I AM CURRENTLY OFFERING PET-SITTING ON WEEKENDS ONLY, WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS.
Hello! My name is Simone and I have been caring for animals, primarily dogs and cats, in multiple capacities since my college days (about 20 years ago!). I have worked at a veterinary hospital and kennel and have been active in dog rescue for the past two decades, in both Los Angeles and the Washington, DC-metro area. Over the years, I have fostered many dogs and cats - from bully breeds to hounds. I love them all. In short, I LOVE DOGS. Some would say more than people, in fact! My husband and I are transplants from New England/NY and have lived here, in suburban Centreville, since 2009.
As for my personal pets, I lost my much beloved AmStaff in 2013 after nearly 17 years together. She was my soul mate and what made me get involved in dog rescue. Currently, we have a dog-savvy cat (who has her own room should she want to be alone) and an 11-month old coonhound/Vizsla puppy mix. Both are very friendly with people and animals. We also have a two-year old daughter. We have been careful to teach her appropriate dog-handling manners (no hugging, no touching food or toys, no ear pulling, etc.) and are confident she will be a professional dog trainer in no time :). We would NEVER leave our daughter alone with any pet, even our personal ones. Dogs will be fed in our kitchen, but separate from one another. Each will have its own water bowl and bed (please provide).
A typical day at our house would involve 3 good walks (20-30 mins. each). On weekends, I frequently take longer (60-90 min.) walks along the trails around Royal Lake, Burke Lake, and Lake Accotink and often participate in fundraiser walks for local rescues, which I would bring your dog to (with your permission). In addition, we have a spacious and completely fenced-in yard (6'-foot high wood privacy fence) where dogs can run, play, and go potty - always under our supervision! We allow our personal pets on our furniture and in our bed at night, but will do whatever it is you prefer for your own pet - whether you prefer they do not go on the furniture, or if you'd like them to sleep in a crate at night. We feel it is important to work with your existing routine as much as possible so as to minimize any disruption to the dog while he/she is away from home. Dogs will not be left alone for more than a couple of hours during the weekend, but when they are, they will be crated so as to keep both your pet and mine safe and sound.
I have experience giving meds (orally and subcutaneous) and performing rehab exercises. (My dog tore her ACL and we had to do 8 weeks of "doggie squats" and such, so I know the drill!). I am also notorious (just ask my husband) for taking lots of photos, so expect to have a complete photo journal of your pet's stay with us! I can also do special holiday portrait sessions, if the owner desires.
Of course, you are always welcome to come by and meet us beforehand! I know I would not want to trust my dog or cat to anybody without meeting them prior.
Please note we prefer spayed/neutered animals, and dogs must be house-trained (for the most part - I know it's impossible to completely avoid potty accidents!). Dogs must also be kid- and cat-friendly.
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