Barks and Blooms

Adventures in Pet Sitting

Your Dog Can Be a Hero!

I had never heard of dog blood donors until a client told me she was taking her Chocolate Lab, Sage to be evaluated this week at 4Paws Spa.   There is a need for canine blood to help sick or injured dogs and since canine blood has a shelf life of only about 30-35 days, the supply must be replenished regularly.

Some veterinary clinics don’t need blood very often, so they don’t keep it on hand. That’s when the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood  Bank steps in to fill the gap.  They travel to vet offices, groomers, and other places where donors have signed up. They collect the blood and store it for when it’s needed.

Can your Fido be a donor?   Probably.  There are some tests to make sure there are no diseases that could be passed on and it’s important that your dog has a calm temperament.  During the testing and procedure, Fido is embraced in a full-body hug by one of the technicians and is treated to dog cookies and maybe even some peanut butter on a spoon!

For more information, use the links above and check back here for a peek at how Sage’s visit went!

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Do your pets enjoy wearing Santa hats?

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If Dogs Went to Work……

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NY/NJ Donations are ready!

We have been blown away by the generosity and love that has been pouring from our fabulous clients, friends, and family members!  As many of you know, we have been in contact with Joy Freedman with 4 Paws Pet Services and the wonderful people at The Charm City Pit Bull Project to gather pet food and other much needed items for the dogs, cats and other critters who are in need in the aftermath of the devastation that was Hurricane Sandy.

We will be handing off today what we’ve collected  and the items will be on their way North tomorrow.   Check back for updates.  Thank You!

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Name That Marvelous Mystery Mutt!

      There were so many fun things about spending an afternoon as  a Bronze Sponsor at BARCtoberfest this year. It was a wonderful day for man and beast. We can only hope that one more dog, cat (or even gerbil) found a new home with the BARCS dedicated team of volunteers.
For us, BARCStoberfest was a feast for the eyes. Nestled in Patterson Park in Baltimore City, it was a gorgeous day and a beautiful spot. Holloween costumes were everywhere;  worn by kids, parents, dogs,  and yes–gerbils.  One of our favorite games to play at Dog Festivals is ” Name that Marvelous Mystery Mutt “.  Although there are amazing pure-bred dogs at the Festivals, the mutts make us think, look and analyze.
Attached is a picture of one of the cutest, friendliest, most unusual mutts we have met this year. His name is Manly.  What is your guess of his breed? And– do you have an interesting Marvelous Mystery Mutt?
Send us a picture and we’ll take a guess at yours……

One of the cutest, friendliest, most unusual mutts we met this year. His name is Manly–What is your guess of his breed?

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Afternoons with Eli

 Eli is a rambunctious, tennis ball chasing, cat loving, BaconStrip snarfing goofball.

Eli being coy. What ball? I don’t have the ball……throw another one.

Oh HERE’S the ball………

Ah…sleepy now. You can have the ball.

We always enjoy our visits with Eli.  He never fails to make us giggle and he’s a great hugger.  See ya tomorrow, boy!!

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Your Dog (or Cat) Can Be A Mo-Bro

Have you all heard about Movember?  It’s the challenge (in November) for men to grow a moustache for the entire month and become a “ribbon” for men’s health, specifically cancer that affects men.  The idea was born in Australia about 10 years ago by a group of men (the “Mo-Bros”) who were inspired by women they knew who wore pink to raise awareness about women’s cancer.  What a great idea!  And why shouldn’t pets participate in the Great Mo-Bro movement that is Movember?

Granted, not all animals are gifted with natural mustaches.


This kitty looks very dapper with his moustache, no?


This doggie is relying on the kindness of his human to be a part of the Movember movement.


And then, there are those who are just naturally gifted in the facial hair department. Show off.

  Regardless of your (or your pets’) abilities, we give two paws up to those who choose to participate this year!

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Our new Twitter and Facebook friend, Schmitty

While we were wandering around in Twitter Land yesterday, we met Schmitty the Weather Dog from NYC.

In the latest pawcast, Schmitty and his human Ron Trotta tell us about the efforts of PetFinder to reunite pets and their humans who have been separated due to Hurricane Sandy.

Connect with Schmitty on Facebook at

Or on Twitter @SchmittySays

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The Django Tango–or Can Cats Walk on Water?

Here’s another story from one of our Fantastically Fabulous walkers, Bonnie:

“During the last hurricane, I was doing everything I’d heard suggested, including filling my deep, old,  clawfoot tub with water. I completely forgot about Django, my cat,  who likes to nap in the tub. I was downstairs when I heard the noise. It was such a racket, I thought the shower curtain rod had come down out of the ceiling. As I was racing up the stairs, I saw a very wet Django go tearing past the top of the steps and straight under my bed. When I looked into the bathroom, the water in the tub was swaying wildly back and forth, the walls and floor and even the ceiling was dripping. Poor little Django! I felt terrible about it during the entire hurricane.”


We understand that Django has recovered from his shock and is back to napping in the tub.

Happier days–when there was no water in the tub. 🙂

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Note from a Walker

A few months ago, I asked some other dog walkers I know to tell me their favorite story.  This is from Dawn:Image
It was a sunny summer day and Theo, an Ibizan hound/pit bull mix, was enjoying his peaceful walk. Theo is a medium size dog, and light brown in color.  We both spotted a doe with her two speckled fawns in a field.  The momma deer saw us, too, and quickly sprinted off towards the woods, with one of her babies close behind.   The other fawn ran in the opposite direction.  Theo and I turned down a quiet, dead-end lane.  We both heard the pitter-patter of running feet behind us and turned to look.  I gasped, then held that breath when I saw the lone fawn running straight for us.  Her eyes were locked on Theo and she paid no attention to me.  She came to a stop nose-to-nose with him and I could have reached out and caressed her soft spotted fur.  You could almost see it in her eyes when she realized “Hey! You’re not my mother!”  Then she was gone in a flash.  Theo and I stood dumbfounded for a minute of two, marveling at what had just occurred.   A little while later, we spotted our trio again, reunited and happy.   All was right with the world.


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