Dog walking in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea FL
Hi, I am one of your dog walkers in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. I have owned and cared for just about every kind of common pet, dogs, cats, horses, parrots, snakes, lizards, turtles, fish, tarantulas, mice, rats, rabbits and guinea pigs. I also have lots of experience caring for farm animals such as goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and cows. Would you be surprised if I told you that I wanted to be a zoo keeper when I was a kid! Animals and art were all I cared about (mostly art about animals).
My family immigrated to America from Poland. I grew up in the city of Chicago until 2nd grade and the quieter suburbs until adulthood. I grew up speaking Polish (still do!) and my family kept a lot of their old school farming/homestead ways from Poland. We had a massive vegetable and fruit garden and my dad kept bees. We pickled and stored veggies all year round in the cool cellar, just like my grandparents in Poland. I was lucky enough to spend many summers at my grandparent’s farm in Poland where I was OBSESSED with every single animal and I loved doing all of the farm chores. I use to carry a pet turkey around. When I was back in Illinois, I walked a puppet around the neighborhood. I was a weird kid. My parents decided it was time for a dog. My first actual dog that was like actually actually mine was Tedo (pronounced Tito, I didn’t know how to spell). He was a nutty Jack Russell terrier that grew up with me, he lived to be 19 years old! Of course, before Tedo and during, there were all sorts of pets and the horse mania. But that dog went through it all with me and now he visits me in my dreams.
I have professional experience working at several horse stables throughout adolescence into adulthood. I was “Barn Crew” at my local barn way before I was legally allowed to work. There I was paid in riding time, more precious than gold. Over time I worked at several barns where I wrangled foals, cleaned stalls, administered medications, tended to animal injuries, exercised horses (not from demons), trained horses and just about anything you can do at a horse barn. I learned so many difficult lessons while training horses and caring for them. It taught me about how animals behave and so much more about how I behave. Teaching animals really taught me about my inner self and caring for them taught me how to care for myself and others with empathy and compassion.
My first adopted French bulldog, Blueberry, came into my life unexpectedly during a difficult time. Caring for and training him reignited my inner child and helped me to heal. In caring for him, he cared for me by supporting me emotionally (world class ESA) and helped me to structure my life. We instantly had a really special connection, I’m preeetttyy sure he is my guardian angel (or at least does the work of one). I used positive reinforcement techniques for behavioral, obedience and agility training. At 3 years old, I got him potty trained and taught him 30 different commands in one year! Of course, Blueberry trained ME as well, let us not forget that animal training is actually people training. I translated a lot of training from my work with horses and natural horsemanship techniques. I also watch professional dog training instructional videos and read on the subject as a hobby.
A year later, we got another unexpected blessing to our family in the form of another adopted frenchie, this time a puppy. Almond is a fast growing, spunky pup who just loves everyone and everything. Both Blueberry and Almond are joyful and friendly doggies. To explain, when I say “we” I mean, my super duper awesome and amazing partner Troy and now our two fur babies Blueberry and Almond.
My apartment complex made a wonderful little “dog park” play time with the resident’s dogs. We supervise and play with all of the dogs together. I also have a small-ish but adorable and functional backyard that is plenty for smaller dogs.
I’m a transplant for a reason, I love Florida weather. Hot, humid, raining, doesn’t matter, I love it and we are going for that walk! Since I care for frenchies, I am very sensitive to your dog’s heat tolerance. Frenchies get hot very easily and they tend to have a lot of health problems. Blueberry recently had the BOAS nasal surgery in order to breathe better which has helped him so much and has given me more demanding surgery aftercare experience. I am confident in administering medications, dosing supplements, and detecting issues with several animal species.
In addition to animals, I have a lot of other passions. Probably too many. I studied art at SAIC School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a world renowned art school. I consider myself an artist in just about everything I do. I bring a sense of creativity and vision to all of my work. I love to paint, make digital art, make crafts, sew, make objects, decorate my spaces and garden. I also have a flare for the dramatic and a heck of a sense of humor. I took just about every comedy, improv, acting and writing class available at The Second City Training Center in Chicago, a famous comedy school that cooked up many of the greats. Most recently I taught myself how to make digital art on my iPad and have merged my love of pets with my art. I make awesome pet portraits in all sorts of styles.
I am inclined to call myself an “armchair herbalist” and a bit of a kitchen witch. I use plants to keep my body and my soul healthy. The natural world inspires care for every part of my body. In the food I eat, the products I put on my body and the plants that I surround myself with in my garden. I have a diploma in natural skincare formulation and many years of experience using natural oils and essences to create perfumes. I own and operate a niche, handmade body care small business. This is a passion project that combines a lot of the things I love like art, design, whimsy, natural perfume, luscious body care products, healing plants, and pet care. My products include all natural snout balms and paw balms for dogs. My garden is another place where I can play with aesthetics and the dirt at the same time.
I care about animals deeply. Taking care of your pet is a super welcome addition to my day, whether it is at your home or mine. I am a flexible and accommodating person, let me know your needs and your pets needs and I will be happy to go above and beyond in meeting them. Here are some additional services I can offer during our time together:
-Play time with toys, fetch, tug, wands/teasers or whatever your pet likes, switching it up to keep things interesting
-Emotional and physical support for anxious pets; massage, petting, cuddling, music
-Aerobic walks, jogging, roller blading (great for dogs that need A LOT of exercise, however this service will be limited by weather)
-Taking them to a local park, dog park, or trail
-Setting up sniffing games before I leave, such as hiding treats around the home (in appropriate, pet friendly places), putting treats in a snuffle mat or treat puzzle, activating interactive toys, catnip toys..I also have other ideas we can discuss depending on your pet’s play style and needs
-Prepping fresh meals for your pet
-Cleaning litter boxes
-Cleaning crates, bowls, toys etc.
-Applying balms, creams, treatments
-Getting your mail and packages
-Caring for your plants
-Other light housework or garden care
You, your pet and your home are my top priorities and I will make sure to demonstrate that with everything I do, every single time.
I am looking forward to be your dog walker in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea.