Thursday, 16 January 2014

The Delectable Fudge

Normally I don't board dogs myself even though I am licensed and insured to do so.  I tend to stick to the house/pet sitting and use my excellent dog carers to board client's dogs.  I generally only have dogs here if a carer is taken ill and my other carers have no availability or some other unforeseen circumstance happens.

A couple of months ago a lady contacted me to arrange a booking for this week and I had provisionally matched her with a brilliant carer who lives quite near to her. Unfortunately, the carer rang to say that she had to tend to a sick relative at short notice so I began the matching process again with other carers who were available.  

The following week I was in the clients area distributing flyers and business cards so I popped in to see her and introduce myself. I like to meet the clients face to face rather than just arranging things over the phone. I find a meeting often puts their mind at rest about leaving their precious animals in our care.

After a cup of tea and a nice chat I had become completely besotted with her lovely dog - an 8 year old Chocolate Labrador.  I decided that I would take Fudge the dog myself rather than place her with another carer.

Monday saw the arrival of Fudge, who is I have to say, an absolute delight.  She is so friendly and has settled with no problem at all.  She is gentle and obedient and seldom barks. She walks well on the lead and is a joy to have as a house guest.

I will be sad to see her go home tomorrow but the good news is that she is coming back for two weeks in the summer.  I can't wait!

Monday, 6 January 2014

A Nice Surprise

Well that was a surprise!  Today I took the first booking for 2015.  Yes 2015; I couldn't believe it but I'm not grumbling at all. Thankfully I set up my spreadsheet in December to run into the first 3 months of 2015 so it was easy to tell the client that we had availability for the dates she wanted.

2014 is filling up quite quickly too which is encouraging.  It could be due to the advertising which has recently appeared on our local animal sanctuary's brochures. 

Onward and upward.  Looking forward to hearing from you before all spaces are filled.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Urgently Needing Carers to add to Existing Team

Our team of dog carers in South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire are wonderful.  They are reliable and trustworthy and all are genuine dog lovers. If they weren't they wouldn't do the job because we can't offer them vast amounts of money.  Basically they get a nominal fee for the sheer pleasure of borrowing someone's dog for a short while.

Some carers stay for a few months and others for years.  As lives and peoples commitments change we inevitably lose a few along the way. Just recently I have lost two carers and potentially a third, which although the circumstances for them have changed for the better has made me feel a little sad.

It is our quiet time of year now but I would like to get a couple of new carers established before the February and Easter rush starts.  So I am on the lookout for people who live in the S35, S61 and S74 areas of South Yorkshire who would like to look after a dog in their own home.

Caring for Dogs - Part-Time Self-Employed Seasonal Work 

Are you a genuine dog lover? Would you like to care for a dog in your own home while the owners are away? The dog would come to stay with you for a short stay.

The dog’s owner provides food, treats, bedding, toys etc. and you are paid a nominal daily rate for the pleasure of minding the dog.

The types of dog we get are usually small/medium breeds although we do get larger breeds from time to time. You can specify which breeds you prefer. We also get young dogs under 1 year old and elderly dogs. You will be able to meet the dog before agreeing to take it and I am always on call should any problems arise.

The school holidays are the busiest times but do we have some dogs at all times of year. You tell me when you are available. Please do not apply if you are not available in the school holidays. 


1)  You must really love dogs and have relevant personal experience, preferably as a dog owner. Dogs owned by a parent or other family members do not count.

2)  Your garden must be secure and escape proof. We would not wish to lose anyone’s dog whilst it is in your care. 

3)  No children under 5 years to live in the house. If you are likely to have other people’s children visiting they should not be allowed to visit when you have a boarded dog with you.

4)  You must be aware and tolerant of possible drooling, hair shedding and the occasional accidents that sometimes happen, when dogs are in a strange environment.

5)  You must be at home for most of the day apart from going out to the shops.

6)  If you own a dog please be aware that some owners do not want their pet to be boarded with other dogs so you may get slightly less work.  On the other hand some owners request that there is another dog for company. It is best if you don’t have a cat.

Please contact Sue Bailey on 01909-281089 for more information and an informal chat. If you do not live in South Yorkshire and are interested in working for 101 Friends for Every Dog please see the website here.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

The Dog-Friendly Alternative to Kennels - What Does This Really Mean?

101 Friends for Every Dog South Yorkshire provides a comprehensive residential & daycare service for dogs in most postcode areas of South Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire. 

Whenever you need to be away, you can leave your dog with us and we will care for him or her as you would yourself. He will receive all of the love, attention and companionship that he is used to receiving in your home. 

Your dog will be staying in the home of one of our carefully selected carers close to your home. We always arrange for you and your dog to visit the carer and their family before you go away, so you know exactly where he is and whom he is with. There will be no pre-school age children in the home and you can request a home without any children at all.

All of our carers are dog-lovers who have extensive experience with dogs. All homes have been inspected and approved by us. And we are on call at all times. 

How it works:

101 Friends for Every Dog is a Home Boarding Club.  All carers and clients are members.  There is a one off fee of £10 to join us and this will never be repeated.  Joining the club means that you are almost always guaranteed a place for your dog even if you book at short notice.

You deliver your dog to us (or we can collect for an extra charge) and then go away for your break knowing that your dog will be loved and well cared for by an experienced person who is a genuine dog lover.

Your dog will eat his own food, sleep in his own bed and get the usual number of walks, just like at home. Dogs will usually sleep in the room they do at home.  If you prefer not to disrupt your dog at all we can sometimes arrange dog-sitting in your own home.

If your dog needs medication or any special care we can provide this if you give us full instructions.

How much does all this cost?  Between £18 and £20 per day for Home Boarding and £16 per day for house sitting.

For more information call Sue Bailey on 01909-281089


If you don’t live in South Yorkshire or North Nottinghamshire please visit 101 Friends for EveryDog’s website where you will find details of the service in your area.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Did You Get To Meet Your Host Family/Carer?

If you have used home boarding for your dog before, did you get to meet the people he was staying with?

I was talking to a client the other day who used to use another company to board her Chocolate Labrador.  She didn't want to put Henry into kennels and found the company she thought was the answer to her problem of what to do with H when she went on holiday.  There were no other home boarding organisations near her so she used it in preference to boarding kennels.

She used them for about a year but was always concerned that she never got to actually meet the host family.  She was visited at home by the franchisee and then given a profile with a photograph but no name of the host once they had been matched to her. It always worried her that she never saw how the host carer interacted with Henry.

The dog was collected from her and returned to her by van which was good because it saved her time (although they did charge for the service) and she was told the town where the host lived but that was all.

She was so pleased when I told her that she could always meet Henry's carer at least once before she went away and if ever she wasn't happy with the way the meeting went we could find someone else to care for him.

It is our policy at 101 Friends to make sure that everyone is happy. If you want to take your dog to visit the carer multiple times before you go away that is absolutely fine.  If you want him to stay overnight for a trial run then that can be arranged too.

What if you don't really want him to go into someone else's home?  Well you could always request house sitting as an alternative.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Why Do We Ask That Your Dog Wears a Collar?

When you become a member of 101 Friends and read through our Terms and Conditions you might be surprised to see that we request all dogs boarded with our carers wear a collar.

Maybe your dog has a harness or slip lead; so why would he need a collar and why would we be so insistent about it?

Well, the fact is some dogs are escape artists.  They can wriggle through the smallest of gaps if they have a mind to make a bid for freedom.  Maybe the postman calls to deliver a parcel and you open the door just a crack but before you know it Fido has slipped out and is heading for home at high speed.

If he comes to us wearing a collar the carer can grab hold of that before the door is opened so he can't escape. The collar must be well fitting and with space only for two fingers between his neck and the collar.  It must not be able to be pulled over his head.

At 101 Friends for Every Dog South Yorkshire our carers normally attach to the collar a cylinder with the dogs name, the carers address and phone number written on a piece of paper inside.  This is a safeguard for the unlikely event of him escaping. Even though he may be micro-chipped it saves the finder a trip to the vet to have the dog scanned and futile attempts to contact you whilst you may be abroad.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Who is the Dominant One - You or Your Dog?

Dogs are pack animals and all packs have a leader.  In a domestic situation that should be you and not your dog.  When your dog knows its place in the pack it is actually happier than when the boundaries are unclear.

Even though dogs are a domesticated species now they still retain the pack instinct.

If you allow your dog to sleep on the bed this is reinforcing the fact that he is the alpha dog. The alpha dog in a pack always gets the comfiest place to sleep. Larger breeds sometimes like to push their owners out of the way, which is not acceptable since it further reinforces their dominance.  If you want to be the leader of the pack and still wish to have the dog sleep on your bed, they should only be allowed to get up there when asked and made to sleep at the foot of the bed rather than beside you.

If you are the owner of a large breed dog it is probably not a good idea to engage in games such as tug of war.  The reason being that he might win, hence giving him the perceived position of leader of the pack.

There are many ways in which you can reinforce the fact that you are the leader.  Here are a few examples you might like to try:
  • When walking the dog make sure that he does not lead the way. In a pack the alpha dog always leads.
  • Do not allow your dog to be the first to enter or leave a room. You lead, he follows.
  • Always let your dog see you eat something before you feed him. 
  • All human family members should eat before the dog
  • Never feed scraps to him during the meal
  • It is very important never to show fear or weakness in the presence of your dog
  • Don’t allow anyone to rough and tumble on the floor with the dog. You should always be in a ‘higher’ position than the dog.

There are lots of other ways to reinforce your leadership. A good idea is to buy or borrow some of Cesar Millan’s books which contain invaluable advice around this subject.

Don’t fear that you are mistreating your animal when you are asserting dominance over him.  This is the natural way of life for a dog.