Gilbert Jo’s Story

Animal Advocacy, Uncategorized

If you know anything about me, you know that I absolutely love my dog. While I was in college I went through a phase when I couldn’t think about anything other than wanting a dog. I had grown up with dogs all my life and this was my first time not having one, yes I had a dog at home in North Carolina but I was 12 hours away. All I knew at that point was that I wanted a dog with a smushed face, I later learned the correct term is brachycephalic. I initially looked into pugs and english bulldogs both of which had extensive health issues (which is part of the territory in terms of brachycephallic breeds) and neither were very active. While watching Animal Planet one morning I saw a boston terrier and I fell in love. From that point forward  I saw them everywhere! I saw them on television shows, in movies, and around town. I located a breeder in town but they were far too expensive for my college student budget. A local pet store had boston terrier puppies as well but they were just as expensive. The Animal shelter down the street from my apartment (Southern Pines Animal Shelter) occasionally had pure bred dogs so I frequently checked the website and went down there just to see what they available.

One night after I had started to give up looking, my boyfriend at the time showed me the website and they two boston terriers available. One of which had an enlarged blue eye, which we assumed she was blind in that eye. He immediately scrolled past her picture to the other dog who looked adorable, alert, and spunky and said “she’s the one”. The next day we got up early and went down the street to the animal shelter, but another couple had already adopted our dream dog. The kennel tech offered to show us the other dog and we went just to look. But once we got to her run she began to wiggle her whole body and bark happily, I got down on my knees to get a better look at her and I knew immediately it was love at first site.

Her name was Gilbert when we adopted her, and we added Jo because we already intended on naming her Jojo. So the next day we brought home Gilbert-Jo Baggett Evans, she later became Gilbert-Jo Robinson after I got married. Gilbert went through moving out of Ex’s apartment and into my own place, she moved 12 hours away with me, she waited for me to finish basic training and AIT, she was there when I brought home her brothers Gulliver and Micah (only a few weeks apart), she was waiting at home when I returned home as Mrs.Robinson, She was in the car when we drove 26 hours to El Paso, She came back to me when she got lost only days after being there, and she was with me when we returned to North Carolina, and she was waiting for me in a hurricane when we brought home our newest addition Josiah.

There hasn’t been anything that Gilbert and I haven’t been through together. Saying I l love Gilbert is a massive understatement. She’s eaten chargers, my favorite stuffed animal, she’s pooped on the floor, and shes run out of the front door. But there’s nothing that could make me love her and her little quirks anymore.

We adopted Gilbert knowing that she was permanently blind in one eye and that didn’t make me love her any less or feel any differently about her. I just knew that I had to make a commitment to getting that eye removed one day. That day didn’t come for  a long time but it still came too soon. We had began putting money to the side to have it removed shortly after tax season, when her annual appointment was due anyway. but a week before her appointment I woke up to find half of her eye sunken and she was in extreme pain. I called her vet, whom I happen to work with and they saw her and did the procedure the same day. I cried buckets of tears when I brought her in, and it was so hard to leave her even though I knew she would be fine. I couldn’t even go to work that day knowing that my baby was in pain. I had to be there to pick her up and make sure she was ok.

When I picked her up from her procedure she wanted to be back to her normal self. She got up and wiggled her little body because she was so happy to see me, and then she plopped back down because she was still a little drowsy from the anesthesia. Seeing her then was like seeing her for the first time, all over again. Nothing could make me happier at that time than knowing she was ok.

Although shes missing one of her many quirks, she still herself and I still love her. I also love knowing that shes not in any pain and shes comfortable, so much so that shes laying next to me snoring as I write this.

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Pet sitting chronicles 

Animal Advocacy

I’ve decided to blog a little about my side hustle as a pet sitter. It’s something I do part time in order to save for my Birthing Business which is my big goal after graduating from UTEP with my health promotion degree. 

I work through a host site called dogvacay. There are other sites you can use like Rover, which is great too but I certainly prefer dogvacay. Dogvacay had a simpler layout and it was easier for me to manage. I enjoy dog sitting and it allows me to generally stay pretty close to home with exception of daily walks. I offer dog walking, doggy daycare, home boarding and drop ins. Although I love it, it certainly comes with its own set of downfalls. Most aren’t associated with the company though.

Often times pet parents don’t understand exactly what they are paying for or why you have certain requirements. I’ve had lots of customers haggle my prices or low ball me because they believe they are unreasonable. With dogvacay you are also insuring your pets for the weekend, you don’t have the same luxury with family and friends. I am also bringing your pet into my home and treating them like family. Working through  dogvacay or rover in addition to working as a vet assistant puts me in a different category than joe blow that offered to watch your pet $20. 

Pet parents also underestimate the importance of meeting my requirements such as vaccination records and a meet and greet. Vaccination records ensure the safety and health of all parties involved especially my own family. Any reputable pet facility will ask for your pet to be up to date on shots as well. And in the event of an incident, such as a bite. Animal control wants to know that your pet is up to date on rabies at the very least. Bordetella and DAPP are also important for pets kept in close quarters as not to pass on highly contagious diseases. 

A meet and greet is mandatory for me because oftentimes pet parents aren’t completely honest about their pets and their level of socialization or other habits that could be deal breakers. And sometimes pets just aren’t compatible, they’re much like people with conflicting personalities. Any aggression is a deal breaker for me because that puts my pets and child in danger. 

I also require a crate, no your pet won’t be crated all day but they will be at bed time. This simply ensures everyone is in their own space at night, this keeps accidents down! 

I hope with this information other pet sitters can protect themselves as well as their host. And pet parents are more understanding of what goes into pet sitting. I also added a link for my dogvacay page, check it out!

Rover and the Robinsons