The last two weeks have been packed for me - as soon as the temperature hit 115, half the population of Ahwatukee suddenly got the urge to bolt out of town and of course needed a pet sitter. So I've had a full dance card the past two weeks straight, and just as I finished gigs with five clients over the July 4th weekend, a slew of new ones are coming in. I've had to turn away at least three new clients as I've blocked off a week at the end of July for my own family vacation.
Not that I'm complaining: this is the second best job I've ever created, next to being a full-time stay-at-home parent (and that is no longer an option since they're all in school, bwAH HA HA HA!!!). And like any small business owner, I'm thrilled to see it taking off this way: it validates of my philosophy and practice, makes a lot of my early frustration laughable, and also puts food on my family.
So as I print out new client forms for my next two meet-and-greets, here are a couple of threads for your perusal.
- Area animal shelters are full, if not overfilled. Maricopa County Animal Care and Control reports they are receiving about 200 strays per day (see item 3 below), and other shelters have to turn away animals because there is simply no more room. Ahwatukee Cat Rescue has had to scale back our stray cat operations (as opposed to feral cats, whom we trap, neuter, and release) as any new strays brought to the shelter are likely to be euthanized.
Your takeaway on this? Go adopt some critters.
- Local First Arizona is an organization devoted to homegrown, independent Arizona businesses (and of which Ahwatukee Pet Sitting is now a member). They appear to embrace the sort of local economy ideas I've been spouting about for years.
From their website: "When you shop at a locally owned business, 45 cents of every dollar stays in Arizona - versus only 13 cents of every dollar spent at a national chain! Put your money where your house is."
- ' Foreclosure pets' filling Valley shelters: Monday's AZ Republic ran a front page story on another effect of rampant home foreclosures: a population explosion among homeless pets. The latest addition to the Ahwatukee Cat Rescue Foster Home is one such foreclosure pet, a sweet & sour long haired female cat who'd been frequenting friendly back yards the next neighborhood over (props to the people who fed her for those months). We took her in as a foster and searched for her people, but no one came forward. She's just one of thousands of family pets who have been left to fend for themselves - the shelters are overloaded.
Now go adopt one, or two, or five....
- I've finally gotten around to reading Cesar Millan's latest book Be The Pack Leader, which I highly recommend to any current or prospective dog owner. I find Cesar's work to be of great benefit not only as a professional pet sitter but also as a parent and a business person as well. Plus, he has a few memorable quotes like this one:
Humans are the only species on earth that will follow a totally unbalanced, unstable leader.
And that explains plenty.
- Did I mention that you can adopt one or more homeless animals right now?