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Our Fantastically Fabulous Team of Pet Professionals at Barks and Blooms is dedicated to earn your trust through our integrity and professionalism. We proudly service our clients at our doggie day care facility or in your home. Our services range from in-home pet sitting of dogs, cats and critters to plant watering & mail retrieval.
Barks and Blooms offers a full range of Fantastic services to give you the confidence you need to enjoy for your pets and home.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Can't See My Feet! (or, All I Got for Christmas is FAT)


As pet sitters we are frequently asked questions concerning pet health.  Here's a good one we discussed with a client recently:


Q:  What are some games I can play with my cat to get him moving?


A:  Cats are predators, and the way to get them to play is to let them use their hunting talents. Buy toys and then use them to copy the movements of animals a cat would love to hunt - mouse, bird, lizard, rabbit,  bug.

 Take a laser pointer and skitter it across the floor like a bug. 

Get a wand toy that looks like a bird and pretend to land and take off. But don’t just flap it around. Think like a bird!

 It’s all pretend play, but try to make it as real as possible for your cat.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pet Weight Translator (or, put down that MilkBone!)


 If you suspect your pet is overweight, he probably is.

I found this handy tool while perusing the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention website. 
Did  you know that a 12 lb. Yorkie is the same as a 5'4" woman who weighs 216 lbs?  Kind of gives you perspective, doesn't it?  

How about this?  A 14 lb. cat is the same as a 5'9" man who is 237 lbs.

Check out this page and use this handy Pet Weight Translator.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Does this collar make me look fat?


A new year usually comes with new resolve to get fit and lose weight.  
January is almost over; how is your pet's weight?    Is Fluffy too fluffy?  Has Fido had one MilkBone too many?  The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has come out with these helpful charts to assist you.






Monday, January 28, 2013

The Chocolate Sage and the BRVBB

                                                         Meet Sage.  
She is a vibrant, clever, goofy, rambunctious, gleeful Chocolate Lab.  I met Sage almost 3 years ago when she was just a wee puppy.




Cute, isn't she?  Here's another when she was just 12 weeks old.  (By the way, I've shamelessly stolen these pics from her owners Facebook page--Hi Linda!)





Sage has grown up in the years since these were taken.  Here's a more recent photo.




Still stinkin' cute, right?    As you may remember from a previous blog post,  (Your Dog Can Be A Hero)   Sage is on her way to becoming a hero.   ‎

Sage met with the wonderful people representing the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank  to determine if she would make a good voluntary canine blood donor. 

 I tagged along to the 4 Paws Spa in Forest Hill to observe the process.


First, Sage  gave the volunteers a good sniff.




The next step was to make her comfortable on the table.



 That step and the ones following were made easier (and yummier) for Sage because Linda kept a steady stream of kibble and peanut butter coming her way.  Sage was one happy pup.



The Vet tech examined Sage, determining her comfort level with the process, checking out the area of her neck where the blood would be drawn.

For that step, the other tech got into position and gave Sage a fully body hug while Linda kept up the flow of peanut butter and kibble.






Sage was so delighted with the treats and the constant positive attention from Linda and the tech that she didn't even notice the needle prick and the blood draw. 

 See how totally relaxed her legs are?  She's practically melting off the side of the table.



Sage's blood will be tested to determine what her blood type is and screen it for any health issues that would make her unable to be a donor.   (We know she's absurdly healthy, but it's an important step)  And since Sage was so agreeable to this initial procedure Linda can now set up appointments for Sage to donate blood regularly. 


 To find out how your dog(s) can be heroes, please contact The Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank for more information.
Donors@BRVBB.com


Tell them Sage sent you!






Friday, January 25, 2013

Your Dog Can Be A Hero!





I had never heard of dog blood donors until a client told me she was taking her Chocolate Lab, Sage to be evaluated  at 4 Paws Spa.   There is a need for canine blood to help sick or injured dogs and since canine blood has a shelf life of only about 30-35 days, the supply must be replenished regularly.

Some veterinary clinics don't need blood very often, so they don't keep it on hand. That's when the  Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank steps in to fill the gap.  They travel to vet offices, groomers, and other places where donors have signed up. They collect the blood and store it for when it's needed.

Can your Fido be a donor?   Probably.  There are some tests to make sure there are no diseases that could be passed on and it's important that your dog has a calm temperament.  During the testing and procedure, Fido is embraced in a full-body hug by one of the technicians and is treated to dog cookies and maybe even some peanut butter on a spoon!

For more information, use the links above and check back here for a peek at how Sage's visit went!


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Afternoons with Eli

Eli is a rambunctious, tennis ball chasing, cat loving, BaconStrip snarfing goofball.

Eli being coy.  What ball?  I don't have a ball………throw another one.

Oh HERE'S the ball….

Ah, sleepy now.  You can have the ball.

We always enjoy our visits with Eli.  He never fails to make us giggle and he's a great hugger.  See ya tomorrow, boy!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Barks and Blooms in the Top Five!




"Pet Sitters International (PSI) has selected its top-five finalists for the 2012Pet Sitter of the Year™ Award.  First awarded by PSI in 1995, the Pet Sitter of the Year designation is the industry’s highest honor and recognizes true excellence for the in-home pet-care profession."--from the announcement linked below.


                                            PSI Pet Sitter of the Year Finalists Announced

We are thrilled and delighted to let you all know that we have made the Top Five!  The winner will be announced in January.  Thank you to all of you who took the time to nominate us.  Thank you also for allowing us to share in your lives and the lives of your sweet pets!

The Django Tango (or, Can Cats Walk on Water?)


Here's another story from one of our Fantastically Fabulous walkers, Bonnie:

"During the last hurricane, I was doing everything I'd heard suggested, including filling my deep, old,  clawfoot tub with water. I completely forgot about Django, my cat, who likes to nap in the tub. 
I was downstairs when I heard the noise. It was such a racket, I thought the shower curtain rod had come down out of the ceiling. As I was racing up the stairs, I saw a very wet Django go tearing past the top of the steps and straight under my bed. When I looked into the bathroom, the water in the tub was swaying wildly back and forth, the walls and floor and even the ceiling was dripping. Poor little Django! I felt terrible about it during the entire hurricane."
We understand that Django has recovered from his shock and is back to napping in the tub.

Note from a Walker

A few months ago, I asked some other dog walkers I know to tell me their favorite story.  This is from Dawn:
It was a sunny summer day and Theo, an Ibizan hound/pit bull mix, was enjoying his peaceful walk. Theo is a medium size dog, and light brown in color.  We both spotted a doe with her two speckled fawns in a field.  The momma deer saw us, too, and quickly sprinted off towards the woods, with one of her babies close behind.   The other fawn ran in the opposite direction.  Theo and I turned down a quiet, dead-end lane.  We both heard the pitter-patter of running feet behind us and turned to look.  I gasped, then held that breath when I saw the lone fawn running straight for us.  Her eyes were locked on Theo and she paid no attention to me.  She came to a stop nose-to-nose with him and I could have reached out and caressed her soft spotted fur.  You could almost see it in her eyes when she realized "Hey! You're not my mother!"  Then she was gone in a flash.  Theo and I stood dumbfounded for a minute of two, marveling at what had just occurred.   A little while later, we spotted our trio again, reunited and happy.   All was right with the world.