breaking up is hard to do: when should a pet sitter fire a client?

As you likely know, I have been a professional pet sitter for over ten years, and  an amateur one since I was a wee lassie. When going in and out of countless homes and taking care of a wide array and large number of animals, I've seen a lot. Some people have OCD, so I'm afraid to touch anything, and other people look like they haven't seen a dust rag in decades, so I'm afraid to touch anything. Most clients thankfully fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. But considering cleanliness, alone, doesn't paint the whole picture.

 Breaking Up is Hard to Do: When Should a Pet Sitter Fire a Client? wellmindedpets.com

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: When Should a Pet Sitter Fire a Client? wellmindedpets.com

When a new potential client comes to me and we set up an initial consultation, it is important that they trust me and get a sense of who I am. After all, I'll be coming into their home when they are away and taking care of their fur babies. But just as I'm presenting myself to them, they are presenting themselves to me, and it's important that I get a sense of the kind of pet parent they are. Do they treat their animals well, and am I comfortable with them?

I've heard some nightmare stories from other pet sitters, and, thankfully, my bad experiences with clients have been few and far between. There was one occasion when I refused a job right there at the interview. It was summer, and the family was going away on a week's vacation. The family dog, a sweet-as-can-be Rottweiler, was an "outdoor dog." Though dogs love the outdoors, no dog should be made to live exclusively outdoors, especially in extreme temperatures. You've seen the recent news about how states are making it illegal to leave your dog out in freezing temperatures? (Yay!) Well, here in Phoenix, it can get to be 120 degrees in the summer, which can be just as harsh. The matriarch of this particular family told me that they planned to rip open the middle of a twenty pound bag of kibble, leave a trough of water, and could I please check on the dog four days into their seven-day vacation, just to be sure everything is okay?

I let her know that I had several concerns, and that I would be happy to check on her dog multiple times a day, as long as she let him in the house, otherwise I would have to refuse the job. I asked her what would happen if the dog tipped over the water trough on day one or if the open food became rancid or attracted a pack of coyotes. Not to mention the danger of her dog becoming overheated in the middle of the day. She nodded and said she understood my concerns. When we parted, she said she would consider my proposal and would be in touch. I never heard back. And, yes, I asked that local animal control keep an eye on the pooch. 

why a pet sitter might fire a client

That family never became a client, and I feel fortunate that I haven't had to refuse work like that very often. And only on a couple of occasions have I had to fire a client for nonpayment. I'm sorry...I can't take care of your pets again until you pay your balance from your vacation three months ago. Hmmm. Just as a client could fire a pet sitter for any number of reasons, a pet sitter can also choose to fire a client. Each professional pet sitter's threshold of pain is different, but here are a few reasons why a pet sitter might fire a client:

• nonpayment (duh)

• mistreatment of the animals by the owner

• not providing a key (don't make your pet sitter crawl through the doggie door)

• making unreasonable requests

• health concerns regarding cleanliness of the home

• not requesting enough visits to properly care for the animal(s)

• co-care (my clients sign terms and conditions that state that if someone else will also be providing care–such as a neighbor or relative–during the service period, I am released of ALL liability)

• anything that makes the pet sitter uncomfortable 

when the lines between professional and personal become blurred

Though I am a professional, I provide a personal service. Quite often my clients and I know personal things about each other, and we bond over their pets. So lines between professional and personal can become blurred. I establish reasonable boundaries so that I can provide a professional service in a personal way.

About a year ago, I experienced some unusual behavior in a long-standing client. Though I loved her dog very much and it was heartbreaking to have to part ways, the situation escalated to the point that I no longer felt comfortable working with her.

Charlene* first called me to her home to request periodic care for her therapy dog, Hannah. Charlene seemed like a very thorough pet parent. She let me know that Hannah was a therapy dog to her, but I didn't ask questions about her condition. She let me know that since Hannah was almost always with her, it would be difficult for the dog when she needed to be apart from her, so she wanted me to come to the home and spend time if she had to be gone for more than a couple of hours for work or some such thing. The initial consult was quite lengthy, as Charlene liked to chat, but she was very nice, and her dog, Hannah, was delightful.

Over the next several months, Charlene would request my services a couple of times a week, usually with a couple of days notice. She then started requesting that I take Hannah into my home for longer stretches. I don't normally take my clients' dogs into my home, but Hannah was so wonderful, that I agreed and didn't mind at all. We agreed on an hourly rate, and she always paid me immediately after every service.

As time went on, I took care of Hannah more and more often. And with little, if no, notice. Charlene's demeanor became more frantic, as if she was always in the midst of some emergency. If I didn't answer her call, she would call over and over and over again. I began to question her mental stability, but her dog was great and she paid me well, so I was patient with her.

I realized I had to set some boundaries when she showed up at my front door with her dog unannounced. "Charlene, I'm happy to take Hannah today, but, in the future, I'll need you to set up service in advance. I don't mind last-minute bookings, but I can't guarantee that I'll be available on little or no notice." She apologized, handed me the leash, and frantically made her way to her car and drove off. She picked up Hannah later that afternoon and paid me, as usual.

Over the next few weeks, Charlene started to call me more frequently to take care of Hannah, and our phone chats became quite lengthy. I'm not one to cut people off if they are sharing sensitive information with me, but I began to feel uncomfortable. Charlene seemed to be in some trouble, which is why she was asking me to take Hannah so frequently. She just didn't want to expose her to that. She shared with me that her husband, who lived in another state, was "after her" and was emotionally abusive. She would stay in this hotel or that hotel to escape him, and she'd leave Hannah with me for days at a time. I noticed that Hannah seemed tired all the time. She would come over and sleep and sleep and sleep. I think she was exhausted from dealing with her owner's emotional distress.

It all came to a head when we were giving a birthday party for my teenaged son. He had a bunch of his friends over, and we had some family there to celebrate, as well. The doorbell rang unexpectedly in the middle of the party, and there stood Charlene and Hannah. Charlene asked if she could come in. I told her that it wasn't a good time...that we were hosting a party. She begged, and said it would only be for a minute, so I let her in. 

Hannah made herself right at home, and Charlene collapsed in a heap on the floor just inside the front door. She was in emotional distress, running from her husband. She asked if she and Hannah could stay the night in my home. I told her that I didn't feel comfortable with that, that Hannah was welcome to stay, but suggested Charlene go to a hotel or shelter. After a couple of hours of conversation, I realized that Charlene was making things up. Her mental instability had gradually gotten to the point where she thought the mob and the pope were after her. She would have to travel to Iran and "take out" the men who were doing this to her. She wanted me to keep Hannah. I told her I didn't feel comfortable with her in my home, asked that she leave, but let her know that her dog could stay as long as she needed. I suggested she seek psychological help. 

She slept in her car outside my house that night. 

The next morning, Charlene came to the door to retrieve Hannah. As much as I loved Hannah, I knew this relationship had to end. Charlene said she understood, and promised she would seek psychological treatment. I watched she and Hannah drive off, and I cried for Hannah. I don't know if she ever did seek help, and I don't know where she and Hannah are, now, but I never heard from her again.

I contacted the police out of concern for her, and they said though they couldn't give me details, they already had a file on her. I left it in the hands of the authorities. Though I think about Hannah every day, I've made peace with the situation.

Part of me feels awful for breaking it off. I loved that dog. But when the client–however mentally unstable–disregarded professional boundaries that I had expressed to her and her behavior began to affect my family, I knew it was time to break up. This was an extreme case that I let continue way too long, but it taught me valuable lessons about setting boundaries with clients and recognizing when I'm being taken advantage of.

Are you a pet sitter or other professional that provides a personal service? Have you ever had to break up with a client?

* All names have been changed in the interest of confidentiality.

the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog #mixitup #sponsored

I've always understood the benefits of feeding my dog a raw diet, but I've never done it. The time commitment and process of getting it just right always seemed so daunting to me, and as an owner of a professional pet sitting company and work-from-home mom, well...I just can't do it all. With all of the nutritious, grain-free dog food options on the market these days, feeding raw just felt like an unnecessary chore. But about a month ago, I discovered Nature's Variety® Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog. Now N.A.S.H.A. can reap the benefits of a raw diet, but I have no added hassle. Want to know more?

I thought so.

 The Easiest Way to Introduce Raw Food to Your Dog– wellmindedpets.com

The Easiest Way to Introduce Raw Food to Your Dog–wellmindedpets.com

This post is sponsored by Instinct® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Instinct® Raw Boost® Mixers, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Instinct is not responsible for the content of this article. 

what does "raw" mean, exactly?

Nature's Variety outlines what feeding "raw" means:

• raw is never cooked

• raw contains pure, whole food ingredients for optimal nutrient absorption

• raw contains natural enzymes for digestive health

• raw provides nutrition in its purest form: proteins, vitamins, and minerals are ready for the body to utilize

what are raw boost mixers?

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are a natural freeze-dried raw meal topper (or mix-in) packed with protein and nutrients reminiscent of an ancestral diet–what your pooch would eat if he were out foraging in the wild with his pack. We all know he's benefiting from the modern conveniences you've spoiled him with...er...lovingly provided, but his nutrition needs are best met by going as natural as possible. Back to basics, so-to-speak. The Raw Boost Mixers are packed with high-quality protein. Instinct uses natural cage-free chicken, natural beef, natural turkey, and natural grass-fed lamb. Oh, and if the cats in your family want to try raw, too (of course they do), Instinct offers natural cage-free chicken and natural farm-raised rabbit Raw Boost Mixers. Bow-wow and Me-ow!

 Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are offered in all-natural chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb varieties. 

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Mixers are offered in all-natural chicken, beef, turkey, and lamb varieties. 

Don't worry about switching your dog's food. Raw Boost Mixers aren't meant to replace what you've already got going on; they are meant to enhance your pet's existing diet.

what are the benefits of incorporating raw food into my dog's diet?

Great question. So glad you asked.

A raw, ancestral diet is a super healthy option for our dogs–many would argue the healthiest. I love that Instinct has taken the hassle out of the equation, yet N.A.S.H.A. can still reap the benefits, including:

• pure animal protein that promotes lean muscles and strong bones

• natural ingredients that provide optimal nutrient absorption, which can increase energy and vitality

• nutritious oils for healthy skin and a soft coat

These benefits are important for all life stages, but I've been especially prudent about what I feed N.A.S.H.A. as she's getting on in years. 

how do i feed raw boost mixers to my dog?

 A little goes a long way with Raw Boost Mixers.

A little goes a long way with Raw Boost Mixers.

Well, if he doesn't rip the bag open and devour the entire contents on his own, Instinct provides a formula.

Since N.A.S.H.A. is only eleven pounds, I get fifty-six servings out of a fourteen-ounce bag. A little goes a long way! Instinct also offers six-ounce bags and–get this–one-ounce trial size bags for those of us who aren't quite sure how our dogs will take to it. 

When I told you this was the easiest way to introduce raw food to your dog, I wasn't kidding. Here are the steps:

1. get bowl

2. put regular food in bowl

3. put serving of Raw Boost Mixers on top

4. mix (optional)

5. call dog (oh, wait...dog is already drooling at your feet...skip to step 6)

6. put bowl down for dog

I know six steps seems like a lot, but if you compare it to all the steps required in feeding raw, you're getting off easy. 

n.a.s.h.a.'s opinion

 N.A.S.H.A. can't get enough Raw Boost Mixers.

N.A.S.H.A. can't get enough Raw Boost Mixers.

If you're a regular reader, you know that we feed N.A.S.H.A. a rotating diet of high-quality dry dog food. We know her favorites, and we keep them in regular rotation. We mix apple cider vinegar and turmeric into each meal. She's usually pretty excited at meal time, but she's also very polite. She waits patiently as we prepare her food, and she allows us to place the bowl down and walk away before she digs in.

Not anymore.

Since we've incorporated Raw Boost Mixers into her diet over the past month, N.A.S.H.A.'s manners have gone out the window. Now, I'm not blaming Instinct or anything (okay...maybe I am), but she loves the Raw Boost Mixers so much that she now charges the bowl, taking bites before it even hits the floor. We've been feeding her the grass-fed lamb variety, so it will be interesting to see how she takes to the others. Never in my life have I had to train her to have manners at meal time. Let's hope an old dog can learn new tricks, because we have some training to do.

 All manners go out the window when N.A.S.H.A. wants her Raw Boost Mixers.

All manners go out the window when N.A.S.H.A. wants her Raw Boost Mixers.

Speaking of tricks, the Raw Boost Mixers make excellent training treats. Each pellet is the perfect small size, and, clearly, they are highly motivating. As with any raw food, it's important to remember to wash your hands after handling. The freeze-dried Raw Boost Mixers don't feel raw, so that might be easy to forget. 

 Raw Boost Mixers are the perfect size to use as a training reward.

Raw Boost Mixers are the perfect size to use as a training reward.

 N.A.S.H.A. sits pretty.

N.A.S.H.A. sits pretty.

where can i get instinct raw boost mixers?

Instinct_Raw_Boost_Mixers

We got our Instinct Raw Boost Mixers at our local PetSmart, which carries the full line of Nature's Variety foods. Now through January 31st, the fourteen-ounce bags are 20% off, and you can snag three trial-size bags for $5. In addition, if you sign up on the Nature's Variety web site, they'll email you a $3 coupon. 

Visit Instinct on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Are you thinking about giving Instinct Raw Boost Mixers a try, or is your dog already enjoying them? Please leave us a comment and tell us your thoughts!

 N.A.S.H.A. is either wishing with all of her might for more Raw Boost Mixers or this is an outtake. You decide.

N.A.S.H.A. is either wishing with all of her might for more Raw Boost Mixers or this is an outtake. You decide.

what to do if your dog is poisoned by a sonoran toad

In late spring of 2010, I took a road trip with the kids from our home in Phoenix, Arizona, to California to visit family and friends. It was a two week trip for us, but my husband, Brennen, was to fly to Los Angeles to meet us for the second half of the trip. A few hours before his flight, he called me. "I might not make it to the airport in time," he said, a bit of panic in his voice. "I have to take N.A.S.H.A. to the vet. She caught a Sonoran Toad."

 What to Do if Your Dog is Poisoned by a Sonoran Toad– wellmindedpets.com   photo courtesy of ohio.edu

What to Do if Your Dog is Poisoned by a Sonoran Toad–wellmindedpets.com photo courtesy of ohio.edu

"Oh my G–!" I was helpless, so far away.

"I already washed her mouth out, but I have to get her to the vet right now. Her legs are paralyzed. I'll call you with an update as soon as I can."

There was nothing I could do but wait and panic. We'd known a handful of families who had lost dogs to Sonoran Toad poisoning. It sounds unbelievable–almost comical, but it is anything but. Sonoran Toad poisoning in dogs is serious business, and more common than you might think.

Brennen later recounted the incident

I was watching N.A.S.H.A. in the backyard through the window, and there was just something about her stance. She was on alert, and I immediately knew what it was. I'd removed toads from the yard over the previous couple of days. I opened the slider and screamed, 'N.A.S.H.A., NO!' just as she started to run across the yard to one of the perimeter bushes.
She stuck her head in, pounced, and then immediately jumped back and started shaking her head and foaming at the mouth. Her back legs were buckling as I got to her. I pulled the bush back, and there was the Sonoran Toad I suspected.
I scooped her up and called the vet. They instructed me to flush her mouth out so the water would flow into her mouth and back out, flushing out the toxins as much as possible. They said to do that for several minutes, and then bring her right in. I took her to the sink and flushed her mouth out as the vet instructed. She didn't fight it. Her body was very hot. I put her down to grab my car keys and she couldn't walk at all. She was completely paralyzed.
I got her to the vet within about fifteen minutes. They took her to the back to continue flushing out her mouth, and they monitored her elevated heart rate, high body temperature, and rapid breathing. After what seemed like forever, they came out to let me know that she was doing okay. An hour after bringing her in, they brought her out on a leash, and she was skipping in her usual way and wagging her tail, completely recovered. We got really lucky.

what is a sonoran toad?

 The Sonoran Toad.  photo credit: Randall D. Babb, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Mesa, AZ.

The Sonoran Toad. photo credit: Randall D. Babb, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Mesa, AZ.

The Sonoran Desert Toad, also known as the Colorado River Toad, is a psychoactive toad that lives in the southwestern United States. It is the largest native toad, growing up to 7-9 inches. It has smooth, leathery skin and is olive green or brown in color. White glands can be seen at each mouth corner, and additional white glands are present on their legs, all of which secrete the toxins 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin.

when and where might you encounter a sonoran toad?

Sonoran Toads generally live in the southwestern United States, namely southeastern California, New Mexico, and southern Arizona. They can also be found in Mexico, and sometimes in the southeastern United States. They are semiaquatic and absorb water through their skin, so they are typically found in or near shallow water, especially in muddy areas just after a rain. We have fished several out of our pool. They are generally nocturnal and will emerge from their burrows in the evening, when you may hear their chirps.

The toads are most active May through September, which, here in Arizona, coincides with our monsoon season when it is most humid and wet. Since they are nocturnal, they are usually encountered in the early morning or late evening, but in our case, N.A.S.H.A. discovered a toad right in the middle of the day. 

They can be found in and near washes, and sometimes they gather under street-lights–the prime bug-catching spots–like bar patrons at happy hour. 

If you live in an area where Sonoran Toads are present, it is best not to leave pet food or water outside. They are omnivores, so they may be attracted to the food, and they are often found laying in pet water bowls, which is a common way dogs encounter them. Even if a toad has vacated a water bowl and is no where in sight, its secretions remain in the dog bowl, waiting for an unsuspecting thirsty pooch.

what are the symptoms of sonoran toad poisoning?

Sonoran toad poisoning is most common in dogs because they see the toads as prey or playthings and will go after them, most often with their mouths. Cats can also be affected, but typically can't be bothered to interact with toads, so it's pretty uncommon that a cat would be poisoned. When N.A.S.H.A. had her encounter, the vet told Brennen something unexpected: little dogs typically come out okay, while larger dogs are at greater risk.

This made no sense to me. I mean, if we're dealing with a toxic poison, you'd think the ten-pound dog would be toast and the 100-pound dog would get a mild psychedelic buzz. That would be true, would they have ingested the same amount of poison. The vet explained that small dogs will typically just smell the toad or give it a little nip, thus contacting only a small amount of the poison on its nose and muzzle. Large dogs and sporting dogs, however, will often pick up the toad and chomp down, releasing a very large amount of the toxins inside their mouth, and they may even swallow some. When this occurs, there is really nothing that can be done to save the dog.

Symptoms of Sonoran Toad poisoning include:

shaking of the head

foaming at the mouth

mouth irritation

excessive drooling

rapid breathing

overheating

vomiting

diarrhea

vocalizations

dilated pupils

weakness

loss of coordination/collapse

seizures

dark red mucous membranes

what should i do if my dog is poisoned by a sonoran toad?

Time is the worst enemy of a dog who has been poisoned by a Sonoran Toad. If you know or suspect your dog has been poisoned, veterinarian advice is to immediately flush the dog's mouth out for 5-10 minutes. Direct a hose or sink spray nozzle into the side of your pet's mouth and flush it out away from your dog's throat. Do not spray toward the dog's throat, or your dog will ingest the poison. 

Immediately after the initial flush, take your dog to the nearest vet. Don't feel that you are wasting time by flushing the dog's mouth out, because that is exactly what the vet would do and what they will probably continue to do upon your arrival. You have begun treatment at home, which is important considering dogs who are treated within the first thirty minutes of the poisoning have the best chance of survival.

When left untreated, most dogs subjected to Sonoran Toad poisoning will die.

Check out this Arizona Channel 12 News report from June 2015:

what can i do to protect my dog from sonoran toads?

If you live in or are visiting an area where sonoran toads are present during the months when they are most often active (May-September), there are a few precautions you can take.

• Patrol your yard and surroundings frequently to determine whether toads are present.

• Use your ears–the distinctive quick chirp of the Sonoran Toad is a tell-tale sign of their presence.

• Monitor your dog when he or she goes outside, even if it is in your backyard. Do not allow your dog unsupervised outdoor time, so doggie doors should be shut when your are not present.

• Walk your dog on a leash and bring a flashlight when it is dark for easier toad-spotting.

• Do not allow your dog to investigate bushes, especially at night.

• Avoid the most common areas where toads are present, near bodies of water and washes.

Sonoran Toad poisoning may sound like a rare freak occurrence, but, in reality, it is quite common. If you live or are visiting an area where Sonoran Toads are present, the best thing you can do is monitor your environment, know what to do if your dog comes in contact with one, and act quickly.

Has your dog ever encountered a Sonoran Toad?

As with any medical issue, always seek the advice of a veterinarian. This article is not meant to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment.

 

 

 

when your little dog wants to indulge #chewyinfluencer

We've developed a problem in our house. N.A.S.H.A. has trained me to provide her with a treat on command. It all started innocently enough. I'd let her out first thing each morning to relieve herself, and upon her return, she earned a treat. On occasion in my zombie-like state, I'd neglect the second half of the equation, so I'd find myself dead-legged while attempting to brew some coffee. N.A.S.H.A. did not understand the "you can't pour from an empty cup" philosophy.

 When your little dog wants to indulge–wellmindedpets.com

When your little dog wants to indulge–wellmindedpets.com

Chewy.com provided me with a package of Wellness® Petite Treats in exchange for my honest opinion. Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Neither chewy.com or Wellness is responsible for the content of this article.

Over time, N.A.S.H.A.'s punches have become more pronounced and more frequent. She requests treats in this obnoxious way multiple times throughout the day, and she's relentless about it. She's totally in charge. Don't tell Caesar Milan. 

I began to worry about the amount of treats I was forking over. And if I said no enough times, she'd move on to other members of the family. N.A.S.H.A. has always maintained a healthy weight, but with all of these extra treats, who knew what could happen? Especially since she's getting on to her senior years...

 N.A.S.H.A. loves it when a chewy.com box is delivered.

N.A.S.H.A. loves it when a chewy.com box is delivered.

 Petite treats! Just what we needed!

Petite treats! Just what we needed!

These treats are tiny–like Cheerio tiny–and only four calories each. So, basically, no matter how many times I'm dead-legged in a day, N.A.S.H.A. can get what she's after. But no matter how tiny, I wanted to make sure they were healthy for her. The Wellness Petite Treats come in both soft and crunchy varieties with different ingredient options. We tried the Soft Mini-Bites with Turkey, Pomegranate, and Ginger. 

 N.A.S.H.A. runs through her repertoire of tricks to earn more treats.

N.A.S.H.A. runs through her repertoire of tricks to earn more treats.

what's so great about wellness petite treats?

I keep N.A.S.H.A.'s diet as natural as possible, so did these treats prove themselves? Yes...a resounding YES! Why do we love them?

• 4 calories per treat (which means she can indulge)

• grain-free

• whole-food ingredients

• no meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy

• no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors

• over 100 treats per bag (at this rate, that ought to last us at least 48 hours)

These treats are great for small dogs who like to indulge, but would also be great as a training treat for any size pooch. I absolutely love the healthy ingredients, but even more-so love what's not included. It's all good.

N.A.S.H.A.'s verdict?

Has your little one tried Wellness Petite Treats, yet? What's your verdict?

Visit chewy.com on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Visit Wellness on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

the command only a pet blogger's dog knows

One of the great things about being a pet blogger is that we get to try out the latest and greatest pet products. I'm not gonna lie...getting awesome stuff for free is pretty great. Since I'm all about pet lifestyle and wellness and there are so many great options these days as far as food and treats are concerned, it seems like there's always some new something in the house to enjoy. 

N.A.S.H.A. now assumes (correctly) that every package that comes to the door has her name on it. It's getting to the point where opening a box must be done behind closed doors, because she'll immediately start harassing me for the contents. i.e., staring at me incessantly if I'm sitting and giving me repeated dead-legs if I'm standing. She's a conditioned blog-dog.

Once I'm ready to let her try something, I bring it out and take pictures of her with said fabulous unopened delight. Then we go through the legit trial to make sure she loves it...and I take more pictures over several days.

Then I sit down to write.

There is only so much consumption an eleven-pound dog can take and maintain a healthy figure, so by the time I get to writing, she's possibly over-consumed in the name of photo ops. But if I'm talking about a product we love, I like to have the package in front of me, and I like to look at it, read the information on it, and make sure I know the ins and outs. So while I write, I'm doing the crinkle–that tell-tale sound pet packages make when touched by human hands.

The crinkle is torture.

So I've developed a new command: "Nope. Blog post.

I didn't even realize she was understanding me until recently. I must have been saying it for months and months. Dog-gone, I trained my dog!

 "Nope. Blog post."  Must...combat...the...crinkle. Will play like a wild wolf with my ducky, instead. The struggle is real. –wellmindedpets.com

"Nope. Blog post." Must...combat...the...crinkle. Will play like a wild wolf with my ducky, instead. The struggle is real.–wellmindedpets.com

So instead of getting all excited at the crinkle, N.A.S.H.A. has become conditioned to the command. Sure, she'll look up when she hears the initial crinkle. But when I see her do that, all I have to say is "Nope. Blog post," and she knows she's not getting anything. And then I can pretty much crinkle away while I complete my research. She'll occupy herself or take a nap.

So, fellow pet bloggers, how do your pets fare with the empty promise of the crinkle?