Bt Timah/Farrer Rd/Holland, Newton, Stevens, Tanglin and Robertson Quay/River Valley
clients; my Bt Timah neighborhood knows me, several condo guards have addressed me as the resident pet sitter. My regular clients ensure that they live close to me even if they move house due to my consistent dedicated service
CAUTION: hire me at your own risk!
Nearby dog owners report that whenever they walk past my house, their dogs stop at my house gate refusing to move, waiting for me to appear. Regular clients who used to have multiple pet sitters/dog walkers decided on just me after their pets show preferences towards me. Some regular clients' dogs are unwilling to go back home after boarding at my place.
If you own skittish/reactive pets, note that animals read body language - they don't choose pet sitters base on scent or looks. When they sense fear (esp from sweet gentle humans), it activates their hunting mode. Many locally experienced pet sitters got scratched and bitten, resulting fear in entering the pets' homes. Skittish pets not only look up to animal loving humans but MUCH MORE to those who exhibit confidence and a strong sense of leadership (of the pack or pride).
GENUINE pet owners will acknowledge that familiarity and long term bonding are crucial since pets recognize my voice tone and no-nonsense style. I study them, build strong, long term relationships with them (and their owners) and treat them like my own, thus making it easy to reinforce discipline and correct them. I have the same clients for up to 15 years or until their pets' last days. Some clients included me in new rental homes' search and opinions for location (because I have been to so many houses, I lost count!), dog/cat proofing homes, in their pets' hospital visits, in adoption process at pet shelters, in house moving, etc. We still keep in touch and have visited clients who relocated overseas, we share pet food recipes and wildlife travels.
Due to past unpleasant experiences, I will only accept regular clients during peak periods because
1. Some fickle AND inexperienced pet owners think it's fun to switch between multiple pet sitters. I don't agree with pet owners who forcefully (because your pets don't get to make a choice) put their pets through such stress and resulted them (esp cats) in becoming confused and skittish each time they have to adapt to new pet sitters.
2. Many new clients called me only when their "regular" pet sitters couldn't commit entirely, couldn't cope with emergencies, or are unavailable during peak periods. Such irony.
3. TOO MANY pet owners complained about their multiple inconsistent pet sitters. Some claimed that they are serious with my services, verbally booked me but later went silent or gave excuses, hired the next inconsistent pet sitter. Most got screwed up and came to look for me again which I declined.
Inconsistent pet owners usually end up with incosistent pet sitters.
4. Many dogs were cared for by previous pet sitters/boarders who undermine discipline (not firm, too nice, too young, inexperienced, allow misbehaving). These dogs then exhibited bad habits at my place and IT'S VERY FRUSTRATING as other dogs catch on to these bad habits. I ended up correcting these bad habits but some clients still patronize their previous pet sitters/boarders due to cheap rates or obligation. Whereas my regular clients' dogs instantly know the protocols the moment they step into my place.
about doing it for several years over and over again, persevering and committed despite being physically tired or unwell and not paid well, but found love and joy through it all. Passionate pet sitters would have survived through covid period.
Do not contact me if you want my kind of background and commitment at cheap rates.
It's not about how much I earn from you, but rather how much I save for you by doing all the work which you don't do it personally daily. ALL regular clients and visitors (to my place) feedback that I do the most among all pet sitters/boarders/hotels they had used previously, and some paid me up to double (1 cat client paid triple). I cannot waive cost for transport, paid parking, ERP in CBD areas and Sentosa residents since such expenses are high in Singapore.
I cannot adhere to a particular strict timing (esp in the morning - I have to deal with traffic peak hours, and I will not enter CBD area before 9:30am) as I go by route planning which is time and gas efficient for me. I need sufficient rest thus I would appreciate flexible timings.
at a non luxurious but clean, spacious and breezy landed property with a big garden and big semi indoor/outdoor porch which has been assessed by relatives, visitors and dog trainer. Some dog trainers/boarders have even copied my profile and boarding style (so you are actually looking at the original ONE!):
- dogs are more active at my place due to space, social interaction, ball/water activities, chasing after small wildlife. I am very well equipped with sesveral kinds of leashes, balls, toys, flirtpoles, brain/mental games. Dogs
activities thus I
spent ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF TIME
keeping them busy, cleaning them, cleaning the floors (several times a day), spray cleaning the garden's carpet grass, cleaning my van after transporting them, cleaning the huge fans for dogs' use, which means I get ALOT more exhausted than them
1-2 visits/week to dog parks
fully house trained, potty trained, have no separation anxiety (we don't have 24/7 supervision because we are out for a couple hours each time in the morning and evening), no excessive barking,
non-aggressive (I have elderly parents who fall easily)
- strict rules because it's my parents' house. Do not send them to my place to be trained - I am not a trainer
(I will clean them), thus revolution/frontline/nexgard required. Unsuitable for dogs with serious skin issues (it attracts flies) or prone to eye infection
Match your dog with the boarder's personality (indoor/outdoor, introvert/extrovert?) AND place. If your dog needs only 1-2 walks/day and 24 hours of pampering indoor airconditioning play, 99% of the boarders who stay at condos/apartments offer these at cheap rates. If you have a medium to large active dog who wants to expand their physical capabilities, then consider my place where I train dogs to be agile and tough. However, I do hear from clients that previous boarders at landed properties are physically passive (avoid sun and rain) and not into discipline. So boarder's personality is most important!
Doggy Daycare (note: contact me if you want landed property as your ONLY choice)
This is on adhoc or weekly basis. Clients often request that I do this regularly as they found problems (do take note before you choose one and not after your dog comes home with problems a few months later) with previous doggy daycares/boarding such as
1. "full time" boarders who are actually just trying out and not permanent
2. dogs got attacked by other dogs, pet sitters have no knowledge on stopping fights or treating wounds
3. dogs got infected with flu/cough because germs passed on easily at enclosed places that promote 24 hours airconditioning. Bacteria thrives at cold temperatures, that's why I have the dogs at my sheltered semi indoor/outdoor porch most of the time where there's natural breezy air
4. most boarders are not able to cope with large active dogs due to preferences for small to medium sized dogs that require minimal exercise, thus many large dogs got bored and depressed
5. long journey rides of up to 1.5 hours each way (time wasted, daycare shortened) with lots of starting and stopping, poor driving skills that caused dogs to feel unwell and thus unwilling to go anymore**
6. too many dogs and lack of discipline due to high turnover rate of part time pet sitters and inexperienced pet sitters handling dogs - most of them are outsourced, lowly paid and not trained
My daycare/boarding dogs clients are usually: 20% small dogs (pom, daschund, terrier, poodle, shih tzu, maltese), 30% medium sized dogs (mongrel, bulldog, spitz, spaniel, cavoodle, cavaliar, shiba), 50% large dogs (retriever, shepherd, husky, doodle, pointer, sheepdog)
I have a few regular clients open up their homes for playdates and dog socialization. I have brought dogs over on several occasions during daycare/boarding.
Please include $10-$20 (2 way, depending on location) fee if you need me for transport. Most boarders charge $20-$40. If you live more than 10 mins drive from my place and need transport for your dog, do consider the dog sitters/boarders in your area first unless you really really really cannot find a suitable one.
**A lot of dog owners in the central areas have their dogs go to daycare faraway in the east, west, north - ferried by the daycare's outsourced drivers. Many of these drivers are not skilled in ferrying several dogs for long hours. I have seen these drivers speeding at turns/bends with dogs inside their vans. I have clients' dogs showing distress and unwilling to go upon seeing these drivers, and they have been pulled out of these daycares.
Dogs with separation anxiety, barking issues, lunging, aggression
New clients often inform me that their previous dog boarders/trainers who use years of positive/force free/reward based reinforcements, terminated their boarding business after complaints and warnings from neighbors and authorities due to the dogs' separation anxiety and barking issues which were never resolved. Such reinforcement unfortunately is a very very long process and authorities would only give 1 to 5 days for dogs to be evicted.
Many dog owners reject training for their dogs with behavioral issues, and many new enquiries here go silent after I ask about crate/playpen or obedience training. I once had an obnoxious client who rejected training for her neglected dog (passed away at a young age, overweight and too much pills) that came destroying my place and disrupting my neighbors' and our lives constantly till I had to send him home.
Your choice of dog trainers is crucial because there are some who exaggerate their experience when they actually have little, and some certified trainers only go through very basic training course without the ones on behavioral issues like the above. I have clients hired up to 5 trainers who either gave up, couldn't resolve the issues or used inhumane methods. Some security guards even reported dogs' unchanging behavioral issues despite owners hiring several dog trainers/walkers. I have personally (and accidentally) discovered popular dog boarders/dog trainers who had their helpers do all the walking and training without clients' knowledge.
On the other hand, the dog's progress depends largely on the owner. There are dog owners who don't have time to follow up the dog trainer's or my advice/instructions, or left the dog entirely to the MANY maids who never really walk or exercise the dogs because they hid outside and chat with their friends or use their phones which condo guards and cleaners have reported to me about it. Thus the dog's issues are never resolved.
Sept 27, 2020 Police appeared at my neighbor's house due to their poodle's incessant barking while owners were not at home
Oct 25, 2020 In the news: a highly popular certified/accredited but inexperienced trainer has caused injuries/deaths to a number of dogs under her care and training last year
Jan 15, 2021 A certified/accredited trainer had to use up to 3 aversive collars on each of his dog. Couldn't cope?
Pics/Videos for dog boarding/daycare:
I usually send a set of quality pics/video clips once at the beginning/end of the day. I am not the kind who spams every few hours. Being a perfectionist and a wildlife photographer, I won't send much if I am dissatisfied with my pictures. I don't take pics of all walks, because I want to focus on working out the dogs, correcting their bad habits and looking out for sudden dog confrontations. I don't wish to be distracted by phone messages, so dog owners who hire me ought to trust me.
It's not just plain dog walking. I reinforce obedience/discipline and correct unwanted habits/behavior. I will NOT walk your dog if you have multiple untrained dog walkers because dogs need continual reinforcement through the years even after they had gone through obedience training. I have seen dog owners/maids/dog walkers stood clueless during dog confrontations, used wrong methods, wrong tone and wrong choice of words to stop barking dogs, resulting in more aggression and I had to intervene and disrupt them.
A successful dog walker possesses dog psychological understanding AND leadership qualities.
I have tackled mongrels, stubborn and skittish dogs who struggled with or refused other dog walkers. My physique, tanned skin and scars are proofs of experience.
Several clients request dog socialization for their dogs, esp timid, antisocial or young ones. Sometimes I do pack walks for clusters at Bt Timah and Robertson Quay. Many clients have reported that their timid or antisocial dogs became confident, friendlier and less barky.
If you own an active or high energy dog, the solution is NOT to tell me to walk the dogs for a longer amount of time or distance just to make your money's worth or just because you haven't been walking them much. All dogs surrender after 30 mins of brisk walking or jogging with me, but some owners tell me to pull or force their dogs for longer walks. You are over stimulating them when you try to overtire them, and this has led many dogs constantly being needy and destructive, not knowing what "rest" is. It's also not advisable due to hot temperatures here as there has been reports of dogs getting heatstroke and ended up in hospital. Many dogs are trained to sit, paw, stay, down, etc, but not REST. Try introducing mental exercises that also burn their energy. Walks without mental exercises doesn't make a dog smart.
Dog/Cat/Rabbit/Bird visits (surcharge for any additional hours):
My face is an access pass to about 40 condos due to my excellent PR. I have forged strong friendships with cleaners and security guards (some greet me in pet languages, some lunch with me). I have brought pets to the vet, reached homes not easily accessible, handled homes' water leakage and ant/roach problem. We have cared for pets' ill health and heartbreaking last moments while owners are away.
As a cat sitter, I have easily tackled shy/skittish cats. Such cats will not be bribed. They look for certain character qualities in cat sitters. I studied big cats and their hunting skills/instincts from lion rehabilitation camps, and have (unexpectedly) turned some outdoor cats, Bengal, Turkish Van, Maine Coon, Persians, Ragdolls, Siberian etc into panting ninjas!
I used to ferry dogs in my Honda Civic for 10 years. I now have a van for 2.5 years which dogs prefer due to bigger space, and many regular clients have been using my services for emergencies, grooming, beach/park outings since it's easier to get hold of me as compared to other pet transport. I love driving (and motorcycling), and have clocked at least 30,000km (19,000 miles) on the roads of the above countries that I have self driven.
I coordinate with pet food suppliers who either donate or sell me bulks of food at extremely low prices. I store the food at my place, organize and send them to the stray animals communities and pet shelters (Mercylight, Mdm Wong's shelter, SOSD, Causes for Animals). If you have any unwanted food, cage or cat litter and wish to donate, please don't hesitate to contact me and I will come pick them up. I have also provided transport for pet shelters animals' outings.
Couldn’t have hired a better petsitter. Ruby went above and beyond and even helped increase my bulldog’s stamina on short jogs! Excellent communication, highly recommend. Thank you ruby - you are a star.
Our Labrador was in good hands with Ruby. We were sent daily updates, with photos and videos.
We like that the dog had a large area to roam around the the patio and grass garden. Good location close to us, we will use her again.
Gift of instruction - especially in the areas of animals and performing arts. I have been coaching since a teenager to music students, english students, adult choirs, youth choirs and pet assistants. High level of patience and creativity. Highly sought after (as a music coach and pet sitter) and have been interviewed by both local and overseas media a number of times but managed to keep a low profile as I am not comfy being in the limelight and I don't want to tire myself. Been offered positions such as music pastor, choir director, university music advisor, dog training instructor, etc, but I declined all.
Gift of leadership - often chosen by others (but if given a choice, I prefer to be laid back and work behind scenes) to lead in performing arts area because I am firm and assertive, I build relationships and communicate/articulate well - probably contributed to easy bonding with cats and successful walking of stubborn and selective dogs. I am a pack leader!
Resourceful - I am very well travelled and thus blessed to have very good knowledge and connections, so I know where to get quality stuff at good deals. I have driven in to Malaysia (right up to KL) hundreds of times already.
Excellent driving skills, even in heavy downpour with zero visibility or on streets with zero lights and reflectors (yes, Africa) - I have been told that I drive more than an average American in the USA itself due to the many national parks I have visited. Driven all kinds of cars, MPVs, SUVs, vans, both manual and automatic (Africa only rent out manual gear cars). Rode a motorbike for 10 years but stopped after getting married. Wanted to try class 4, but no time. I have also mastered the skill of driving humans and pets with extreme motion sickness. Overseas drivers have actually allowed me to take over the wheels when passengers started puking. I have been headhunted by doggy daycare centres to be their driver but I declined. Besides music and animals, driving is my next passion.
Planner - helped friends with overseas itinerary planning, led visitors around Singapore
Sharp sense of sight (very observant, detect movements quickly), hearing (can hear distant noises like water drips/running, slight movement noise, high pitches - did much sound mixing for music bands in the past, ears get painful at loud feedback and screaming kids), smell (can detect a roach, rat or certain animal in an enclosed area; nauseate upon bad smell).
Personality - free spirited, adventurous, rugged, strict, fussy, selective, cautious, firm, assertive, meticulous, dedicated, consistent, gutsy, frugal. I am very much a cat person (a thinker, a planner) but many tell me that I am very good with dogs.
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