I often have close encounters with wildlife in my overseas self driven trips thus my rare unique background enables me to bond easily with the WILDEST pets. Started ad hoc 21 years ago, went into full time 6 years ago and continuing for the rest of my life, thus pet care is my skilled
full-time permanent job, with my hub (Physical Education coach) as my right hand man. We are Godparents to several local and international pets.
**In the recent years I have been receiving several new customers' requests whose multiple yet "regular" pet sitters are often unavailable.
If you travel during long weekends, summer and festive holidays, several pet sitters will be unavailable. Part time pet sitters cannot commit and can be fickle. Many new frustrated customers feedback about having to change pet sitters frequently. I have experienced it myself and would rather pay more to get full time pet sitter friends to help me. Stick to ONE
permanent pet sitter.**
I read about other pet boarders who got bad reviews. If you have a challenging dog in whatever aspects, engage a house sitter instead of putting it up at a boarder's place. Such dogs have barking/anxiety issues and forgo house training at a new place. Pet boarders get exhausted due to unnecessary work and had to handle neighbors' complaints. If your dog requires detailed food and medicine preparation, get a meticulous pet sitter/boarder over a highly experienced one. I have also read about dogs being attacked (by other dogs and otters) and suffered major trauma/injuries under other dog walker's/boarder's care. I have intervened many situations where "experienced" dog walkers are clueless or even fled. It's crucial to get assertive and well equipped dog walkers.**
It is crucical to get a committed pet sitter who lives near you. For December alone, I handled 4 cases of pet owners' homes that had me coordinated with landlords/contractors/workers due to bad roof leakage, renovation works impeded by rain, home electricity shutdown (I had to climb over the electric gate every time).**
Pet owners' misconception:
"Sweet young looking pet sitters best suit my skittish/aggressive pets". After hiring many pet sitters, pet owners realize that
pets do NOT choose base on scent and do NOT have the concept of looks. Animals read human body languages. When they sense human fear, it activates their hunting mode. Many pet sitters got scratched and bitten, resulting fear in entering the pets' homes. Such handling goes way
looks and local experience. Pets only trust and respect humans who exhibit a strong sense of leadership (of the pack or pride).
Many fickle pet owners add stress and confusion to pets by switching unhealthily between multiple pet sitters/boarders, resulting in pets becoming undisciplined and not
well trained. Even security guards can sense the imbalance of a dog having multiple dog walkers, let alone cats who have multiple sitters.
Fickle pet owners usually end up having inconsistent pet sitters.
Familiarity and long term bonding definitely help to reinforce discipline easily (on dogs) and train certain skills (on cats' hunting instinct) since they 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 I have the same customers for up to 15 years or until their pets' last days. I want to focus on genuine
pet owners who have this same vision.
Due to past unpleasant experiences, I will only accept regular customers during peak periods. Reasons being:
1. Some new customers ironically lamented about their inconsistent pet sitters, verbally confirmed my services, but later pulled out, went for other inconsistent pet sitters. These regretful customers came back to me again but I blacklisted them.
2. Some dogs didn't undergo training, or caught bad habits from previous pet sitters/boarders who undermine discipline. They then exhibited bad behavior at my place and it was extremely frustrating for me to correct unwanted behavior. Whereas my regular customers' dogs know my expectations and their boundaries since they are already used to my style and discipline. In order to ensure an almost guaranteed place, have your dog regularly board during non peak periods first. However I do consider non fickle new customers' dogs that are already very well balanced/trained.
3. Some customers come to me only during peak periods because their "regular" pet sitters/boarders are often away during these periods. Customers who hire me regularly are customers who appreciate me for sticking around.
No surcharge during festive/peak periods or odd hours but visits/walks will be shorter due to demands, reunion dinners, festive visits/celebrations.
DO NOT CONTACT ME if you are ultimately looking at cheap rates because I have regular customers who even paid up to double just because I have been the most consistent and committed pet sitter around, which means much sacrifice (constant schedule readjustments, very late meals, giving up personal appointments/holidays/rest, etc.) on my part.
Available only during non peak periods. There will be a surcharge as it involves extra travelling time.
Pets' survival skills:
Being too protective towards your pets (they must be accompanied by humans 24/7), and too strict with their meal times thinking that they will die if they delay their meals by some hours, will result pets in having ZERO survival skills if they ever venture outside your home and get lost. They need to learn to be independent, be trained in their hunting skills and given the opportunity to use them.
Pics/Videos for dog boarding:
I usually send a handful once at the end of the day. Being a perfectionist and a wildlife photographer, I won't send much if I am dissatisfied with my skills or if I find that the pictures aren't meaningful. 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.
Dog boarding at landed property with a big garden and big porch (Chinese New Year: fully booked!! Easter, Summer Hols, August National Day weekend: slots are filling in!):
- dogs are much more active at my place compared to flat/condo boarding (I have tested it on several dogs already) due to huge space, social interaction and ball/water activities, thus much discipline and much cleaning are required. More water and electricity are used to keep the dogs and environment clean and comfortable. All these add up costs. ALL dog owners feedback that I do the most among all pet sitters/boarders they had used previously
fully house trained, potty trained, have no separation anxiety
(we don't offer 24/7 supervision),
no excessive barking (I have an intolerant neighbor who complains about all neighbors), no chewing (a few have destroyed our plants, shoes, cables), are non skittish (can be solved with dog walking sessions a few weeks ahead) and non aggressive (I have elderly parents)
(I will clean them), thus revolution/frontline/nexgard required. Unsuitable for dogs with serious skin issues or prone to eye infection
Some dogs may get spooked and bark continuously - I cannot afford that
(not 20 please, dogs need space to run!), no cats as it's a non cat proof house. No extremely small slim dogs (eg. Chihuahua) due to gaps of my house gates, but fluffy small dogs (eg. Pomeranian) are fine
It's not just plain dog walking. I reinforce obedience/discipline and correct unwanted habits/behavior. I have disrupted several dog confrontations led by other owners/maids/dog walkers. I will NOT walk your dog if you have multiple untrained dog walkers because dogs pick up bad habits within minutes of walk. It is frustrating to undo these and to repeatedly retrain the dogs. I have seen dog owners/maids/dog walkers stood clueless during dog confrontations, used wrong methods and wrong choice of words to stop barking dogs, resulting in more aggression.
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.
I believe in pack walks and dog socialization. During non peak periods, I try to bring dogs (boarding at my place) along to my other dog walking assignments, and I try to walk different customers' dogs (living in the same area) together at the same time. Thus I have clusters of customers (they recommended me to nearby friends) at Bt Timah/Holland and Robertson Quay whose dogs socialize when I walk them together.
(surcharge for any additional hours):
My face is an access pass to at least 30 condos due to my excellent PR. I have forged strong friendships with cleaners and security guards (some greet me in pet languages, some call me for help regarding pets, 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. We still keep in touch and have visited pet owners who relocated overseas, we share pet food recipes and wildlife travels.
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!
Regular customers get negotiated rates. I ferried regular dog customers in my Honda Civic for 10 years. I now have a new van! Dog owners feedback that the van is definitely better than the car. 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.
If you have any unwanted pet food that are not yet expired and wish to donate them to pet shelters which I have close ties and friendships with the leaders, please contact me as it's part of my volunteer work.
Ruby looked after my two Ragdolls for 10 nights in December and they couldn’t of been in better hands. Thank you Ruby for sending me such lovely photos and videos every day and for taking such good care of my two boys. The boys look forward to seeing you again soon! 😻😻
Rubby is great reliable pet sitter!
Thank you very much for caring well my cat.
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) but prefer to keep a low profile as I don't want to tire myself.
Gift of leadership - often chosen to lead in performing arts area because I am firm and assertive, I build relationships and communicate/articulate well - probably contributed to easy 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 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. Rode a motorbike for 10 years but stopped after getting married. Wanted to try class 4, but no time.
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 (and start ringing) 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, gutsy, strict, fussy, selective, cautious, firm, assertive, meticulous, dedicated, consistent.
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