_image1So, if our photos have tempted you, do give us a ring.  We would love to take you through, what is involved in pet and house sitting.

It is a lovely hobby job to have in retirement, and although it carries responsibilities, you are secure in having the umbrella of an agency, covering you with everything from insurance, to guaranteed replacement sitters, should you be unable to complete an assignment for whatever reason.

We look forward to hearing from you.

A tribute to Lily the Labrador

lillyWe lost another dear pet in April, Lily the Labrador; her owners Lea and Jeff have been loyal clients of While You’re Away, since Lily was a puppy, way back in 2001.

Dear Lily died just short of her sixteenth birthday, bless her she was the sweetest girl, as you see from the photo taken not long before she died; we will all miss her very much.

A few tears were shed by her regular pet sitters, they all loved Lily and it was never a problem getting our sitters to care for her and her companion, Poppy the cat.

We hope you are running around like you used to Lily, wherever you are.

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