Monday, December 9, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services: We will all miss you Bailey!






And today it is with the greatest of sadness and sorrow in our hearts that we say a fond farewell to a most beloved dog who leaves behind all those who knew him and loved him - as better humans and canines.  

Including his kind and generous family who miss him most.  

We had only come to know this wonderful, warm and very funny chocolate lab this year when he became a new Signature Pet Services' client.  And, what a wonderful client he turned out to be.  He was sweet, obedient, funny, polite and was one of the best dogs we have ever had stay with us in our home.  His name was Bailey - and everyone including me, my husband and our two Dobermans (Roman and Madeline) will miss him.  Bailey was great buddies with Roman our male Doberman.  Even though they were very different breeds they were very much alike.  They weighed the same, they were the same colour, they both made the same funny sounds, had the same quirks and the same funny little sense of humour.  Bailey and Roman - two brown peas in a (very big) pod!

In fact, Bailey was such a perfect fellow that we called him a push button dog. He did everything right, he did everything on command, he even did things we forgot to tell him to. Did I mention he was smart?  So smart.... And, sometimes when he came in from outside and the weather was dry and I did not need to wipe his paws he sat and waited for me to do it anyways.  Now that is a good dog!  


"In one of the stars I shall be living...

...In one of them I shall be laughing...

And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing...

...When you look at the sky at night... 

…and there is sweetness in the laughter of all the stars…

And in the memories of those you love."

(The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery)






Godspeed Bailey we love you and we will all miss you.


Lee, Roman and Madeline


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.







Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services - Take a Dog Walk in Beautiful Campbell Valley Park, Langley, BC
















Happy walking, 

Lee, Roman and Madeline


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. 





Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services - Sweet Apple Pumpkin Pooch Muffins

 




These delicious and healthy dog muffins are really easy to make and take about 10 minutes to prepare. This recipe makes about 20 to 24 dog muffins (depending on their size).
  • Preheat oven to 350º
  • Prepare cookie sheet with a non-stick spray or parchment paper

INGREDIENTS AND SUPPLIES (use organic whenever possible)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin - not spiced or pie filling
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 apple - skin removed and cut into tiny cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Toss all the dry ingredients into one bowl, mix and put aside
  • Put all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix well
  • Prepare apple and add to bowl of non-dry ingredients
  • Add dry ingredients and mix up until you have a dough (not too much)
  • Drop spoonfuls onto baking sheet - if you make your dog muffins large like I do you will need to adjust your baking time considerably
  • Baking time is approximate based on your oven and the size of your dog muffins but you can estimate about 20 to 25 minutes for a muffin on the small side
  • Once they cool give one to your dog, he will love these Sweet Apple Pumpkin Pooch Muffins and beg for more. Keep these dog muffins in your fridge and freeze any extra as they won't keep. Not only will your dog have a delicious new dog treat to eat when he comes home from a long dog walk or a trip to the groomer but your kitchen will smell good too!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Signature Pet Services!

Lee, Madeline and Roman




Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services - My Most Favourite Dog Collars!


At Signature Pet Services and in my home we use Mes Amis handcrafted dog collars (almost exclusively) as the collars are soft, safe, beautiful, wash well and will not mark your dog's coat at the neck.  

Mes Amis also makes leads for grooming and training. All the colours are spectacular!


Madeline models the teal



... or the turquoise (as some call it)


Roman models the orange


... the red


If you want to purchase a Mes Amis collar for your own dog, here is the link to the Mes Amis facebook page:  Mes Amis Facebook Page

Happy shopping!


Lee, Madeline and Roman


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Brewers Yeast Beast Treats just in time for flea season

Brewers Yeast keeps the Beast's fleas away



This quick and easy dog treat recipe is fun to make and my dogs love them! And there are even some vets out there that suggest brewers yeast can help prevent fleas. This recipe takes about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare and makes about 20 to 24 cookies (depending on their size). Preheat oven to 375º

Prepare cookie sheet with some veggie oil or a non-stick spray


INGREDIENTS and SUPPLIES (use organic whenever possible)

1 cup whole wheat flour (wheat allergies – use rice flour)

½ cup rolled oats

½ cup brewers yeast

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup of chicken or beef stock (beef or chicken allergies - use apple juice)

rolling pin (if you have – but not necessary)

cookie cutter (or use small glass)



INSTRUCTIONS

Toss all the dry ingredients into one bowl and put aside 

Put oil and stock or apple juice into a bowl and whisk 

Add dry ingredients and mix up really well

Prepare dough for rolling out by making it into a ball

Lightly oil your counter top and roll out the dough about ¼ inch is good (no rolling pin – no problem just press down with palms of your hand)

Use cat shaped cookie cutters for fun (or a glass will work)

Baking time is approximate based on your oven and the size of your dog muffins but you can estimate about 15 to 20 minutes.  With the warm weather here now, I like to freeze these treats for my dogs.

Back to blogging in the fall!

Enjoy!

Lee, Roman and Madeline


Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Signature Dog Blog - Happy Birthday Madeline!



Happy Birthday Madeline you still look great at 8!


My family recently went on a mini getaway to Victoria on Vancouver Island. 

The reason for the trip? 

Why else but to celebrate my beloved dog, Madeline's, 8th birthday. 

Madeline is my beautiful black and rust Doberman Pinscher.  I know that I have blogged about her before and how wonderful she is but I cannot help myself and it is after all her birthday and a celebration of her life with my family.

Before we headed to the BC Ferries for our passage to Vancouver Island, we dropped Roman (our other Doberman Pinscher) off at his vacation home.  Well, it is really where he goes when we go away so that we can have a vacation from him.  We love you Roman!!  So once Roman is safely delivered to his weekend getaway (where he will have a blast without the three of us) we are off to the ferry terminal to wait in line. 


The weather is pretty good, no rain and no wind - no cancellations yay!  We board the ferry (with a reservation always when travelling with a dog) and stay on the car deck with our vehicle and Madeline.  For some weird reason, we decide it is a good time to discuss all the BC Ferry disasters that have happened in the past 30 years (yes, there have been quite a few and sadly with both human and animal fatalities and one very personal loss both near and dear to my heart) and once we have exhausted that topic  - we decide that we are going to get Madeline a doggie life jacket for her birthday, just in case.  I know you may think this is weird but if there is ever a BC Ferry disaster - remember that your beloved dog will not be allowed up on the deck for safety, if you know what I mean! 


Finally, we arrive on the island and we make our way to our hotel.  We have booked the historical Fairmont Empress for our weekend away and we cannot wait to be pampered and order room service and RELAX.  I love the Fairmont Empress in Victoria - she is the grand old dame of the Victoria hotels.  When we arrive we use the valet for our car and the porter unloads our bags including Madeline's Canine Camper travel crate.  Instantly, Madeline attracts attention and the porter and valet gush over her and offer her treats.  She accepts the treats and shows them a few tricks.  While we are checking in, Madeline politely waits at the front desk area with us.  She is excited and knows there is fun stuff coming her way.  Smart dog! 


After we have checked in, we head up to our room (on the doggie floor) with our very kind and helpful porter.  Madeline has taken a shine to him (and to pretty much every staff member she met that weekend).  The hotel had arranged a wonderful array of bowls, bottled water, treats and a doggie bed all for her arrival.  I am sure Madeline thought she was in doggie heaven. After some water and treats, we quickly unpack and head out to explore the hotel's historic and gorgeous public spaces with Madeline.  Even though dogs are permitted at the Fairmont Empress (there is a size restriction - so do ask when booking) Madeline does cause quite a stir.  Not only is she stunning but she is super friendly and wants to meet everyone.  She continues to attract alot of attention, all positive of course. I must admit it is fun to garner such attention - even if it is all about my dog.   It seems everyone wants to meet her and they do.  She is a perfect ambassador for the Doberman Pinscher breed.  Well done baby girl!


We spend most of the weekend walking and hanging out with Madeline. It seemed everywhere we went with her, she attracted a small audience.  I guess the Doberman Pinscher breed is a rare site in Victoria. My favourite part of the weekend was when each morning her and I would get up early and head to the hotel lobby for a coffee and then spend quiet time reading or exploring the hotel.  The staff we encountered seemed to always have a cookie for her and no one seemed to mind that her and I were exploring. 

We had a wonderful weekend and we were all sad to leave the Fairmont Empress.  We had so much fun there and Madeline was treated like a doggie rock star.  

What a wonderful way to spend ones birthday!



Happy Birthday Madeline! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services Madeline tries out for a TV spot



Madeline who is on the right -  taking a quick break between her scene on set of Human Target


Madeline our resident TV star recently had the honour of being referred to star in an upcoming television series (again).  Once she was referred to the animal casting agent (if you will) she was then required to submit a series of photographs as part of the selection process.  Once that step was completed the next step for her was for her and I to meet the trainer who would be working with her before filming starts and 'on-set'.  The arrangements were made for the trainer to come to our home to meet with Madeline.  Of course, right away Madeline fell in love with the trainer whose name was Dana Dube. When it came time for the photographs to be taken of Madeline, she posed like a professional over and over again for Dana.  I could not believe how amazing Madeline was.  Typically, when I photograph her she looks at the ceiling and not the camera.  Well Dana was truly gifted with Madeline as each picture Madeline was right on the money.  The role that Madeline was to play was a female Doberman Pinscher who loved belly rubs.  Turns out that is Madeline's favourite pastime and she let Dana rub her belly immediately. 

Unfortunately, the double for Madeline who would be performing  the stunt-type role in the TV show was a very large male and already cast so Madeline did not get the part.  You see Madeline is a very dainty Doberman coming in at only about 56 pounds.  

She is still a star in our home and even though she did not get the part this time, I know she loved meeting and interacting with Dana Dube from Animal Insight. 

For more information about Dana and Animal Insight, here is their website.www.animalinsightforfilm.com.  


The website is really fun and interesting and you can check out their current stars and all the movies and TV shows they worked on. 


That's a wrap!



Lee, Madeline and Roman



Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.
 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Signature Pet Services - Dog Moving Day Checklist





1. To keep your dog’s stress level down, contact your pet sitter or dog walker well in advance to see if they could take your dog for the day while you are packing up and/or for when the moving van is arriving.





2. Google the bylaw office of city you are moving to and get their information on licensing, hours, etc. You may be able to purchase your dog’s license with your credit card (most likely) and have it waiting for you at your new home. This will be one less thing to do at your new location.


3. Google pet sitters, dog walkers, veterinarians, and groomers. Contact them and ask if they are taking new clients, ask about services and references so that you have all your regular pet care services lined up.

4. Stock up on extra dog food, so that if you cannot locate your regular dog food you have enough to transition to a new similar food.

5. Keep enough of your dog’s regular things unpacked so he has things to comfort  himself with.

6. If you plan to fly your pet or fly with your pet – look into all your options well  before you plan to move.

7. If you are moving out of the country, contact that country’s local government  about rules for pet immigration so you don’t get caught with a surprising pet  quarantine.

8. Get your dog tattooed and microchipped.

9. Stay calm, as your dog will read your energy and stress and will take it on.

10. Once you get to your new location, if you can, take your dog for a walk before  you enter your new home. It should go without mentioning it but...make sure you check your new home's fencing before you let you dog into his or her new yard.







Lee, Madeline and Roman



Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Signature Dog Blog: Signature Pet Services Helps with your Puppy


Madeline at 12 weeks - just a wee puppy but already showing brilliance

Puppy Training Tips to Remember

1. Be in a good mood before you start working with your puppy. Don't come home from work after a frustrating commute and work with your puppy - de-stress first!

2. Keep your tone upbeat and encouraging at all times. If you become frustrated, call it a day, say the word "break" (see below) to end the training session. And, reward yourself for taking the time to train your puppy.

3. Always be patient and consistent.

4. Indoor training is easier as there are less distractions - so start there and head outdoors when you and your puppy are ready.

5. This is almost never mentioned but take care of puppy potty break issues before you start working with your puppy.
Remember not to overwhelm her - just do a few of these exercises to start with as she will become bored and you will become frustrated. When you are finished each training session make sure you say the word "break". As this word will signal the end of her training session. You can reward her with kisses, fun and and cuddles. Ultimately, you the owner of the puppy provide yourself as the best reward.

Teach Puppy to Come:

To teach your puppy to come all you need to get started is some of your puppy's kibble. Just hold a piece of it in front of her nose by lengthening your arm towards her. Then call her name. As puppy is coming towards you pull your hand to your chest and say come (with gusto). This method of teaching puppy to come is both verbal and physical and eventually you will just need to use the hand signal and she will come running (provided she can see you). Once she reaches you, give her the kibble as a reward. Repeat the process.

Teach Puppy to Sit:

To teach your puppy to sit have her in the standing position. Hold a piece of her kibble in front of her nose. Begin to move the kibble slowly over her head. Soon her nose will go towards the ceiling and her bottom will touch the floor. Just as she is sitting say the word "sit" and give her some kibble. If your puppy begins to jump for the kibble instead of sitting this is because you are holding the kibble too high. Some trainers say that you can just sweep your hand in an upward motion and puppy will sit. This is not always my experience so I would suggest just focusing on getting your puppy to sit with kibble for now. Once you and her have mastered the sit you can then begin adding the hand signal (if you want - but this is really not necessary). Be careful not to say "sit down" as this will confuse your puppy. Also, try to only use the "sit" command once otherwise you will train her to only comply with your sit command only when you use it multiple times.

Teach Puppy to Lie Down:

To teach your puppy to lie down it is best to have her in a sit position. By now you have the holding kibble technique down pat so all you need to do now is hold the kibble in front of puppy's nose and sweep your hand and kibble to the floor directly in front of her front paws. As soon as your puppy slides into the down position say the word "down" and give her the kibble. Be patient with your puppy during the training of the down as she may not get it the first couple of tries. But, once she has mastered this command she will begin to do it with only your sweeping hand signal. Again, try to only use the "down" command once otherwise you will train her to only comply with your down command only when you use it multiple times.

Teach Puppy to Stay AKA the Long Down or Sit Stay:

This is the very best obedience command you can teach your puppy, while she may not get it while she is still a young puppy - she will in the early years to come. With a little practice that is.   To teach your puppy to stay in the sit position for a longer period of time (known as the sit stay) you should begin with her in the sit position. As soon as your puppy is sitting, make eye contact, extend your hand 'in the stop position" and firmly say the word "stay" and back up a couple of steps to start with. Count to three and return to your puppy and calmly reward her with a treat. Repeat the command - soon backing up more steps and asking her to stay for longer periods, say up to 10 seconds. Eventually, once your puppy is a little older, you should be able to have her sit for up to three minutes.

This method also words for the Long Down. The only difference is that you begin with your puppy after you have asked her to lie down and she is in that position.

All of us with amazing dogs started somewhere and I can promise you that it was not always easy but put in the time in the very early stages and you will be rewarded over and over again!

Good luck with your training!

Lee, Madeline and Roman




Signature Pet Services is a by-appointment-only pet sitting company serving South Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia. We specialize in loving and safe home-style dog boarding in our own home. Signature Pet Services also provides dog, puppy and cat sitting services. I invite you to check out our website (link above) or if you live locally give us a call at 604-818-7841.