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Pet Stories

Stories from the pet’s eye

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is definitely in full swing here as evidenced by hot temperatures and high humidity levels. We humans take precautions when dealing with the high temps and humidity like putting on sunscreen. staying hydrated and avoiding the midday sun and we need to do the same for our pets. It is our responsibility to protect our furry friends from the hazards of summer by keeping them cool , comfortable and safe. Like us humans, our pets are susceptible to dehydration and sunburn.

If you are miserable in the heat and humidity most likely your pet is  too. If it’s too hot for you than most likely it’s the same for your furry friend. If the pavement or sand is too hot for you to walk comfortably barefoot on then it’s is too hot for your pet because it can burn their pads.

Hydration is important to both humans and animals alike because like us they can get overheated and dehydrated so please make sure that they have access to fresh clean water. If they spend a lot of time outside, frequently give them small amounts of water.

Please don’t leave any pet or animal unattended during these hot summer days because a temperature in a closed car can rise 20°  in just 10 minutes and in an hour, 40°. On a 70 degree day, it can reach 110° inside the vehicle. It is best to leave your pet at home but if you have to run errands with your pet in a vehicle take someone with you so they can keep the air conditioning on so the animal doesn’t overheat.

If an animal gets overheated they can suffer from Hyperthermia  or eat stroke which effects their ability to cool down most likely cause being trapped in an enclosed environment without ventilation like a car or have been outside too long without shade and water. Dog with restricted airways such as brachycephalic (flat faced)  breeds  of pug, boxer and bulldog and dogs that wear muzzles are more likely to develop these conditions than others.

Some symptoms of Heat Stroke and Hypothermia include:

  • Excessive or Rapid Panting
  • Increased Heart & Respiratory Rate
  • Excessive drooling
  • Labored Breathing
  • Lethargy

Some of the more severe symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Bloody Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Coma
  • Shock
  • Unconsciousness
  • Temperature of 104°

Please take your pet immediately the vet if they show any of the above symptoms.

Stay tuned for more summer tips in my next blog.

Keep Cool Out There !

Loving what we do at Jen’s Gentle Petsitters











The Siamese Cat

One of my favorite breeds of cats is the Siamese, I  have many fond memories of my grandparents Siamese cats, Moxie and Scooter. The Siamese cat has a long and rich history including being sacred and guardians of temples.  The Siamese cat has many distinctive features and coloring.  They have a triangular- shaped head, enchanting blue eyes, large ears, an elongated slender muscular body and four distinct types of fur coloring. Due to their very short hair, they don’t need a lot of grooming.  When I think of Siamese cats, I think of those with the Seal Point fur coloring but there is also the Blue Point, Chocolate Point and Lilac and all  four are recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association and the World Cat Federation. There many breeds that have derived from the Siamese that include the Bengal, Burmese, Himalayan and the Tonkinese just to name a few.

Siamese cats are said to have traits similar to dogs  by being loyal, affectionate and can be trained to do tricks, some are even willing to walk on a leash . They are social creatures and enjoy the company of humans and other cats .Siamese are very intelligent , curious . vocal and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time and if they are could suffer from depression.   They don’t like to be ignored and can be demanding and will howl and yowl til it’s needs are met. They are very good with children and are tolerant of young children. Because of their curious nature, it is suggested to cat proof their surroundings by securing loose wires, putting child locks on shelves and screens in front of fireplaces etc..,.

They have a lifespan of 12-14 years but can live longer.  They can develop early onset kidney disease which causes premature ageing, increased thirst, poor appetite, weight loss, vomiting, bad breath and a poor coat can lead to an early death. The kidney disease can be slowed with medication, prescriptions diets and regular visits. They also can develop weaknesses in the immune system making them vulnerable to Feline Leukemia.  They can have eye twitches with their eyes going side to side and can be prone to lung infections especially as kittens.

Because Siamese cats are social creatures and crave attention, it is best to spend as much time with them as possible or have two so they can keep each other company.  So if you can’t get a dog but want  traits of  a dog then consider getting a Siamese cat. Just remember they are very intelligent and  vocal but also very loyal and affectionate.

Loving what we do at Jen’s Gentle Pet Sitters.




Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the Chesapeake Bay Retriever which just happens to be the state dog of Maryland. They became the state dog in 1964. They are also the mascot for the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is one of few breeds that was developed in the United States. Legend has it that there was a shipwreck off the coast of Maryland and on it were two Newfoundland puppies that were bred to Coonhounds. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1878. They are listed  in the Sporting or gun dog category. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are ranked as the 43rd most popular breed.

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever are also known as Chessies and Chesapeakes. Chessies only have the retriever name and are characteristically different from the Golden and Labrador  breeds of Retrievers. The Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s size can range from medium to large. Their lifespan is 10-13yrs.  They have powerful bodies with strong jaws. They have a double coat that has an  abundance of natural oils  making the breed suitable for the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  The outer coat is  short, thick, hadrsh and wavy. The undercoat is fine dense and wooly. Chessies  range in colors of Brown, Sedge and Deadgrass.

Chessies become deeply attached and devoted to their families. They thrive on companionship and like to be wherever you are but  aren’t ones to  usually wear their heart on their sleeve.  They can be emotionally in tune with their favorite people.  Chessies tend to be on the more sober and thoughtful side . Some other traits of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever include intelligence, endurance, intense loyalty, protectiveness sensitivity  as well as being stand offish and serious.  Most have  assertive and confident traits.  As a breed they tend to  have a socially dominant personality. When confronted with a threat a proper Chessie would more likely fight than flee. As puppies they are calm , relatively easy and eager to train . They also have a relatively good attention span.  Time , patience and a bit of authority is needed to train them. They need to know who the Alpha’s are.

We enjoy what we do at Jen’s Gentle Pet  Sitter!




Springtime Advice

Springtime is here, people and pets are apt to spend more time outdoors among blooming flowers ,warmer temperatures and longer days . During spring, Easter is celebrated with lilies, chocolates and plastic colored  grass which are all hazardous to our fur babies.  Lilies are fatal to cats if ingested.  Chocolates are toxic to both cats and dogs. The plastic grass used in Easter baskets if ingested can obstruct the digestive tract which can cause  severe vomiting and dehydration.  Popular springtime plants like Rhododendrons and Azaleas are highly toxic to pets and can have fatal consequences.  It doesn’t matter what the season is  so please don’t leave antifreeze around because it is toxic to animals.

With the warmer temperatures,  more people tend to travel with their fur babies in tow so please make sure When traveling with your furry companions, make sure they are secured in a crate or wearing a seatbelt harness  specifically designed for them. It is also a good time, to make sure their vaccines are up to date, heartworm is prevented  and flea and tick prevention is still being done.

During spring, our feathered friends tend to be more active and become prey for hunting cats. Tips for keeping birds alive include fastening a bell to the cat’s collar, making  sure to avoid main feeding times like sunset, sunrise or after bad weather because that is when the birds seem to be most active . Feed your cat before letting it out though it is highly recommended to keep your cat indoors.

Just like us humans, they can get allergies from dust, plants and pollens. Allergic reactions to said allergens can include  itching, minor sniffling and sneezing and it is best to get the animal to a vet ASAP.. Cats and dogs can also suffer from allergic reactions to insect bites and stings which can cause them to go into anaphylactic shock.

Enjoy the nice weather and keep yourself and your fur babies Happy loved and safe.  Loving what As th we do at Jen’s Gentle Pet Sitters.



Dental Health

An important  part of your pets overall health and well being is their oral health.  Just like us, they can develop periodontal/gum disease which can cause all kinds of serious damage affecting not just their teeth and gums but the heart , liver and kidneys.  Just like we humans take preventive  steps with our oral health the same should be done with our furry friends. One surprising fact is that roughly 8 out of 10 dogs over the age of three have a dental problem.

One big sign your pet may have a dental issue is bad breath. Other signs of dental issues for cats are brown deposits on teeth that can’t be easily scraped away, bleeding in the mouth and inflamed red gum.  For dogs some other signs include discolored teeth, red or swollen gums, difficulty chewing or eating , weight loss, tearing or swelling below one eye,  nasal discharge and blood in the saliva.

It is best to clean their  teeth on a regular basis and like us have regular dental check ups and cleanings. For dogs and some cats if they are willing to let you, brushing everyday or at least three times a week will help prevent any dental issues.  When cleaning their teeth do not use human toothpaste.  Based on the personality of your pet, you would have to do a trial and error process to find  out what works best. and  one needs to have patience, go slow and be gentle. Dogs in general are more likely  to let you brush their teeth with cats it just depends on their personality. There are angled  toothbrushes that are made specifically for cats and dogs finger brushes too..  Feeding your pet dental kibble, put ting an oral hygiene solution in their  water , greenies and chew toys are some other ways to help prevent gum disease in your pet.  When  picking out chew toys it is best to avoid  rawhide products including chews and biscuits, dried natural bones and hard nylon products because they are  too hard on the teeth and can damage gums and break teeth.             

norwegian elkhound rescue

A Healthy Pet is a Happy Pet!






Winter Safety

 I enjoy a nice snow fall, watching the snow as it gently falls from the sky but I don’t like the cold. Going outside, we dress up in hats, gloves, scarves, boots and a heavy coat just to stay warm. Our furry friends also like to stay warm when it’s cold out. They like to cuddle with their human, under a blanket, in a soft bed or catching some rays of sun. Just like us humans, some can adapt to and / or are more tolerant of the cold like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes because their coats are thicker but it’ s still not a good idea to leave them outside for too long, especially during the winter and summer months.

When walking dogs, wipe their paws to get rid of residue and debris from leaked radiator fluid and deicers which can cause damage to their very sensitive paws. Sometimes ice can get between the toes of a dog and it might help to trim the hair between their toes. If you have to deice, it’s best for all if you use a pet friendly deicer. On smaller dogs or short haired breeds like the Dachshund and Chihuahua, it’s ok to put them in a sweater to keep them warm.

Check your car engine, blow your horn or make a loud noise in case a feral or stray cat finds its way under your hood to keep warm. It’s never a good idea to leave a pet in a car. The key is to know your pets limits because like us humans they too can be sensitive to temperature changes. It’s best to keep your pet indoors during the cold winters but please make sure your house is pet friendly and safe. Keep Warm.

We love what we do at Jen’s Gentle Pet Sitters.

Jens Gentle Pet Sitters & Trips With Pets

We are honored and excited to be included in

They are the premier online pet friendly travel guide — providing online reservations at over 30,000 pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada. Grooming, Animal Hospitals, as well as pet sitting & Pet friendly hotels are listed. Of course we are listed in the Pet Sitter department in our area.

TripsWithPets was created for those who enjoy traveling with their furry, feathered, and finned members of the family. We realize that our pets are a part of the family and when we take trips they should be able to join us! TripsWithPets makes that possible by providing a selection of thousands of pet friendly properties across the United States and Canada, along with pet friendly activities, airline pet policies, pet travel supplies, and much more!

Our love of animals combined with the need for a robust, no-nonsense pet travel site was the inspiration behind TripsWithPets. In addition to being crazy animal lovers, our staff members are veterans of the online travel industry and have a great deal of experience traveling with their pets. We’ve come together to bring you a site that will assist you in planning your next trip with your best friend – a trip in which your pet will be welcome, happy and safe.

When you are traveling (Or originating) from any place in the USA, you can find quality pet services at this site for most locations that have been vetted by

Check them out, & us at Feel at ease when travelling & know that your furry children are being  well taken care of!

Pet Siiting, Pet Sitter Odenton, Happy Dogs, Traveling Pets, Travel with Animals


Time to Set This Story Straight


I cannot believe this! I feel so betrayed…how could Mommy let Sophie write a blog without offering that job to me first?? I don’t know how long this has been going on but I intend on putting a stop to it immediately.  Let me start by introducing myself. I am Bear…Bear the Beagle & I am 14 years old. My age alone should have been enough for Mom to have realized that I would be the one more suited to write a pet blog, but, NOOOO! No one asked me what I thought about it and I haven’t even told Maggie yet (she’s a yellow lab & my other sister).  I would’ve never known about this whole pet blog deal Sophie was involved in had I not gone onto Moms laptop to play a little Texas Hold ‘Em (a dog has to unwind after a long day off walks, eating & sleeping you know?)  Anyway, right there before my beagle eyes was  story after story about our family written by Sophie, my black lab/beagle mix sister. I’m not saying Sophie can’t write or that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, I just think someone a little older,  a little wiser, & a lot more street smart would’ve been the better choice but hey, that’s just one dog’s opinion, right?

Let me tell you a little about me. I meet my Daddy Chaz through my old Daddy, Mr. Charles, who saved me from a very bad life in a place called Curtis Bay. When I say a bad life I mean some people were very mean to me. I even had my 4 bottom teeth kicked out by a mean human & was very scared of people but didn’t let that stop me from loving others. Its not their fault other people are mean.   Mr. Charles was my Daddy’s Dad & we moved away from the place we lived and  in with Chaz back when Mr. Charles got really sick with something they call cancer & they took him to a hospital one day but said he was too sick to come back home to take care of me & I didn’t know what I was going to do.  Chaz had just met my Mommy Cara about 2 weeks before Mr. Charles got sick.  He had brought her to our house & I was the 1st one to greet her at the door and even brought one of my socks to her to let her know I liked her. Anyone who knows me knows I love nothing more than a nice soft sock to be able to carry around & lay my head down on it so I only give them to people I really like who are nice to me.  I don’t want to brag but it only took about 2 minutes for Cara to fall in love with me because I’m just a charmer like that. Anyway back to Chaz becoming my human…Daddy Charles got very sick & went to a place they call Heaven and it seemed to make Chaz feel a little better that I was like a part of his Dad still here on earth so we really needed each other & that’s how I became his.  Soon after that Daddy & Mommy got married and we all moved into a new home together.  Life was good and I was very happy & content being the one & only dog in the house. I was soooo spoiled it was crazy.  Nemo lived with us but he’s a cat so he wasn’t ever competition for me.  Well the good times just don’t last people! As I was going about my life enjoying the ridiculous amounts of love & attention I go all the time, Mom & Dad switched everything up on me. I can still remember it like it was yesterday when they brought home that little ball of whining, barking black fur otherwise known as Sophie.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love all other animals & creatures and I get along with everyone but I was 7 yrs old & not very hip on the idea of a crazy ass puppy wanting me to play every waking moment.  I wasn’t put here to occupy puppies & I was gonna let Mom & Dad know just that.  Well, lets just say I never had time to do so because what came next would blind side even the smartest pooch around.



Yup! They did it! They went & got two kittens behind my back. So  not only did I have to share Mom & Dad with Sophie & Nemo already but now with Levi & Samson? You have got to be kidding me…nope they were serious.  Before I even had time to process that  latest betrayal, next thing I know Buddy the Toy Fox Terrier & Maggie the Yellow Lab walked into our house off the street so now we are up to 7 animals if you have been following along & adding. How did I not see any of this coming? I guess I just figured I was good enough to be the only one but Mommy told me not to feel like that. She said I was more than perfect to be their one & only pet but they couldn’t turn away other animals who lost their Mommy or Daddy & needed a place like I did back in the day because I wouldn’t have wanted them to have left me behind with no one. Mom says we can only keep what we have by giving it away. I know it sounds confusing but it truly makes sense. We might have a little cat fight or dog brawl every now & again but in the end we are all brothers & sisters & family is one of the best things in the whole wide world so I guess there is enough love to go around for everyone.

So in the end family & love always win out & for that I’m very grateful. This blog being done strictly by Sophie however is a different story.  I think we all deserve to tell things from our own point of view & I intend on presenting this idea to Mom at our next family meeting. LOL  Life is funny sometimes you know?  I’ve learned in my 14 years on this crazy planet that every single thing happens for a reason & there are no coincidences. I’ve also learned the size of your house doesn’t matter…its how much love it holds inside that is the key to happiness.

Thanks for listening to my rants & thoughts…maybe Mommy will like my idea and you all will get to hear from me again. One thing I know for sure is that I know not one thing for sure…Funny stuff!

Peace, Love & Fur, Bear






A Day in the Life of Sophie (cont’d.)

1011091608a[1] SUUUUUUPER SOPHIE! Hi All!  Where did we last leave off? I believe it was somewhere around high-noon in sharing my daily schedule with you. I know it seems crazy to think that a dog could actually have a schedule but I’m a very Type A pooch…what can I say? I like to know whats going on & when. So, back to some in-depth insight into my busy day… 1:00 p.m.:    Around this time, I have to let Mommy get some work done which is fine except sometimes she gets busy & forgets that I’m starving.  It’s been sooo long since my breakfast after all, and I can’t just reach into the refrigerator to grab something like humans do. 2:00 p.m.:    Ok, its been long enough and its time for me to bother Mom for some grub.  There are a couple different ways I can go about this (ie: sitting in front of her & staring her down, go find my empty bowl & push it around the floor with my nose until I get noticed, go into the bedroom to get one of my toys and throw it around the living room until it almost breaks something, etc.)  On this particular day I have decided to lay at Moms feet so that she will almost trip & break her neck when she stands up.  Needless to say she was none too happy about this & yelled a bunch of those “bad word things” really loud but the bottom line is…it works 🙂  Presto, food is in my bowl & all is good in the world. 3:00 p.m.:    I’ve eaten and am full bellied & content. I would go off & take a little “dog nap” now but I know that it’s about that time that Daddy comes home from that work place he goes to everyday.  See? A dogs work is never done!  I must go lay on the bed & stare out the window & bark at the 1st sign or sound of my daddy’s arrival. I know alot of humans don’t understand why dogs feel the need to bark so much but every bark is necessary in our eyes anyway.  Once that big black truck comes down the street I will begin to act like a total & complete fool as if I haven’t seen Dad in months.  I will run around the house from room to room crying, whining, barking & crying some more & continue doing so until Mommy lets me run out to greet him. Have you ever seen a human that happy to see another human? Nope..not like a dog does..admit it, your dogs make you all feel like no one on this earth is more important & loved as you. 6:00 p.m.:    Yes, I’m aware I skipped a few hours but that is only because this is the time of day I can really catch some good Zzz’s until its time to eat again. I need all the rest I can get so I’m fully prepared to go all out with my begging while Mom & Dad eat dinner.  I’m not sure why they get so upset when I do that but they definitely do.  I’m a dog for Pete’s sake (whoever Pete, begging is one of my best talents. 7:30 p.m.:    Woohoo! Finally time for me to eat dinner of my own.  This takes approx. 2 minutes from start to finish & I hear  Mom saying “slow down Sophie, no ones going to take it from you”…Yeah? Well I’m not going to leave it up to chance & risk it.  The house starts to get very busy right about this time each day as Dad has to get his stuff ready for that work place in the morning.  I figure this is a perfect time to let him know I need to go outside & take care of business..heehee.  I could just go out & do what is needed then go back inside but I feel it necessary to walk back & forth in the same spot about 45 times until I find the perfect place to stop, drop, & pee.  Honestly, we have no real reason for doing this except for the fact that we know it baffles humans & well, we kinda like to do that just to keep you all on your toes.  We thoroughly enjoy leaving humans scratching their heads. We take great pride in it actually. Just being honest with you. 9:00 p.m.:    After a very busy day of barking, eating & pottying, it is time to turn off all the lights & lock the house down for the night. The bed is practically calling my name but I have to take a last trip around the house to make sure all is safe & sound before I can lay my tired body down & get my much needed sleep. I jump on that big bed of “ours” & proceed to spin in circles until I hear “Sophie, for the love of God would you just flippin lay down already!!” Again, I only do this to mess with my humans & it cracks me up that they don’t know that. Naps_are_the_best[1]   Well, it’s been fun sharing “A Day in the Life of Sophie” with you.  Thanks for stopping by to check out my blog. It means alot to me, my Mommy & Miss Jen.  I hope you all enjoy hearing my crazy stories each week as I give you a peek inside the mind of a dog. I am heading off to Dreamland now but will be back before you know it with more antics & antidotes.  As always, give lots of love to your furry babies & be safe.  Peace, Love & Doggie Kisses, Fia

A Day in the Life of Sophie (cont’d.)

Fuji S3200_2013-10-06_08-00-34

Welcome Back All! Sophie here, back to let you in on the real life everyday tasks that I do on behalf of my humans…it may give you a little insight into why your dogs do the things they do.

Please understand there are some things that must remain a secret, as I will not break “dog code” and must remain loyal to my fellow canines. Now, back to a peek inside my daily journal:

When we last left off I was rousting Mom out of bed to begin our day.  When she is finally up & moving I run around in front of her trying desperately to tangle up her feet causing her to break her neck, or at least that;s what she always yells when I do that 🙂

7:45 a.m.:    Yes, I finally get to go outside and patrol the property (after taking care of my morning business mind you, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do) and then its a walk to the to top of the driveway to get our paper. This is pretty much the same routine everyday. I like to switch things up but not this early in the morning!

8:30 a.m.:    It is finally time for breakfast or what we call “SnicketySnackety” around here. You have to understand my Mommy to know that she makes up names for everything. She does the same thing when she doesn’t know the words to a song, she just throws in something that fits & rhymes, she’s really silly & funny like that. She turns the radio on & dances around the kitchen with my bowl in her hand & makes a big ole production of getting my food for me. She must not get that I have been without food since last night & am practically wasting away to nothing! Ok, I’ll humor her yet again & dance along while she sings…oh the things I must endure in life.

9:00 a.m.:  Breakfast was fantastic as always, a little dry but what can I expect from dry food 🙂  I must go over to the rug by the front door and wipe my face on it because, well, I don’t have thumbs to hold a napkin…and honestly this is kinda fun & it baffles humans & makes them laugh.

9:30 a.m.:    It is time for me to climb into my chair (yes, it is truly mine, no one else is allowed to sit on it when I’m around) and spin around in circles to the right 4 times then to the left 3 then 2 more to the right & then I think I might have found that perfect spot. Okay, thats what I’m talkin…wait, nope…back up & around in a couple more circles and PLOMP I am down & finally content! I’m going to be monitoring my surroundings from this location for a bit of time & at some point it may appear to humans that I am sleeping but do not be confused…I am not ready to pop into action at a moments notice, it just doesn’t always appear that way.


Mommy has to go downstairs & let Bear & Maggie out then she goes & feeds those sneaky cats Levi, Sam & Nemo. She is normally with them for 2 hours or so and I do what I do so well while she is gone. I run from room to room barking like a lunatic at the top of my lungs because I am not getting Moms full attention and well, I really don’t care for that fact. I will continue to act like a “flippin fool” until Mom is back doting on me 100%.

Noon:  Mom is back upstairs with me and all is well in the world. She is in the other room making one of those bagel things so I am gong to need to jump off the computer for awhile so that I can proceed to sit directly in front of Mom while she eats & stare her down with the saddest face possible begging for just a little teeny tiny taste – she never falls for it & normally I end up back in my chair after she fusses at me but I’m a dog & I have got to know I gave it my best shot.

Can’t wait to catch up with you all again very soon. In the meantime, give your animals all the love that they give you…you humans really are our everything you know. Like I said before, without thumbs we are kind of at your mercy so remember that please. Peace, Love & Doggie Kisses, Fia