Welcome to your dog's home-away-from-home! Like you, I'm sure, my fiancé, Dan, and I have begun to cringe when thinking about kenneling our sweet baby dogs and the lack of one-on-one attention they will receive and at such a premium price. As dog lovers, we naturally began helping out our friends when they had to travel by opening up our home to their precious pups. Our 3-year-old lab mix rescue, Del, and our 1-year-old pug, Mr. Wiggles, absolutely loved having visitors and have requested more ;)
I work full time during the day and Dan works full time at night so it works out perfectly! Our dogs are rarely left alone and when they are it's only for an hour max in the morning after I leave for work and upon Dan's return. Weekends we are fully committed to our dogs. We love walking to the dog park across the street or driving to the dog beach only 4 miles away! We cater to our dogs and will cater to yours as well. They are our children and are treated as such!
We live in a house with a good size backyard where our boys love to run and play. Across the street, only steps away, is a beautiful park where we frequently take our dogs for walks as well as the dog park. We love our dogs so very much and can offer your pups a loving and fun environment as their home-away-from-home!
We offer a personalized service. We don't tell you when we plan on feeding your dog, instead you tell us. Lay out your dog's schedule for us and we will ensure it is maintained. They are use to 3 walks a day, we'll ensure they take 3 walks a day. We can customize our services based on your needs. Some customized services include:
- visit to the dog park
- visit to the dog beach
- doggie bath time
- administering medication
- basic grooming (i.e., fur brushing, teeth brushing)
- pool party in our backyard (with a kiddy pool)!
We want to ensure your dog is as comfortable as possible and enjoy their time at Home-Away-From-Home but also want to make sure they continue their normal routine. They will leave here happier than when they arrived!
About Kara S.:
I am an absolute dog lover! Dan and I would have a hundred dogs if we could! I am a Financial Management Specialist and Dan works for FEDEX. Luckily our opposite work schedules ensure one of us at home throughout the day! This is an amazing opportunity to help out other people by doing something we already love to do, spending time and taking care of our four-legged friends!
How long have you been a dog lover? Tell us about your history with dogs.
I have been a dog lover my entire life. As a child, I would walk up to any and all dogs I came across. As an 11-year-old I was able to save all my money (from birthday presents and allowances) and gave it back to my parents asking for a puppy! Eventually they caved and got my brother and me a beautiful black lab puppy, named Klondike. I grew up with this dog and learned at a young age the commitment and responsibility that came with having a four-legged companion. This level of responsibility grew my passion for these beautiful animals as I realized I had a living creature relying on me. As soon as I graduated college and moved out on my own, and away from my beautiful boy Klondike, I knew I needed to fill the void in my life by adopting more fur babies! Now I have my beautiful boy, Deltron and the most cuddly pup, Mr. Wiggles! Dan and I have had the pleasure of watching some of our friend's dogs including another beautiful rescue named Sable (a medium sized dog) and a tiny, precious Pomeranian puppy, Teddy!
Additionally, I have volunteered some time at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. As a volunteer I would take the dogs for walks and play with them in the play yards. This was a great opportunity to become acquainted with different types of dogs and learn how every dog is different and requires different levels of attention.
What would you like to know about a dog before sitting him or her? Do you have any breed preferences?
** Unfortunately, we will no longer be accepting meet and greet or boarding requests for pit bulls or pit bull mixes. I absolutely love all dogs and believe they are good in nature but we have already had 2 incidents where a pit bull has paid too much attention to our little pug, Mr. Wiggles in a not so loving way. ** I require meet and greets for all other "aggressive" breeds and encourage them for all dogs. I love all dogs and appreciate their unique personalities. My only concern would be if there is a history of aggression. This absolutely needs to be known in order to provide a safe environment for all dogs, including my 2 boys. I will also ensure I do not accept any other dogs during this visit.
In terms of information about the dog I would require the following:
- regular routine the dog follows on a daily basis (feeding times, walks, etc.)
- any limitations with the dog (an older dog may not be able to go on as long of walks or you may not wish for the dog to have a beach day)
- up-to-date on all vaccinations (documentation of this would be ideal)
- whether your pup is neutered/spayed (this will only be important if I am watching other, non-altered dogs at the same time)
- any medications they may be on that need to be administered while the dog is in my care
- any other customization you may require (bathing, brushing, etc.)
Do you have reliable transportation in the event of an emergency?
Yes, I do. At any one time, Dan and I have 3 cars in the driveway, gassed up and ready to go! We also have numerous vets in our area that we can utilize if need be.
Are you comfortable administering medication?
I am comfortable administering medication. I give my pug eye drops 3 times a day and can get my dogs to orally take any medication required. If a dog requires a shot, I am more than willing to administer it but am not afraid to admit I have not had to do this before so simple guidance or instructions is all I require.
How much time do you plan on spending with my dog each day?
Between Dan and me, we plan to spend time with your dog 24/7. The only possible time that your dog will be alone would be between 8am and 9am on the rare occasion that Dan stays late at work and does not return home before I leave for work. Other than that there will always be at least one of us present with the dogs at all time. We do not force interaction with dogs but will attempt to play with them and give them all the attention that they want!
If you have a backyard, please describe it.
We love our backyard as do our dogs! We have a fully fenced backyard and a very decent size one. It has a deck and has many trees that provide shade for over 80% of the yard. It is well grassed with minimal dirt patches.
Where will my dog sleep?
Your dog will sleep where ever he/she is comfortable. If you are working on kennel training we are more than happy to oblige. If they enjoy sleeping on their own dog bed we will set it up for them in a comfortable spot. And, of course, our bed is also always available! Whatever they want, they can get!
Where will you take my dog on walks? Tell me about it.
We absolutely love where we live primarily for the park across the street. We live on a dead-end street and directly across the street is a huge park surrounding a pond. It has a 1.5 mile trail around the pond that we walk our dogs around. On hot days we let them take a dip in the pond! Another amazing feature of the park are the two dog parks. We normally will walk directly there and let the dogs socialize with other dogs. This park allows us to completely reduce walking on streets with traffic.
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