Well Snuffles the hamster was special to the end! He let my son have his birthday yesterday and then passed away the early hours of this morning :-(
At least it was very peaceful (on a heat pad, in his sleep). Lots of tears today.
Unfortunately my son's 3 & 3/4 year old hamster isn't doing so well! I should be grateful as most hamsters don't live much past 3 years old, but it's my son's birthday on Friday, so I could do with the hamster hanging on until after then! He's being tempted with prawns, sunflower seeds, apple, cheese, etc. He's on a better diet than the rest of us! Fingers crossed.
Unfortunately today's blog isn't a pleasant one!
Sheila (a lovely lady who walks dogs for Pet Relief) has just phoned me. She is absolutely livid. There was a poor dog running around by the Wick entrance (a park in St Albans). Luckily it hadn't got out on to the main road. Sheila caught it and went looking for an owner.
Unfortunately the dog was being walked by a pack walker who unbelievably hadn't realised it was missing as she was too busy talking in the middle of the field.
Sheila told her that she was walking too many dogs, to which she replied that she was only walking 5. Sheila retorted that it was obviously too many or she wouldn't have lost one!
Go Sheila!! (It's just a shame that the owner doesn't know).
Are you reading this because you are looking for someone to care for your pet and can't decide who to use?
It is easy to choose a company that is the cheapest, but often they are cheaper for a reason. They may be a person who has just started dog walking, cat feeding, etc and because they are working on a smaller scale, is not VAT registered and can keep their costs down. But this often means that they will not have cover if they can not get to you. Or they may not have extra costs like insurance.
Here is some advice, that we believe is important, when choosing a pet care company:-
- Always meet the person prior to using them. (Most companies do not charge for this meeting.) Your pets are part of your family so you need to feel happy about who you are leaving them with.
PETrelief will always do a complementary visit, with no obligation for you to use us.
- Check that they have Public Liability Insurance.
We have full Liability Insurance.
- Check that they have cover in case of illness, etc. If you are at work all day and your walker can not get to your dog, you may come home to some toilet mess and more importantly, an unhappy pet.
We will always provide cover in cases of illness, a vehicle breaking down, holidays, etc.
- Consider carefully whether to use companies that use vehicles that are liveried. If a van is calling at your house advertising the fact that they are walking your dog, they are also advertising the fact that (in most cases) your house will be empty and your dog will not be there. This, in our opinion, is disrespectful of your security to your home.
All our vehicles are not liveried.
- Ask for references (verbal or written). It always helps to get a second (or third) opinion.
We can provide as many referees as you would like and you can also read some in our "Testimonials" section.
- Alarm friendly? Some companies are not prepared to activate alarms.
All our callers are happy to set alarms and no alarm code details will be stored with addresses.
- Will you be charged a cancellation fee and if so, how much?
We do not charge a cancellation fee.
- Are there any extra costs? Some house sitting companies will charge extra for travel, etc.
There are no hidden extra costs with PETrelief and we are happy to give you a quote up front.
- If you are saving money by using a pack walker, enquire how long will your dog be in their van for? And how many other dogs will be in the van with them? Unfortunately, we are aware of pets that have spent longer travelling around than actually being walked and therefore the owner is unaware of how long their dog is actually being walked for. We also know a lovely dog walker, from another company, who unfortunately got bitten whilst trying to stop a dog fight in her van.
We do not pack walk. (We are prepared to mix 1 or 2 dogs for socialisation reasons, but only with the owners permission.)
- And last but by no means least, do they have a criminal record? They should have had a CRB check and have a certificate to verify this. If you are working or away on holiday, you will probably be giving this person your door key.
All our carers do NOT have a criminal record and would be happy to prove so.
If there are any questions you have, not mentioned above, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Who can resist a smiling cat or a friendly dog with a waggly tail?
Now we've upgraded our website to a brand new Content Management System there'll be no stopping us as we plunder our photo archives to charm you all with adorable shots of our pet-sitting, dog-walking and boarding clients.
Many owners have kindly given permission for us to feature their beautiful pets on our website and social media.
We'll also be posting blog stories about what's happening at PETrelief, and we'll have a noticeboard for important announcements of interest to pet owners in Hertfordshire. The Hertfordshire Constabulary are in frequent contact with us and let us know of any threats to pets locally so we can share these with you.
Keep up-to-date with our news the really simple way - click on the RSS icon to the top left of the blog.
Lisa and Paul