Bt Timah/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 service
If you own skittish/reactive pets, remember 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 also those who exhibit confidence and a strong sense of leadership (of the pack or pride).
Despite pets becoming confused, imbalanced and skittish (esp cats) after experiencing several inconsistent pet sitters/boarders, some fickle pet owners STILL switch unhealthily between multiple ones. There has been a few incidents where pet owners hired their REGULAR pet sitters (popular ones) but these pet sitters couldn't commit half way through or couldn't cope with emergencies, and I was asked to take over! Stick to
consistent and permanent pet sitter instead of hiring multiples, putting your pet through stress and then complaining about everyone!
Familiarity and long term bonding is very 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 opnions, 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. Reasons being:
1. Too many cat owners complained about their multiple inconsistent pet sitters. Some claimed that they are serious with my services, but later disappeared or gave excuses, went for multiple inconsistent pet sitters AGAIN. Most got screwed up and came to look for me again which I will NOT entertain. Inconsistent pet owners usually end up having inconsistent pet sitters.
2. 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 frustrating as I will NOT allow other dogs at my place to catch these 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 and discipline the moment they step into my place.
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.
Pets' survival skills:
Being too protective towards your pets (i.e. they are never left alone before), and too strict with their meal times thinking that they will die if they delay their meals by some hours, will result in pets
having separation anxiety and ZERO survival skills if they ever venture outside your home and get lost. They need to learn to be independent and be given the opportunity to use their hunting skills. So your chances of finding a pet sitter for strict specific timings like 7am is literally zero.
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 physically more active at my place due to space, social interaction, ball/water activities, chasing after small wildlife. I am very well equipped with leashes, toys, flirtpoles, brain/mental games, and looking into getting basic agility course equipment. Dogs
often anticipate physical activities thus I
spent ALOT OF TIME
keeping them busy, cleaning the floors (several times a day) and garden's carpet grass, cleaning my van after transporting them, which means I get more physically exhausted than them
1-2 visits/week to dog parks
fully house trained, potty trained, have no separation anxiety (sometiimes we are out for a couple hours each time in the morning and evening), no excessive barking,
non-aggressive (I have elderly parents)
- strict rules because it's my parents' house. My tiger mom yells at me at any uncleanliness
(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 AND place. If your dog just need basic 2 walks a day and 24 hours of pampering indoor air conditioned play, 99% of the boarders offer these, they stay at condos/apartments and are affordable. If you have a medium to large active dog and they (not you) want to expand their physical "potentials" but do not have the opportunities due to your home's limited space or are already used to much space in their home countries, then consider my place where I train dogs to be tough and versatile. My nearby clients and neighbors often tell me that whenever they walk past my house, their dogs stood or lay in front of the gate refusing to move.
Doggy Daycare (note: contact me if you want landed property as your ONLY choice)
This is on adhoc or weekly basis. Clients requested that I do this regularly as they found problems with previous doggy daycares such as "full time" boarders who are actually just trying out and not permanent, dogs got injured, dogs infected with flu/cough, dogs got bored because there were little exercises, long doggy bus rides up to 1.5 hours each way, doggy bus driver fell ill and thus no daycare (and no refund), too many dogs and lack of discipline, etc due to high turnover rate of part time pet sitters at the boarding place and inexperienced pet sitters handling dogs. Clients also feedback that their dogs are always exhausted and sleep very well till the next day after a day at my place.
Please include $10-$20 (2 way, depending on location) fee if you need me for transport. Most boarders charge $20-$40, so the total cost of daycare and transport come to the same. 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.
Note: I have clients' dogs who caught kennel cough at crowded doggy daycare/boarding places that promote 24 hours aircon because germs are easily passed on at crowded or enclosed areas and 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.
Daycare/boarding dogs clients are usually: 20% small dogs (pom, daschund, terrier, poodle, shih tzu, maltese), 30% medium sized dogs (bulldogs, spitz, spaniels, cavoodle, cavaliar, shiba), 50% large dogs (mongrel, retriever, shepherd, husky, doodle)
Dogs with separation anxiety, barking issues, lunging, aggression
New clients often inform me that their previous dog boarders/trainers who use positive/force free/reward based reinforcements (for months and years), terminated their boarding business after complaints and warnings from neighbors and authorities due to the dogs' separation anxiety and barking issues. Such reinforcements unfortunately is a very long process and not an
solution should your dogs risk being evicted. I ended up resolving the barking issue but I will discontinue this because it's extremely tiring for a dog walker (I'm not a trainer) to take over several trainers' jobs and not being paid well. Your choice of dog trainers is crucial because there are some who exaggerate their experience when they actually have little, and some licensed 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.
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 licensed/accredited but inexperienced trainer has caused injuries/deaths to a number of dogs under her care and training this year
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 have stopped offering this service as I wish to focus on dog boarding/walking and pet sitting/visits. There are many more dog boarders than house sitters so do try out dog boarding as well (unless your home is huge or has several dogs, or your dog has social issues). During peak periods, there are literally ZERO house sitters available and many new clients (up to 20) often ask me for help. Out of desperation, some pet owners went for cheap and unknown dog boarders/house sitters or expensive ones that took advantage of the situation and their pets ended up with several problems (health issues, injuries, death, etc). The key is to book months ahead because there's OVERWHELMING competition among desperate pet owners at the last minute.
I used to ferry dogs in my Honda Civic for 10 years. I now have a van for 2 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.
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. 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 even extreme motion sickness. Overseas drivers have actually allowed to me to take over the wheels when passengers in the vehicles started puking. 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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