The holidays are quickly approaching, and we have already taken a large number of reservations for pet sitting. If you are in need of vacation pet sitting at the end of December/beginning of January, please make sure to book your visits in Leashtime as soon as possible. If you know you will need pet sitting, but have not yet established exact dates, please email us at email@example.com with your tentative needs, and we will pencil them in our calendar and confirm with you shortly. Availability is on a first come/first served basis, so please put in your reservations now!
If you are a regular weekday dog-walking client, and don’t need regular visits on or around Christmas and New Year’s, please cancel those visits as soon as possible. This helps us greatly in getting our schedule set ahead of time.
Thank you for your help in allowing our holiday schedule to run smoothly!
Winter in Wisconsin is notorious for its cold and snowy weather! We are asking our clients to help us out this winter in order to keep your pets and our staff safe.
First, and most importantly, if you have not updated or included a nearby neighbor as an emergency contact in your Leashtime account, please do so as soon as possible. This should be someone who lives close by, knows your pets, and has access to your home either via a spare key or garage/door code. For both daily dog walks and vacation sits, there are times where roads are too dangerous to travel or are simply not plowed enough in our neighborhoods or our clients’ neighborhoods for us to physically get our cars through. This way, we have someone to contact to at least let out your dog, feed your dog or cat, or provide time-sensitive medication until we are able to get to them.
Secondly, if you are a weekday dog-walking client and are not going in to work due to severe weather, please be sure to notify your usual sitter in the morning and cancel your visit in Leashtime. Staff has been instructed to contact daily clients to confirm visit needs on days of severe weather, but this will be a great double check to ensure that no one is making a dangerous trip that is not necessary. We will be flexible with our cancellation policy on days of severe weather, as we realize that the usual 8am deadline might not be feasible on these days.
Next, please be sure to clear a path from the driveway to the preferred entrance door so that the sitter can get to the house. If your driveway or front walk are icy, please sprinkle paw-safe salt to melt the ice. Please leave a doormat and towel by the entrance and exit door so that the pet sitter may remove their boots, and so that pet’s paws can be wiped free of snow, salt, and ice. If you have paw booties or jackets for smaller dogs, please notify your sitter and/or leave these items available so that they may put on those protective articles of clothing.
Finally, if you prefer that your dog not be walked, or that their walk be shortened when the temperature falls below a certain threshold, please let your usual sitter know or include that information in Leashtime. Our staff reserves the right to make final walking decisions based on their safety and the safety of your pets. Reasons for shortening a regular walk may include: extremely cold/dangerous weather, dangerous wind chills, excessive snow/ice on sidewalks, excessive salt on sidewalks or on roadways in neighborhoods where no sidewalks are available. We will make every attempt to keep your dog on their regular sitting/walking routine, but will need to make adjustments at times during the winter months.
We greatly appreciate your cooperation and effort to ensure everyone’s safety during the winter months!!!
Although I have always loved dogs and cats, my family did not have a dog of our own until I was half way through college. The summer between my sophomore and junior year at UW-Whitewater was when my family got Louie, a Beagle pup. Although Louie has sadly been gone for a few years now, his legend remains with all who met him, and continues to grow with each passing year. Pet stories are often funny, heartwarming, cute, and sometimes sad. Stories of Louie tend to be more along the line of tall tales, and I will continue to share some of these in future newsletters.
My first Louie story takes place not long after Louie came to our family. I made sure to walk him through our neighborhood every day in the late afternoon after I got home from my summer job grilling sausages at Tenuta’s (I like to think Louie’s enthusiastic greeting of me was based solely on love and loyalty; although I realize my grilled sausage aroma played a large role in his after-work greetings). One afternoon, about five minutes into our walk, Louie suddenly froze. He put his nose mere centimeters from the ground, his tail stood straight up, his ears perked up, and he began to sniff with the urgency of a coffee addict entering a Starbucks. Suddenly, he began barking frantically. However, this wasn’t a typical bark or even a howl. It was the telltale braying sound of a Beagle hot on the trail of a scent! Very quickly, Louie turned 180 degrees and headed in the reverse direction down the sidewalk, nose to the ground, braying all the way. I was very excited. Whether it is watching a husky pull, a lab retrieve a stick or ball, or a Jack Russell Terrier dig, there is something truly special about seeing the enthusiasm displayed by a dog when they are “in the zone” of an activity for which they were bred. I had plenty of time that afternoon, so I decided to follow Louie to see where he would take me. My imagination ran wild with questions. What type of animal does he smell? Is it large or small? Is it still alive, or is it injured?
Louie followed the sidewalk for about a block and a half, after which he turned sharply and followed his scent intently through a neighbor’s front yard. He snaked through the yard and led me between houses, essentially making a short cut through what would normally have been an “around the block” walk. A few neighbors gave us questioning glances, to which I replied, “He’s on the trail.” At one point, we came to the street, which Louie wanted to cross. After waiting for traffic to clear (with Louie braying the whole time), I allowed him to lead me across the street and into a field with tall grass, weeds, and trees. He plunged head first into the brush, with me struggling to keep up with the taut leash. We walked about 100 yards through the knee–deep brush before Louie finally stopped walking and braying.
Although we were no longer moving forward, Louie’s concentration was still intent on the ground. His barking suddenly ceased, and then he began moving again. However, no longer was he moving straight ahead. He was walking in a very sporadic pattern of half circles and zig-zags. He was closing in! Finally, he stopped again. There was a large pile of leaves, sticks, and matted brush. Something was certainly here, or something had recently been there! Louie nosed feverishly at the leaves and started to dig. After only a few seconds, he stopped digging, sat, and looked into my eyes. I bent over to see what he found, half expecting something to jump out at me. After moving a few more leaves aside, I saw what Louie had masterfully tracked with his exceptional sense of smell. There was no mistaking what I had laid my eyes upon. Still partially buried in the brush and glistening in the sun, was a half-eaten bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.