Welcome 2022!

As we begin each year, I always take time to reflect upon the year that has passed and wonder what the New Year will bring. 2022 is no different. Many of us have experienced changes, have had challenges, have made sacrifices, and are still trying to figure out and adapt to whatever ‘new level of norm’ is evolving, as we continue to navigate through a pandemic that seems to never truly end. 

A few brief updates as we begin the year – our little business continues to be blessed and we are truly grateful; so many businesses have been or will be impacted negatively. We are still in business, and for some, this is no longer the case. How lucky are we to have begun our 10th year of serving our clients and community? A few of our Associates have moved on to other life adventures, some planned and some not planned. That, in conjunction with the challenges we have experienced in hiring new Associates, have put the squeeze on our availability to our valued clients, but we believe that this too shall pass and we will continue to focus upon our exceptional service levels for each and every client, their pets, and property and do the very best we can with the resources we have.

If you or someone you know has an interest in part-time professional pet care work, please let us know! We are continuing to recruit and hire for Pet Care Associates and a Client Care Manager. Working with pets is so rewarding and enjoyable! This, combined with a flexible work schedule, makes working for Odds & Ends, LLC perfect for someone that is in college, is retired, or is simply wanting to hang out with pets, make and build some wonderful relationships with clients, and make a little extra money. It’s so easy to apply and be considered; just go to our website, under the Join The Crew section, or, click on this link: https://cartersvillepetsitting.com/#join

Next, considering inflation and the ever fluctuating prices of some commodities and basic goods, along with business requirements such as insurance, we may need to adjust our pricing during the second quarter of this year. Our prices continue to remain competitive but in order to continue as your professional pet care provider and cover the required overhead (licensing, certifications, insurance, training, labor, and other costs), we must periodically evaluate and adjust as needed. We certainly appreciate your continued support of our little business and your trust in us as your pet care provider of choice!

Finally, if you are not already doing so, please do follow us on Facebook and Instagram. A lot of helpful, educational, practical and sometimes just plain funny information is posted regularly; your support of our social media platforms is so important and so appreciated! 

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us should you have feedback, suggestions for improvement, or any questions! 

Making Life Easier – this is our mission and this is our passion; thank you to everyone for their support and encouragement!
Happy New Year 2022!!

Why Hire a Professional Pet Care Provider?

People love to travel but people also love their pets. So, who will take care of pets while their humans are travelling? Similarly, now that more people are headed back to the office instead of working remotely, who will check on pets while their humans are gone for several hours? And, what about the anxiety that some pets might be feeling as their best-human-friends are no longer there with them all day, practically every day? What if Fido or Fluffy are taking medication? Finally, what about the puppy or kitten that was adopted (hopefully rescued) sometime during the last several months and needs to be checked on during the day?

People don’t want just anyone in their home but do want to be sure that not only are their pets taken care of, but that their home is secure and safe. Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt for any packages to not be left sitting on the front porch for pirates to permanently borrow and it probably wouldn’t hurt to be sure the mail is brought in each day so it won’t stay in the mailbox too long, especially if an important piece of mail is expected!

While it may be convenient and cheaper to ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to watch pets, it may not always be the best choice. What if there is (heaven forbid) an emergency; is this person capable of performing first aid/CPR on the pet or knowing what to do in case of a tornado or fire, for example? What if the pet escapes or if he/she cannot be found? Will this person provide updates and send pictures of pets during each of their visits? What if this person has an emergency or a forgotten appointment and cancels at the last minute or, worse, leaves pet(s) unattended and forgets to lock the door on their way out?

Licensed, bonded, and insured professional pet sitters like Odds & Ends, LLC and many others across the country, come with a ton of training, real-world experience, and compassion, all with the goal of providing an exceptional experience for both the client and their pet(s). Customized service for each client is so important because every pet has their own style, routine, and preferences. The goal is to minimize anxiety and disruption for the pet by ensuring their regular routine, in their own comfortable home, surrounded by familiar sounds, smells, and sights, is carefully followed. 

Professional pet care providers utilize technology and software to keep their clients regularly updated about their pets well-being and care and most will send pictures as well, to give clients peace of mind and knowledge that their pet is in great hands. This is so important!

There is no substitute for having a professional pet care provider, whether hired for a few hours, a few days or longer. There is great peace of mind for the client in knowing their pets and property are being properly cared for and treated with respect and compassion. 

Odds & Ends, LLC provides professional pet care services for Bartow County and surrounding areas and is a proud member of Pet Sitters International; find us on the web at cartersvillepetsitting.com.

We Are Hiring Pet Care Associates!!

  • Passionate about animals? Love that feeling of really making someone’s day?
  • Would you like to get paid to spend your days playing and taking care of pets and giving pet owners real peace of mind?
  • Bored by retirement?
  • Passionate about pups? Crazy for cats? Fearless when it comes to horses, goats, frogs (or iguanas, rabbits, chinchillas and other exotic pets)?
  • If animals are your “thing” then maybe getting paid to help look after other people’s precious furry loved ones would be a good fit for you.
  • Turn your passion for pets into paychecks!
  • Semi-retired or newly retired and looking to stay active?
  • If animals are your thing, we may be just the right place for you.
  • Need a fun way to exercise? Get paid to get your 10,000 steps a day!

You may be just who we’re looking for!

Odds & Ends, LLC – Cartersville Professional Pet Care is an in-home pet sitting service. We’re looking for great people who share our obsession for exceptional client and pet care.

If you’re ready to get started visit, https://cartersvillepetsitting.com/#join and follow the directions near the bottom of the page.

Employee Benefits:

  • Taxes withheld from paychecks and contributions to your FICA (Income tax, Social Security and Medicare)
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Flexible hours
  • Employee Bonus Program for securing new clients
  • Background check reimbursement after 6-month commitment is reached
  • Pet First Aid & CPR Training

Requirements | Employees Must:

  • You love all kinds of animals, but especially dogs and cats.
  • Live in or adjacent to our service areas (Bartow, Cobb, Cherokee, Gordon, and Floyd counties).
  • You are available for morning, midday, and evening visits on weekdays and weekends.
  • You can work at least 2 of the 3 major winter holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
  • Be physically fit and able to work and commute in all types of weather (this is a very active position that requires hours of energy, even on rainy, snowy or humid and hot days.)
  • Have access to a reliable vehicle and have a valid driver’s license.
  • Be 100% reliable. (Odds & Ends, LLC does their best to help secure visit coverage in cases of emergencies, but this is not a job where “calling out sick” is tolerated, as the pets in your care depend on you.)
  • Have the ability to communicate effectively with Odds & Ends, LLC, fellow Associates, and clients, by returning emails, phone calls and text messages promptly.
  • Be able to provide professional and personal references.
  • Provide a current and clean background check to Odds & Ends, LLC. (We will provide you with the link to have your background check completed. The cost is paid for by you, but will be reimbursed to you after you fulfill your 6-month commitment.)
  • You can pass a drug screen and agree to sign a Non-Compete document. This is a condition of employment.

If you’re ready to get started visit, https://cartersvillepetsitting.com/#join and follow the directions near the bottom of the page.

Thank you for your interest!

Odds & Ends, LLC – Cartersville Professional Pet Care

Pet Sitters International Virtual Conference

A few days ago, I was one of the (un)lucky ones that tested positive for this nasty Coronavirus that continues to rear its ugly head in many Families, towns, states, this great nation, and the world as a whole. It’s unbelievable how much damage this one little virus, virtually undetectable because it cannot easily be seen, heard, smelled, or tasted, has caused so far. Regardless, by having to quarantine, I found myself with time to attend a conference that I may not otherwise have been able to attend.

As a Company, we have been members of Pet Sitters International (PSI) for a number of years and have also gotten our certification as Professional Pet Sitters through this group. PSI offers multiple educational opportunities as well as marketing and other resources for pet care businesses. Odds & Ends, LLC also carries its general liability and bond coverage through this wonderful group of caring individuals. Clients wanting to hire a pet care professional can go to the PSI web site and by entering their zip code, pull up a list of professionals in their area (credentialed by PSI). The PSI world conference has been held in various cities in past years but has been held virtually for a couple of years now, in an effort to keep folks safe but to still be able to learn and collaborate. I spent last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, several hours a day, participating in the conference and am so glad I did!

There were several hundred virtual attendees at the conference, most as pet business owners and several as presenters, sponsors, or otherwise affiliated in some way with either Pet Sitters International or the event itself. Regardless of attendee location or types of pet care products or services offered, I noted several commonalities. First, most pet care businesses have experienced growth, some significant growth, since things began opening up again after several weeks of pandemic shutdown. To support the growth, more and more pet care businesses are recruiting qualified pet sitters. Ironically, though, most are having trouble finding qualified help. Sadly, some are having to turn away new clients and business opportunities because there is not enough staff. Where has the labor force gone? Why aren’t people interested in working? 

Price increases were another commonality amongst those attending the conference. Most pet care businesses have had to raise their prices due to increasing overhead costs (insurance, gas, supplies), and sometimes quite a bit. While not necessarily pleasant to have to implement, it is necessary to stay in business and most clients understand and support that.

The conference was very beneficial and I’m so glad I got to participate and learn several new things about cat care, dog care, dog training and behavior, reactive dogs, staffing strategies, client retention strategies, and marketing. At Odds & Ends, LLC, we continually strive to learn and improve our offerings and services for our valued clients. Opportunities such as the Pet Sitters International Virtual conference enables us to do this and we appreciate it!

Also, please note: with Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching, please remember to book your pet care services as soon as possible, as we are quickly filling up! Contact us today for a quote, for more information, or if you are ready to book services!

Sylvia the Spider

I’m not a fan (at all) of spiders, but the perseverance of this one spider we eventually named Sylvia, is winning my heart over. Now, please know that I keep a safe distance from her (on the other side of a closed glass window) but it is not uncommon for my husband and I to check on Sylvia multiple times a day (and even worry about her when it’s windy or stormy). I  have never taken the time to stand and watch a spider at work, especially when building a web or wrapping prey, but it is fascinating and quite remarkable!

Day after day, she is busy either repairing or completely reworking her web, which is parked in a very well chosen spot between a window and gutter of our home, and also near a light source (to attract those tasty bugs).

Did you know it takes only about an hour for a spider to build a new web? They emit a silk-like material that is quite strong, made up mostly of protein. Spiders actually have more than one type of silk that they can emit; one type is used for building the webs, another type is more sticky and used to catch prey, and a third type of silk is a finer grade and used to wrap up their prey. The silk, as it is emitted, is in liquid form but hardens as the air comes in contact with it. The benefit for spiders that spin webs is it makes catching their dinner much easier because they don’t have to chase it. The cost of this, however, is it takes a lot of energy and protein from their body. Sometimes spiders will eat their cobwebs to get some protein back in their system. 

Looking at the intricate way spider webs are formed (evenly spaced, carefully patterned) I would think a spider needs quite a bit of rest between construction and repair work. In fact, because they do not have eyelids, they don’t go completely to sleep but spiders do have periods of ‘downtime’ or time when they expend very little energy. They do not have ears, either, and rely upon vibrations to catch their meals, such as when dinner lands on their web and causes movement.

Only female spiders build webs that catch prey for dinner. The boys build webs to catch prey only when they  are dating the girl spiders and must present their ‘love offerings’ to the females they are interested in. There is a little pressure, too, because if the offering is  not big enough, the female may eat the male spider. If the gift is acceptable and the spiders mate, the female can carry up to 3,000 eggs at a time. That’s a lot of babies to carry! 

Did you know female spiders are quite a bit larger than the males, sometimes double or more in size than their counterparts??

Sylvia continues her daily rituals and with the coming colder weather, we wonder where she will go or what she will do. Although spiders like Sylvia are cold blooded and not bothered by the colder weather, they may slow down their activities or even become dormant as the temperatures drop. We’ll continue to watch Sylvia and continue to marvel at her natural gift of spinning symmetric and proportional webs and her patience as she builds and rebuilds, day after day, in the name of survival.

Hummingbirds

My husband and I put out hummingbird feeders every year, usually around March or April, or when we first see them flying around. We always admire how incredibly fast those little birds can fly and the noise they make as they whiz on past, flapping their wings 10-15 times per second. They are fascinating to watch! This time of year, as summer gently transitions to Fall, the hummingbirds are in a hurry to make final preparations and ‘fuel up’ before their long trip southward.

Hummingbirds will begin to migrate in August (from the northern states) toward Mexico and Central America, when they sense the days beginning to shorten and when their main source of food (insects) begin to lessen as the temperatures drop. During their migration southward, they may stop and feed, and there can be many birds at one feeder, known as the ‘feeding fury’. Hanging a few more feeders for these little creatures, so they can drink and store all the energy possible, is helpful.

By the way, red food coloring is not necessary to add to their sugar water. In fact, there are some reports that the red dye is bad for the hummingbird. Regardless, it is not necessary, because they are attracted to the red color of the feeders, not the food. Hummingbird feed is a simple solution of one part sugar to four parts water, which is similar to the composition of the nectar in flowers. Be sure to boil the water before adding the sugar, and then let the mixture cool completely. Store any unused nectar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Did you know that not all hummingbirds migrate? Some of the rarest types of hummingbirds will stay around in the colder months, so leaving a feeder or two hanging and filled for them is not a bad idea and you may get to see some really rare species! In fact, there are nine different species of hummingbirds that typically remain in the state of Georgia during the colder/winter months, including the ruby throated, broad billed, and rufous types.

You may have seen hummingbirds chasing each other and fighting over the bird feeders. These birds are one of the most territorial birds in the bird family and are notorious for fighting amongst themselves and trying to claim food sources. My husband and I shake our heads, wondering why they can’t just get along, because there are usually at least four places to perch on each of our feeders.

In fact, hummingbirds can get quite aggressive when it comes to battle, and begin by watching (because they have excellent eyesight) and then attempting to chase away their enemies, fluffing up their feathers to look larger. If that doesn’t work, they can quickly move on to using their claws and beaks to defend their food and territory. Once they have claimed a desirable territory, they mate with as many females as possible and then keep other males away while the females have and raise their young.

Hummingbirds are quite an interesting breed! We see them year after year; some years we see more of them than others, and we keep their feeders clean and filled each summer (but may now begin to keep at least one hanging and filled in the winter). They are tiny but they are mighty, and are fearless in their quest for survival!

 

 

 

Big Dog Little Dogs

When Robert and I took a trip to the beautiful mountainous area near Asheville, North Carolina to visit some good friends several weeks ago, we weren’t sure how well our dog, a Husky/Shepherd mix named Neko, would get along with the Parrish’s little Shih Tzu dogs. Neko is not always the most social butterfly when it comes to being around other dogs, especially those bigger than she is, so we weren’t sure what to expect. To our pleasant surprise, the pups played really well together! They chased each other, ‘play growled’, stole each other’s toys, and wore themselves out each day with all the fun they had! This was wonderful because Neko, having the high energy breeds mixed in her, needs daily stimulation and regular exercise; our kitties at home can attest to that!

Speaking of play growling, did you know dogs have several types of growls, with some indicating more aggression than others? People that regularly interact with dogs can tell the difference in the types of growls, especially when those growls are combined with the dog’s body language and stance. When excited and having fun, as our three pups were doing, their growling indicates excitement and happiness and a genuine desire to play. This growling was also matched with wagging tails and a few downward doggy bows that would make even the most experienced yoga professional jealous. 🙂

The fun picked up right where it left off when Mike and Caroline came to visit us recently, bringing their furbabies, Ruthie and Bilbeau, with them! Since Shih Tzu’s are well-known for their lively personality and active nature, they were excellent playmates for Neko, and once again the chasing and toy stealing games were on. Neko was quite the hostess, allowing the little pups to chew on her bones and toys and take over her ‘space’, although, at one point, we did catch her with a pretty pitiful look on her face, as if to say ‘why is all my stuff now their stuff??’.

Shih Tzu’s typically reach only up to eleven inches in height and up to sixteen pounds in weight; the perfect lap dogs. Neko did not feel threatened or uncomfortable at all and, in fact, had a healthy respect for the little ones. This is interesting, because it is not uncommon for bigger dogs to attack smaller ones (known as Big Dog Little Dog or BDLD) and, unfortunately, can sometimes lead to aggression and fighting. 

Did you know dogs can measure each other up, size-wise, simply by listening to each other growl? This is quite a complex cognitive talent and only recently discovered by researchers. 

Some other types of growling include:

          • Pleasure growling – meant as a request for attention, for example, when being petted.
          • Frustration growling – this usually occurs when a dog would like to meet or investigate another dog or person, for example, but is restrained or for whatever reason cannot. The growling is an indication of frustration at being restrained and is typically not meant as aggression. 
          • Threat growling – this is more difficult for the untrained eye to detect but is a way for the dog to try and maximize the distance between him/her and the perceived threat, whether another dog, person, or an object, like a bone. The mouth is usually closed, the body usually stiff, and the growl is usually a low sound. The situation can quickly escalate to an aggressive state if not managed.

We look forward to our next chance to get together with our good friends and their precious babies!

A special Thank You to Mike and Caroline Parrish, for their support in getting this blog written. Mike and Caroline own Treehouses of Serenity in Asheville,  North Carolina (https://www.treehousesofserenity.com/). If you’re looking for rest and relaxation in a custom built treehouse, enjoying the stunning views of the North Carolina mountains, you must check this place out!

Julie’s Goats

We, at Odds & Ends Professional Pet Care have the awesome job of taking care of our clients pets and home while they are away, whether for just a few hours, a few days, or longer. While our awesome team of Pet Care Professionals take care of mostly dogs and cats, we do also take care of horses, chickens, birds, turtles, and donkeys, to name just a few. 

Recently we had the privilege of caring for a client that has several pets, including dogs, cats, and a set of four goats (also called a ‘trip’) These goats have a ton of personality and are so much fun to interact with! It’s a good feeling to drive up to this client’s house and see the goats either coming in from the pasture (when it’s not too hot outside) or from their little barn (when it is too hot), just to say ‘hello’ and get their neck and head scratches (and, of course, something to eat!)! These four goats (named Waffles, Myrtle, Chicken, and Big Mama) all get very excited when it’s time to eat, although they prefer mostly grass in the summer months. By the way, goats will put just about anything in their mouths and it may look like they are eating it, but they are really just being curious and tasting/smelling/checking out the objects they are unsure of.

Did you know that there are over 200 species of goats in existence and that they can vary in size from between 75 lbs. up to 250 lbs., depending upon their breed?

Some other fun facts about goats:

  • The ‘fainting goat’ which is known as the Myotonic breed of goat, doesn’t actually faint, as the nickname implies. When this breed of goat is frightened, it’s muscles freeze (because of their genetics) and they fall over. They are fully conscious while in this state and are not in any pain. Their muscles recover quickly and they are back on their feet once more. As a general rule of thumb, however, it is not a good idea to purposely scare a goat.
  • Goats have rectangular pupils instead of circular ones, such as humans have. This allows them to see between 320 and 340 degrees around them (nearly all the way!) and also to see quite well in the dark. But, because their pupils are not round, goats have to shift their head position to be able to see things that are upward or downward.
  • Goats love grass and other vegetation (no meat) and are known as herbivores.
  • Most goats have horns and many goats have beards, whether male or female! All four of the goats we recently cared for have both horns and beards, even though they are all female. 

Goats, with their quirky and silly personalities, along with their interesting background and traits, make them a true joy to care for during every opportunity we have to do so!

We love caring for the pets we are entrusted with and take our jobs very seriously! At Odds & Ends, LLC, our wonderful clients and their furry, finned, scaled, and hooved babies are always provided with exceptional service by compassionate and professional pet sitters. 

If you are interested in learning more about our services, our pet sitters, or job opportunities, please visit our website for more information and schedule your next pet care visit!

Many thanks to our wonderful client, Julie, for making this article possible! Julie has her own business, making wooden door hangers, custom name signs, and craft shapes, among other beautiful items. You can find out more about Julie and her business at https://www.julieswoodcrafts.com/