Josephine the Jovial

Hi all, Amanda here.  I have been putting off writing about the last member of this fur-family, Josephine.  Not because she is a trouble maker or boring (no way on both counts!) but mostly because she is new to me.  Josephine is the baby of the pack (although at somewhere around the age of 8 she is no baby!) and I just haven’t had as much time to get to know her as the others.20160611_104500

Here is what I do know about the beautiful Josephine.  Baby Cakes is her nickname, and she likes to eat (so I would have to say that is appropriate!).  When we come in from outside, she is the first one to get in her “spot” for a treat.  She is pretty laid back like the other girls, but she has a fierce streak in her when anyone gets “in her face.”    Turns out this family of dogs is built around mutual respect and understanding–everyone respects each other’s boundries and understands that ultimately Mom and Dad are in charge.  Not that there is never any plays for power 🙂

Josephine is happy to sit by the window and bark at the world.  And what a bark!  It is loud and deep…very effective!  She is a great Pyrenees and so her job in life is to protect and guard.  She takes that job very seriously;  she makes sure her Mom and Dad know when the mail comes, when a car goes by, when the other dogs are outside, even when there is a squirrel running around the yard!   Unfortunately for Josephine, Huxley also feels that his job is to protect the family and therefore they don’t always see eye to eye on who should take the first watch 🙂

I have spent a few evenings at this house and Josephine was so amazing at keeping me abreast of noises and potential threats.  When everyone else was sleeping, she was on point to make sure everyone was safe and sound.  I found that if she could see me, she could relax a little and get some rest herself; so we spent a good portion of time in the living room sleeping.  When she heard something, she could look up and see that I was okay before going back to her slumbers 🙂  The perfect guardian.

That is it for this family, although they are foster parents so I usually am introduced to temporary family members.  Josephine is no longer a foster, Mom and Dad just knew their family was not complete without this Grande Chien des Montagnes (“the big dog of the mountains”).  I am so glad!





O Lucy Beth, Lucy Beth…wherefore art thou…Lucy Beth?

Ok, so any of you Shakespeareans know that Juliet isn’t a dog…she is a Capulet.  But I don’t think anyone could argue that they are both very beautiful!  Hi all, Amanda here.  I would love to tell you about one of the pets of the mwp-image-1664029806jpg.jpgonth, Lucy.

What can I say about Lucy Beth?  Well, first thing is she is a breed I had never had or even heard of–an Akbash.  In Turkish it comes from Akbaş meaning ‘white head’.  She looks like a yellow lab with some very big differences.  The most obvious is that she is white like fresh fallen snow.  The other thing I noticed is that Lucy has double dew claws.  That is a standard trait of Akbash dogs and again, completely new to me.  I have enough trouble keeping up with my dogs nails…cutting them must be double trouble!  She also has an adorable curled tail that is fluffy at the end and the most soulful brown eyes I have ever seen.  If I had to pick the most beautiful dog in the world, it would be this 3 year old beauty.  Who am I kidding, it would be EVERY dog.  I couldn’t pick!!!!!!

I read about this breed after I signed up Lucy and her family to make sure that I knew all I could before I started watching them; and I have to say Lucy is pretty normal 🙂  She spends her time hanging out watching her family play and playing with her brother, Huxley.  The story I have been told is that Lucy Beth came to visit as a foster and Mom nor Dad could find a good way to tell Huxley that she couldn’t stay.  So they adopted her and added her to the family!  Huxley is forever grateful and he and Lucy are inseparable.  All the dogs seem to love her but where you find Lucy, Huxley is not far behind 🙂

Her Mom told me her nickname is Sweet Pea and she is a calm and Zen dog.  That is another trait of Akbash dogs…they are very quiet but very observant.  Please don’t mistake that calmness for uncaring…Lucy would definitely fight if someone was attacking her family!

So Huxley is not the only defender in the family.  Turns out this pack is like Shrek described himself.  Ogres have layers like onions.  This family has a lot of layers!  That is all for now, stay tuned for the last member of the family, Josephine, to be profiled.  Peace, Love and Paws!


Drum roll, Please…Huxley the Hero!!!!!!

Okay, so it has been a CRAZY month.  Some things really took my attention away from my blog for a minute but I am back from the asylum!crazy train

Hi all, Amanda here.  I would like to finish off July by writing a little about the rest of the pack from the family of the month.  Now, I know it is August and I am a week or so behind.  Please, Dear Readers, be understanding!  I will be announcing the family of the Month for September in a few weeks but think it is only fair that I spend a little more time with this family!

So, what can I say about Huxley?  Huxley under the stairsTo start, he is the only brother in a pack with 4 sisters.  Good thing they go to the bathroom outside…can you imagine?!  Just kidding.  Seriously, though…he most certainly makes sure his sisters are all good.  He is the most Regal-looking German Shepard I have seen in a while.  His family calls him Batman because of his ears and perhaps that is fitting as well.  I mean, Batman is a superhero who doesn’t rely on super powers to save the world.  He relies on a will of steel, smarts, and intimidation (among other things) to get his way; and he is a billionaire with education and poise when he isn’t fighting crime.  Yup, that’s Huxley!  Mia may be the General of the group, but Huxley is certainly the muscle.

In a few days I will talk about Lucy Beth, Huxley’s soul mate.  We will also talk about Josephine, who is Huxley’s other sister and may be a little mad that he loves Lucy more than her 🙂  Talk to you soon!












Emergency, emergency…

This post was supposed to be about Lucy and Huxley, two of the wonderful pets in the Family of the Month.   However, something pretty serious happened and I feel the need to talk about it.  Don’t worry, Huxley and Lucy will be talked about either later in the week or next week at the latest 🙂

Hi all, Amanda here.  I have been pretty vocal about the fact that my brother had a pretty bad car accident over the weekend.  He was on his way to Florida when he crashed in North Carolina and he is still there.  He is alive (Thank you Lord!) but he has serious injuries to his back and I am not sure when he will return.  The whole situation is a lesson in patience…I had to wait to find out where he crashed and where they took him.  I had to wait to see what happened and what they would do to “fix” him.  Now I have to wait to see when he will be able to return to us and his home in Connecticut.  I had to wait.  I HATE TO WAIT!

But, Amanda, what does this have to do with Amanda’s Paw Pals?  I mean, this is a sad story…but doesn’t seem to have a point.  Is there a point?  Why, yes Dear Reader!

John is not only my brother, he is also a client.  He has 3 very loving and occasionally insane dogs.  Because his trip was an emergency and not as planned as he usually is, I had a difficult time fitting him into an already full schedule.  But he is an established client of ours,so we do our very best to figure out how to accommodate.  In this situation, Brian Nieves (pet sitter extraordinaire and Amanda’s son!) was scheduled to stay at the house and do overnights with the dogs until John returned.  John’s good friend cared for the dogs for the first few days and then Brian took over.  That was the plan, at least.  After John had his accident that all changed.  Today I made the decision to find some foster homes for the dogs until John can care for them himself.  Not all three, one of his dogs is a good sized German Shephard.  John is having back surgery and when he gets home he will have a hard time with her.  He won’t be able to walk her and putting her on her run will be a challenge.   Just the fear that he will be knocked over was enough for me to start looking.  Turns out I didn’t look far, his friend who cared for the dogs in the beginning of the week volunteered.  A call to John cemented the deal and now Ariel is hanging with her 🙂

With that out of the way and the other two safe with Brian, I started thinking about all of this.  This is the biggest reason for an emergency contact on my pet sitting service agreement.  And this is also why I ask for someone other than the person you are with.   If you are both in an accident, who do I call to make sure your animals will be cared for until you can return?

I keep openings in my schedule for emergencies and last minute bookings, but I don’t know how much long term I can do beyond a planned trip.  So anyway, that is all I needed to say.  Hug your pets and your loved ones!



Let’s talk about dogs!

Hi everyone, Amanda here.  I have the awesome task of making everyone who reads this blog understand how great the family of the month is.  I already know they are fantastic because I have the opportunity to interact with them often.  Their family knows they are outstanding for the same reason.  But you, dear readers, only have my word for it.  I can promise you, therefore, that none of the fur-friends featured in this blog are anything less than magnificent!

This week I am going to delve into the lives and loves of Mia and Tessa.  They are only a fraction of the whole of this family, but to use a phrase from a book I am reading, I am especially fond of them.  (For those of you who have never read The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, one of the main characters, Papa, says he is “especially fond of” everyone.  And I have to say, I have not met a pet I wasn’t especially fond of.  So I get that!)  But enough chatter, let’s get back to the focus of this blog!  I am going to start with Mia.

Mia is a Rottweiler mix who is approx. 4 years old.  She is one of the most lovable, expressive dogs!  Her family calls her “Sweet Face” or “Smiley.”  As a matter of fact, she was the star of another blog post called “The Death Stare.”  Her Mom told me she is The General, she keeps everyone else in line.  Isn’t that usually the way, the smallest of the bunch is the one everyone listens to?!  Besides staring at me (lol), Mia loves to play.  She will run continuously for a tennis ball and doesn’t relinquish it easily.  Usually I can get a dog to drop the ball in their mouth by throwing another one (therefore I typically have at least two in my possession.)  Not Mia.  Mia will run (with the ball in her mouth) and pick up the other ball.  In her mouth.  With the other ball.  Let me say that again…WITH THE OTHER BALL IN HER MOUTH.  You think it is hard to get a dog to drop ONE ball?  Try two!  I am a quick learner and so I waited for her to drop the balls (she wanted to bury them under the deck) and never threw another ball until she had dropped the first one.   When Mia isn’t hording tennis balls with me, she loves to go on long walks and runs.  She recently has been put on the sidelines with an injury so she has had to spend more time keeping the others in line and less time keeping her Mom company on her runs.  I have not experienced this firsthand but her Mom tells me that if I take her swimming, she will love me forever 🙂

Tessa is Mia’s younger sister, by one year.  This Bernese Mountain Dog is a beauty!  Although she is not a rescue in the literal sense, I don’t think anyone would argue that being included in this fabulous family was not a rescue of sorts.  Sure, she could have been adopted by another family who would have loved her as much.  But she would not have the overwhelming love and support of THIS family.  Oh, and I think we can all agree that she hit the pet sitter lottery with me 🙂  Seriously though, this lovable goofball (Puppy Face is her nickname…very fitting!) makes me glad to know her every time I see her.  She lays on the porch and watches Mia get the ball or she leans on me and looks for some love.  I looked up why bernese mountain dogs lean a while ago and learned that it is just a way to get the love and affection they crave.  It is true, too; it is almost instinctual for me to stroke her fur and rub behind her ears when she sits on my feet and leans into me haha.  Sometimes Tessa will get the ball but I am convinced she really is just trying to passive-aggressively get it away from Mia 🙂  Mostly, she just wants to watch the fun from the sidelines (or my shoes lol.)

So that is all I can think about with these two gems.  There are a few more (3, to be exact!) in this family to talk about so watch for a couple more posts.  In the meantime, be safe and enjoy this gorgeous weather we are having.  Maybe you should take a daytrip and call Amanda’s Paw Pals (860-338-7135 or email at

to visit your fur family while you are gone!

Family of the Month for July!!!!!

Family of the Month for July!!!!!

Mia cooling down after some time in the heat!

July is upon us and so is the heat!  They are forecasting a heat wave over the next few days…great time to start a new running program, if I do say so myself.  (And I do…something about hot weather and cute little outfits makes me want to lose weight, go figure 🙂 )  Another really hot number in July is Tessa.  Oh, and Lucy.  And Josephine, AND Huxley!

Tessa chilling inside!
Hi all, Amanda here.  This month’s family is a pack of 5.  All rescues and all fabulous!  This group has been our Pals for the 7 months or so and I am so glad to know them.  They are like typical siblings, wrestling and fighting when they are outside but snuggling together when they are inside.  

Lucy likes the view from up on the stairs!

Huxley      Huxley likes the cool tile the best!

  Their parents are pretty awesome, too.  Not only have they opened their hearts and homes to these 4, they also foster one more…Josephine.  

Josephine smiling for the camera!

So that is all for now.  I will post again with some individual attention in a few days, stay tuned!

Rocky the Robust!

Hi all, Amanda here.  I typically take pieces from the information I get from pet owners about their stars, but I would like to make an exeption.  This week is dedicated to one of Amanda’s Paw Pals who has passed.  Rocky and his family joined our pack last year and I didn’t get nearly enough time with Rocky.  I have loved this career for so many reasons but I can honestly say that the day Rocky crossed the rainbow bridge was a day I wished I worked in an office and didn’t do this pet sitting thing.  It turns out that it doesn’t really matter how much time a person spends with a good fur-friend for tears and sadness to come when they have left!  So, here is the letter I received from Donna about Rocky.  Enjoy reading, I did!

Rocky Xmas

“Rocky joined our family 14 years ago with his sister Jewel.  We had two young girls who missed having a dog in the house.  Our previous dog, an American Staffordshire/Flat coated retriever, passed away at the ripe old age of 18 about a year earlier.  After saying no more dogs, it’s too sad when they pass. We relented and got Rocky and Jewel.  Jewel died of Renal Kidney failure at age 5. So Rocky being the only dog, had two girls to dote on him.  Every other night he slept in one of the girls beds, he seemed to remember which room was the correct one for the night!


Rocky loved to hike, which amazed everyone that saw us out there putting on the miles!  He had great stamina.  He travelled everywhere with us and because of his huge eyes and furiously wagging tail, he always got extra pets and attention from perfect strangers.  At the dog park, Rocky cruised around to all the people for petting, which was plentiful.


Rocky was always being dressed up for holidays and wore pajamas to bed (partially because he was a profuse shedder and partially because he looked adorable in his t-shirts, pajamas and ducky robe).  He was very tolerant of being dressed up and he really enjoyed the extra attention he got!


Rocky was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder of his sinus passages in the beginning of 2013.  We were told not to expect him to live many months since it was incurable and degenerative.  He bounced back a few times, he had a fantastic will to live.


He always wanted to be with his dog pack and his people pack.  He was a funny clown always doing something to make us laugh. He loved to play tug of war, it got to the point where we would hide all the rope toys because he would not take no for an answer.


Rocky passed away peacefully at home with us on May 25th. We miss him but have many fond memories, pictures and stories to remember him by.”

All I would like to add to this is to point out that Rocky lived about 3 and a half years after being diagnosed with his degenerative and incurable autoimmune disorder.  He had such a great life, he just wasn’t ready to go!  I am so glad I got to meet this robust little dog.  I definitely thank God that his Mom found me before Rocky passed away!