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Just Your Average Pet
Hello, and Welcome!
My name is Deb, a hopeless pet lover and I live in Houston, Texas with my husband Bryan, my son Blaine, and my two dogs Sidney & Darby.
I've been involved with animals most of my life; both as a pet owner and as a working professional in the pet industry. Back in the 1990's, while living in Washington State I ran a successful pet sitting service with my son Blaine.
Our Pet Sitting Business was born... It began as a part of our home school curriculum, with the idea of teaching my son about money management and pet responsibility. The little business grew to become an extremely successful and busy venture. Before becoming a pet sitter I had spent time researching the industry and analyzing the need for such services in our community. After acquiring all the necessary licensing and bonding, we were in business.
I joined an international pet sitting organization which trains and supports pet sitters and immediately enrolled in their pet-tech training course for professional pet sitters. This training along with pet first-aid and pet CPR gave me an edge among pet sitters in my community. Pet sitting turned out to be one of the most rewarding careers I had experienced.
Moving Forward... From there I decided to further my training and experience with pets to become a professional groomer. I was fortunate enough to be trained by a Master Groomer and later began working for her at her busy pet salon. This was not only an exciting new area for me to work with animals, but I gained the skills to groom my own dogs as well.
And life now... Currently I'm retired and enjoy time at home with my family and my pet's. But I've never outgrown the desire for more education about pets or the joy of sharing life with them.
Both of my dog's Sidney (West Highland White terrier) and Darby (Scottish terrier) are now in their senior years and both suffer from serious health problems. A couple of years back Sidney was diagnosed with sick sinus syndrome (a heart arrhythmia).
The trials & challenges begin... At first we were told she wouldn't live long without a pacemaker. A pacemaker, I didn't even know dogs could get them!! Sidney's illness took us through a year long journey with veterinary specialists and a variety of diagnostic tests. I began researching her illness in order to better care for her.
It turned out that her disease could be managed with medication, diet, and lifestyle changes and she wouldn't have to undergo the risky surgery for a pacemaker. That same year, she developed a problem with her eye's and we found ourselves needing a specialist in animal eye surgery. She also underwent surgery to remove a large benign tumor and abdominal surgery for an obstruction.
Just as life seemed to be returning to normal for Sidney, we received some troubling news about Darby. During some routine blood work screening for her annual dental cleaning, her veterinarian discovered she had liver disease. After several tests and ultrasounds, she would need medication and a prescription diet for the rest of her life.
The lessons learned... Despite all my education and experience in the pet industry, we had failed to see the value of pet insurance while my pups were young and healthy. It would have saved us the added agony of having to even consider our finances when planning their pet health care. Thankfully, our dog's medical needs were always our first priority.
However, through research I've learned that sadly, this isn't always the case for some pets despite their owners desires. Many pets end up being put down prematurely for financial reasons. Tragically, many of them could have lived longer if personal finances hadn't been a roadblock.
Looking forward... I'm very fortunate to still have both by dog's despite all their health challenges. My pet's have done so much to enrich my life and have taught me what it means to love unconditionally and without reservation! It's a blessing to be able to care for them now as they age and give back to them just a fraction of what they've given to me :)
It's been through these trials that I began to wonder how many others were going through the same challenges with their pet's and didn't know where to turn for support or help. My hope in providing this website is to create a community of pet lover's who, by sharing their trials and experiences, can connect with one-another to offer support and hope, as well as share their good times.
We're striving to provide resources and information that the average pet owner might need without all the medical jargon or textbook dryness that can be so cumbersome to sort through. I invite you to join us on this journey through pet parenting and pet care issues. Your comments, feedback, and stories are encouraged and most welcome.
Click here to contact me...
Deb, Sidney & Darby