I am a mature, practical, and compassionate person with years of pet-sitting experience, and I've developed a bit of a specialization in caring for senior pets and pets with special needs such as anxiety, heart conditions, arthritis, diabetes, neurological conditions, and vision and/or hearing impairments.
Unfortunately my own health situation requires me to be more selective than I'd wish to be about which petsitting jobs I accept. I have a degenerative chronic pain condition that I'm managing as best I can but getting around the city to visit pets takes a lot out of me, so at this point I'm limiting myself mostly to bookings that either involve housesitting or are very easy to get to on foot or by TTC from my home in the Flemingdon Park area (Don Mills and Overlea). I still welcome inquiries from pet owners in other parts of town; please don't take it personally if I have to decline.
My history as a care-giver to furry (and not-so-furry) friends is long and varied. I grew up with dogs in Winnipeg and most of my roommates since moving to Toronto have had cats or dogs, and I’ve had occasion to pet-sit for numerous friends over the years. I’ve walked dogs of all sizes in all sorts of weather conditions, up to three at a time (and I still love big dogs, though I'm a little more cautious about hurting my shoulders and back walking dogs strong enough to pull me around). I helped to train the border collie mix my family rescued when I was in middle school, and I always strive to be consistent about rules and commands when I’m with someone else’s pup. I love spending time with cats, too, and tend to get on well with even the persnickety ones (I love a good cuddle but I also know when to respect an animal’s boundaries).
I’ve emptied litter boxes and cleaned up indoor accidents, and I always pick up after my walking companions. I’ve brushed coats and teeth, clipped nails, washed off mud (and worse), cleaned gunky eyes, administered oral medications and insulin injections. I’ve even expressed anal glands on occasion.
Beyond cats and dogs my experience is more limited, but I’m interested in new experiences and I follow instructions well. I’m keen to help out with rats, birds, lizards—pretty much any critter you can show me with the exception of venomous snakes (non-venomous are fine, I had a corn snake in high school so I'm familiar with thawing pinkies and replacing substrate etc.) and centi- or millipedes. My current living situation does not permit hosting or boarding dogs and cats in my home.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
Claire looked after our three cats for a week while we were out of the province, including providing regular medication to two of them, as well as navigating a severe food allergy in a multicat household. Her communication with us was excellent. She was very patient, flexible and understanding of our cats’ individual temperaments. She also took excellent care of our apartment in our absence and kept it clean and organized. We will definitely book with her again in the future. Thanks Claire!
This was the second, and longest time Claire spent with my dog while I was out of the country for a week. My dog is both easy and hard -- he's a senior who sleeps a lot, but he's also prone to stress pees and poos at 3 am and if he doesn't make it outside, it happens in the house (he's a Chinese Crested who needs to be dressed and sometimes that takes too much time for his system). And that's what Claire got, and she dealt with it with grace and kindness. I knew that my dog was in excellent hands, that Claire's presence and attention would soothe him. And it did. He found his rhythm and trusted her and I came back to a calm, well-cared for dog. I'm going to be using Claire for all my travels this year!
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