Everyone Has Fleas, Even Indoor Cats
Q: I have three dogs and three cats, and they all get fleas. What am I doing wrong? — D.C., Louisville, KY. A: Here's the million-dollar question: Are you using a flea preventive on all pets in the home or just the dogs? According to veterinary …
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Everyone Has Fleas, Even Indoor Cats
All pet sitters want to build a healthy and successful business. But as your sitting business grows, so does the stress of managing your expanding client list, schedule and income stream.
The act of putting best practices in place to help you manage your growth sounds like both a daunting and tedious task. But the truth is it’s not. There are simple tips to follow and free technology available to make the act of building a successful and scalable pet sitting business a breeze.
Your Client List
To provide the quickest and highest quality service to prospective clients, you need to know who your client is, how to reach them, and what their needs are.
Keeping all this information in a single location will pay large dividends as your customer base grows. Mobile tools these days allow you to keep all your client contact information, notes, transaction history, and payment statuses in an easily-accessible spot. Client data and access to information in the most convenient way possible will save you a tremendous amount of time, especially as your days start filling up with more and more pet visits.
Schedule & Appointments
The days of pen and paper scheduling are over!
Keep an organized daily, weekly, and monthly calendar in place that’s easily accessible and able to be updated on the fly. Appointment details constantly change, so give yourself a digital tool that allows for easy edits and updates. Not to mention, new clients reach out to you at random times throughout the course of the day, so put convenient systems in place to efficiently field these appointment requests and add them to your calendar without having to play phone tag.
Make sure your clients stay organized too! That means automating and customizing notifications and reminders sent to clients about upcoming sits or sessions. This will ensure your clients are always on the same page, and will ‘professional and politely’ remind them of upcoming appointments with you, so you’re never left hanging.
Everyone likes getting paid. The trick is to ensure no payment ever slips through the cracks.
Protect yourself before walking into any sit. Ask clients to put their card down to reserve appointments ahead of time. This will not only reduce flaky clients and last minute cancellations, but will professionally demonstrate to your clients that your time is valuable. Not mention, your entire payment process is streamlined once your appointment is complete – say farewell to those awkward “How much do I owe you?” conversations…Simply charge your clients as you’re walking out the door, and move on to your next appointment.
If you still prefer to invoice, then make sure no invoices are ever left hanging. Part of this is setting up a simple monitoring system to enable you to get notified with each invoice that has been paid. Then give yourself an easy dashboard to keep yourself up to date on any invoices still outstanding. This will also give you a sense as to who your best clients are (and even who your worst ones are).
Putting these Practices into Reality
The question now becomes how to implement these tips in the easiest and least disruptive way possible.
Good news! There are now tools out there that help solo professionals run their business from their phone. The key is to find the tools that are simple, that are affordable, and that move with you wherever you go – mobile. The more a single app does, the easier your life becomes.
As you start growing and winning more business, you’ll be able to bring these clients on in the most efficient way possible, maintaining your ability to serve them well – all the while making your day-to-day a lot less stressful.
More about the author:
Sam Madden: Sam Madden is the co-founder of PocketSuite, the first mobile business tool for independent professionals and solopreneurs. Sam spent most of his career researching and investing in business technology for small and medium sized businesses. He has since shifted all of his focus to build great technologies like PocketSuite to help eager and independent professionals succeed. You can read more about Sam’s mission on Entrepreneur Magazine.
RHCP's Flea Loves Legendary Singer Percy Sledge
Yesterday the world mourned the loss of legendary R&B and Soul performer Percy Sledge when it was announced that the musician passed away in his home at the age of 74. The musician, most well renowned for his single, “When a Man Loves a Woman,” …
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Sal. Army's Flea-Esta opens Friday
“We do a lot of different things throughout the year with the kids of this community and all the proceeds raised at the Flea-Esta go to help the kids who are raised in the programs of the Salvation Army,” said Salvation Army Captain Katie Pinkston.
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Flea attracts big crowd
Flea attracts big crowd. May 4, 2015. By TENDAR TSERING – Staff Writer (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Minot Daily News. Save | Post a comment |. The flea market at the North Dakota State Fair Center attracted big crowds over the weekend but organizers …
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Every year, I start on a new bible reading plan and this year, I would work through what is called the “Legacy Reading Plan”. The twist being that instead of using the Proverbs/Psalms reading plan that is incorporated with this, I instead opt to do the 31 days Psalms/Proverbs plan that had me, on top…
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I took Coulee out yesterday to enjoy what I hope was winter’s last attempt to hang in there.
I know I’ve been remiss in posting, and I wish very much I could say it’s because I’ve been so busy creating amazing and exciting book campaigns and creating a plan to hit the NY Times Bestseller List in July. I still want to, don’t get me wrong, and I still plan to at least give it ago. But that’s not why I’ve been quiet.
I guess you could say I’ve been doing nothing. Nothing. Let me explain.
I’ve said to many people when I started working with Paws into Grace two years ago it was like my career and work finally made sense. I liked working in a clinic, I liked the day-to-day stuff, but only two jobs in life ever touched my soul and felt as close as one could come to a calling: writing, and veterinary hospice. Stepping into hospice work was like buying a new pair of leather shoes and finding them already perfectly worn in.
If you recall, I took it a step further when I began speaking on the topic at various Ignite talks, the first one being in January this year at NAVC:
Then later, in San Diego in February:
Putting those two talks together forced me to really dig into why I thought this work was so important- first, I realized, we can do a lot to help people understand the process of grieving a pet.
Then, I realized losing a pet is in itself a really important lesson in how to lose a person, or more importantly, how to help them gracefully experience the end-of-life process. I really, really wanted to share that message.
I remember a lot of things about that night at Ignite San Diego, namely about how I said that all people should hire me so their kids wouldn’t stick them in a nursing home later in life because they were too scared to deal with them. I pointed at my parents and said, “See? Aren’t you glad I made this promise to you guys in front of like, 200 people?” And they laughed, because we knew that was all a long time away.
It all happened very suddenly: the fall, the seizure, the diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. One day, my life was filled with the usual concerns, getting annoyed with pseudoscience on the net, figuring out Teacher Appreciation Week. The next day, I forgot everything except this: My mom, still young, beautiful, and full of life, looking at the same diagnosis that made Brittany Maynard a household name last November. It is perhaps one of my worst fears, this particular beast, and now it has invaded someone I love more than words can adequately express. The person who, in other circumstances, would be the one I called for support.
Now she was looking to me, and then it all made sense, this need to understand the importance of hospice and advocacy and learning to let go gracefully. I wasn’t meant to help other people understand the difference between living poorly and dying well. I was doing all of this preparation, whether I knew it or not at the time, for my own mother.
In the space of two weeks, I moved my parents into my house, earned frequent parking points at the hospital, and had to dig deep into everything I ever stood up for and ask myself if I really meant it when I said I thought people should change how they dealt with illness and end of life in their families:
- Would I help someone honor their own wishes to say no when everyone in an authority position was pushing for treatment? It seems like oftentimes it is easier to do all the treatment than to say no and risk upsetting loved ones who want you to try it.
- Would I be honest with my children in an age-appropriate way or just kind of try to avoid it for a while? Use the old la-la-la-everything’s-fine approach our family has relied on for generations?
- Could I bring this whole experience into my house, ask my husband and my children to take on this really intense experience, when it would be a lot easier on them- in the short term at least- to keep my parents at arm’s distance, in their own home, in skilled care?
The two weeks during the diagnosis phase was an unending slog up and down the linoelum floors of the hospital, trudging from one cramped waiting area to another: CT. Neurooncology. Neuroradiology. Neurosurgery. Each appointment took an emotional toll that far compounded the physical one, leaving mom too pooped by the end of the day to do more than go to sleep. Waiting rooms filled with other seriously ill people nervously picking at the fraying vinyl upholstery, doctors too aware of the gravity of the diagnosis to be able to offer a smile.
My mother was so upset at the prospect of poorly effective radiotherapy she didn’t want that she could barely speak after the appointment with the radiologist. He had recommended six weeks of daily radiation and chemo, tied to those halls and the stale air. Glioblastoma, a poorly researched and dreaded cancer- even in the world of oncology, it’s a bad one- has had few treatment advancements in 25 years. Treatment doesn’t cure the disease, just kind of kicks it down the line a little.
“And if we choose not to do the radiation?” I asked.
“You could do nothing,” he said, “But I don’t recommend it.” No one did, but nonetheless that was exactly what Mom wanted.
So we did it anyway, leaving through the doors of the hospital one last time into the cool evening breeze of the evening marine layer rolling over, before calling in the ‘Nothing’ that is hospice. So far, Nothing has included the following:
- Watching hot air balloons fly by in their sunset flights
- Getting through all the Harry Potter movies
- A comprehensive plan for managing every symptom, every discomfort
- Greeting the children every morning and tucking them in every night
- Trying every flavor of macaron at the local French bakery (lemon = best)
- Getting our nails done
- Going through old photo albums
- Driving to the beach
Brody, exhibiting that strange instinct most dogs seem to possess, hasn’t left my parents’ side. He’s been so protective, in fact, that he came barreling out of their room last night to bark at me when I got up at 2 am for some water.
My mother has chosen to die well instead of living poorly. But really, I can’t call what she’s doing right now dying. The walls of the hospital, filled with fear and extended wait times and the ever-looming spectre of illness, feels more about dying. She is living. Each moment, each breath of spring air, each hug, is imbued with a gratitude and a joy it wouldn’t have had in a different situation.
I don’t believe one person’s tragedy is any greater or less than anyone else’s, no story more worthy of being told. But I do hope that in sharing this one I might reach someone who is struggling with a similar situation or just looking to understand why a loved one may have made the same choice.
We’re terrified, but we’re ok. We’re devastated, but happy. I have an incredibly high tolerance for stress right now but Rubio’s running out of pico de gallo leaves me in tears. We are doing what we can and continuing what routines we are able to do. We are together, and that matters most.
We are doing nothing but living, and that is enough. It is, in fact, everything. And this Mother’s Day, we’re having a hell of a celebration.
You would think by now people would have learned about the rights of service dogs in public spaces. Unfortunately, it’s just not so. Jody Mitchell, a U.S. Army veteran who lives in Kokomo, Indiana, says that she was denied a haircut at a local salon because she had her service dog, Ella, with her.
As a result of her time in the military, Mitchell has PTSD, hearing loss, and mobility problems. Ella helps her deal with those problems on a day-to-day basis. “She has added a whole new sense of independence and freedom,” Mitchell told local station Fox59. “I take her, obviously, everywhere with me, and pretty much everybody is very accepting of her and loving of her.”
Everyone, that is, except the staff at Solutions Day Spa. According to Mitchell, the employee at the front desk told her that she'd have to leave Ella in the car because no pets were allowed in the salon. "She could see her, and I was like, 'She's a service dog. Here's her vest,' she said in an interview with WTHR. "'I can give you any documentation you need, even though she's not required to have any.'" None of that was good enough. Mitchell says that the staffer just told her, "'No. She's a dog. She needs to go right out in the car.'"
Co-owner Holly Ireland claims that the entire thing was a misunderstanding, and that the woman at the front desk didn't realize that Ella was a service dog. To Mitchell, that explanation is ludicrous. "Unless I had a bright flashing neon sign above her, I think that would have been the only way I could have made it any clearer," she said.
The law with regard to service dogs in public spaces is explicit and clear: According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, a service dog should be allowed into any business or other facility open to the public. Unless it interferes with their work in some way, they should be on a leash or harness.
And yet, stories like this keep happening. For some reason, businesses aren't clear about the rights of disabled people and service dogs.
In part, this is because there's scores of people who exploit the idea of service dogs by buying fake patches and vests to pass their own pets off as service animals. It's a big problem, and it seems to be getting worse. But it can't account for all the ignorance about service animals, or the number of stories like Mitchell's that keep cropping up in the news. Business owners need to educate themselves about the rights of the disabled; not only does this kind of behavior make you look bad in the press, it's blatantly illegal.
Read more news about dogs on Dogster:
- Cruelty Charges Reinstated in Suffocation Deaths of 21 Dogs
- Texas Takes First Step in Fighting Police Shootings of Dogs
- After Living in a Tree, Boo the Dog Is Slowly Learning to Trust
I can’t recall
a love without fear
Nor a journey
So don’t embark
unless you’re clear
On all the costs
across the years
Because love etern
bears a price that burns
A flame forever
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