Covid 19

In these difficult times, we are all trying to do the best we can. A dog might not understand, why his people all of a sudden stay at home. Oh, don’t get me wrong, our furry friends LOVE it, but they might be a bit confused as well. They sense the tensions. It’s not like “the weekend”, where they are being taken out on walks, a hike, the beach, social interaction. It’s all different. Lot’s of computer or phone conversations. While pooch just wants to snuggle or best, get out of the house and let that energy out.

I am beyond thankful, that some of my clients decided to keep some of the normality and even though they are at home, I can still walk my favorites. To ensure everyones safety, we did set up a different system. To be able to keep our distance, I txt the owner when I arrive and they send out the dog, or let him/her back in. Luckily we created a bond to make this possible. I provide my own leashes, wear a mask and have a jug of water, soap, sanitizer in the car. I usually either walk in the hills where rarely people are to be seen, or stop at a small, hidden dog park, if nobody is around. Since my son is not going to school, I take him along a few times a week, he helps me wear out those energy balls. Some videos you can find on my Instagram account or Facebook page “Simply Dog Walk”.

Fingers crossed that it can stay this way until life gets back on track and hopefully all dogs will be back with me soon. Until than, take good care of yourselves!

Love,

Tanja from Simply Dog Walk ❤

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Happy Birthday, Simply Dog Walk!

It’s been a year today, when I visited this cute Puppy, which started it all. Murphy!

I was scheduled to visit Murphy for a puppy pampering from the dogwalking company Buckydog. Through a friends referral, I was able to join there Team, while my own flyers “Simply Dog Walk” received attention simultaneously.

My very first dog with Simply Dog Walk was scheduled days earlier, but happened just a few days later, with the not so friendly Chihuahua- Lucy. I did not walk her long enough to fully gain her trust, but we managed to get along for about a week until the owner was back on her feet.

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Since than, Simply Dog Walk has come a long way. A lot of appreciation goes to Buckydog, who scheduled me with many different breeds and I could quickly gain more experience.

A big “Thank you” to my Family, who has been supportive throughout the journey and has helped me a ton. Mats went on dog walks with me before he entered Kindergarten last month and he’s been the cutest to have around! My husband Evan took dogs out for walks as well, together with our own Great Pyrenees/Golden Mix, Noah.

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House sittings and boardings are always a Family affair, everyone starts being involved, snuggles, walks, takes care off, watches, plays, appreciates and loves all the different little characters.

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The reason I am writing this post is to reach out to YOU, the dog owner who put your trust in me/us!

“THANK YOU”!

I am beyond grateful to have met so many amazing dogs throughout the year and their owners/Family members. What started out with walks, developed into being asked to take care of your loved ones for an extended period of time, while you are traveling. That especially makes me/us happy! Often enough we are having a hard time saying good-bye to those cute little faces.

Until “next time’ and to many more happy Dogs!

Yours,

the “Simply Dog Walk” Team.

 

 

Boarding

Boarding a dog. For us that means integrating a new Family member. Getting used to each other, finding your spot on the couch. It means getting to know the dog on so many new levels and for the dog, meeting the rest of the Family. It is rewarding when now dogs, who stayed with us before, are already getting excited when I pull into the parking lot with them. Heading to the Gate, running along the dock, sometimes greeted from other Marina dogs. Finding our boat, getting up the ramp without hesitation and landing there paws with precision. Like they’ve never done anything else.

Lots of dogs who stay with us are the ones I walk. A certain trust level had been built with the dogs as well as, of course, there Mommy and Daddy. But it did not start out that way. The first dog we accommodated was Milo.IMG_7481

I had only met Milo briefly. I was taking care of his sister, a “CAT” a few times and now his owner was in an emergency situation and asked me, if we could watch him for the weekend. Milo had been staying in a kennel before and had an upset stomach a week after his stay. He is a sensitive guy and for cases like him, it’s better to have a more private surrounding. It was not only Milo who was nervous, I was a bit nervous as well, as I was told to not leave him unattended with my kid in one room.

Luckily all worries were without reason, our son is very respectful and listens and Milo is a sweet little guy. The first nights he checked into our bedroom a few times, like he was making sure, we are still there and he wasn’t alone.

 

Harriette was our Nr. 2, she had just turned one year old. A second being unwatched and she would chew up Mats toys. What puppies do. Harriette knows what she wants and is protesting very loud, if she does NOT get exactly that. When I decided to ignore her barking, after we had gone to bed where she wanted to be as well and my husband was just about to head to the couch, she took matters into her paws and managed to jump onto our mattress, curled up by our feet and did not move until the next morning. Impressive! Just to give you an idea, Harriette is small and our bed is quite tall. We had her for two days and it was a good introduction for all of us.img_5454

Dog Nr. 3 and now a common guest is our Coco. She is kinda like our “other dog” besides our own Noah. She is a sweetheart and is one of the few, who won’t give in, until she is sharing the bed. Oh, and she loves to give kisses.

We happened to have Coco over when we also had Family visiting from Canada and she snuggled up to them with joy. We even took her on a camping trip, with the Family from Canada and wrapped her into blankets by the fire and she changed spots from lap to lap and cuddled up with us on our rooftop tent. What an adventure for her and she took everything so well, as long as she does not have to be alone, she is just fine. A true people’s dog. She stayed with us for 10 days the first time.IMG_8143IMG_8123

Our fourth guest was Cody and he also is visiting us every few months. He is a character and very attached to his Momma. He barked at me like crazy when I met him and has this habit of attacking the feet. It does not hurt, but he caught me by surprise. Cody needs to have “his person” around and should Momma not be there, he finds his next favorite. So, I became that person to him. At our place he would attack my husbands or my sons feet, should they get too close to me. He followed me around wherever I went. Cody is not one of the dogs I walk, he is a friend of Harriette and that’s how we were introduced. Sometimes I run into Cody and his Momma on the street and it is always a very heartwarming experience when he recognizes me. He certainly has our heart and he awakes my protection mechanism every time. TEAM CODY!IMG_9107IMG_3443

We all really like to have the dogs at home. Our own dog Noah likes his room upstairs, so it was nice having some snuggle buddies in the living area. After we had those four dogs with us a few times, we boarded Luna for ten days. Luna is a Border Collie and is one of my favorite dogs to walk. I only walk her ones a week, her owner talked to me at the post office after he noticed the “Dog Walking” stickers on my car. Luna is so well trained, I like to take her for a run, as she just stays by your side. She has been the biggest dog we boarded so far and we also matched her with another dog at our home for a few days, since she is so easy going. Since than we know, we are doing fine boarding two dogs.

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One day the owner of Romy called me in distress. Romy wasn’t very cooperative to the friend, who was supposed to take care of him. We happily took him to us and he really fit right in and was snuggling up to everyone and had a great time.

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Oliver, the Labradoodle was another great guy, who we boarded at first and who than became a daily walk, as we had hit it off right away. He gets along with everyone and loves to get his fluffy white fur dirty whenever he finds a great spot to roll around in.

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Monty came over for a weekend, an 11yr old Dachshund, who did not hesitate to walk aboard. He is a super friendly fellow and Mats was especially cute with him.

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Do you think your dog would like to cuddle up on the couch with us? 😀

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What I love about Dog walking/ Pet sitting

The four legged friends are reason number one, of course. I have now met some very special dogs and also cats. Strong relationships have been built with the dogs I walk on a regular basis. I really care for them as they were my own and act quite protective sometimes. It feels even deeper, once they stayed overnight at our home. That creates a bond on a whole different level. Not only for me but also for our son and my husband, who are also caring for and playing with them. Noah, our 11yr old Golden Mix got used to it, that here and there a dog is walking in, sniffs and drinks out of his water bowl. He does not mind.

I could not imagine to be working in an office again. At least not at this time. I always liked to be active and most of the time it is nice to be outdoors. When it is pouring rain and freezing, the gear is all that matters. Sausalito and beyond is a beautiful area. I start greeting people who I run into over and over, who are out with there own dogs. It’s a nice feeling and my family is so supportive too.

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It’s the best to be welcomed from excited dogs, who are happy to see you and are eager to get out. And being able to have our son with me at times.

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Important for me is, that I don’t have to rush from one appointment to the next. Yeah, I could and I had been doing just that for a while to be able to pay bills. And sometimes it still happens. But I quickly figured out, that so much driving, lots of times not convenient at all, made it stressful. Your mind gets so busy thinking about that schedule and at times you have just 10 minutes to get to the next place.

That’s why I limited my walks to Sausalito only, this way I can team up dogs who seem to be a good fit, they can socialize and have even more fun. And my mind is not so stressed, which reflects onto them as well. I rather walk than drive!

Thank you Coco, Harriette, Romy, Bonnie, Luna, Murphy, Cooper, Alfie, Milo, Joe, Walter, Elliott, Caramel, Sanka and of course Noah as well as others, for being part of the pack!

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Luna and Romy

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Murphy and Noah

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Alfie and Cooper (and Mats)IMG_5644

Milo

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Joe

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Walter and Noah

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Caramel & Elliott

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Sanka

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Harriette with the prettiest eye-lashes

Harriette’s owner found my flyer in a little supermarket in Sausalito. She left a voice message which was delivered to me, who knows why, four days later together with some other messages. A little embarrassed for the late reply I contacted her, but she was totally cool about it. The next day I went for a meet and greet and was amazed about the energetic little pup. She has really pretty white fur with darker spots and just the prettiest long eye-lashes. Harriette had just turned a year.

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She was a hungry little one, on my first walks she just tried to eat whatever she could get a hold off and I was just hoping, that I could get everything out of her mouth in time. Other than that, she is an absolute breeze and a tough cookie, who is not really afraid of anything. The size of other dogs is not intimidating, she is up for a play whenever she gets the chance.

Harriette and I are lucky when it comes to rain, we are usually the ones getting caught by the biggest down poor’s. The first time that happened, she just looked at me and refused to set another step. I realized, she never had seen or forgotten about the rain. It was funny how she first did not enjoy, but all of a sudden when she was soaked, she did not care anymore, chased the little rivers who ran down the street and tried to jump into the puddles.

I am really happy to be Harriette’s dog walker and to have her in my Team. She is only a 5 minute walk away from where we live, can be easily walked with other dogs and loves playing fetch.

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Harriette, you are a little princess who is not afraid to get dirty. We like you a lot! 🙂

Walter, the English Bulldog puppy

December was a busy month for the whole Family. We agreed to take care of Walter, an english Bulldog puppy. I was glad, I had the help of my husband and Mats. I could rely on them fully to help hang with Walter, walk/feed/play with him, keep each other company and even clean his folds once a week. Pet-sitting is an all Family job. Thank you guys again!

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We stayed in Walter’s Family’s home for almost a month. The first week, we all got used to each other. Walter was not nurtured yet and after a walk with our male dog Noah, we entered Walter’s house together. They got along good on the walk, inside the house our 10yr old just wanted to rest, but Walter wanted to have a little more action. To have some quietness, we found a room for Noah to sleep without interruption.

The Bulldog is a funny guy. At the beginning he surprised me a few times staring at me with this serious face and than making these funny high pitched noises, before he suddenly charged at me. All play, but man, a few times my heart dropped because I just didn’t know him that well yet. He just loved to go on walks and was the loudest snorer. We spend his first Christmas together and when Mats was unwrapping a present, he would try stealing the wrapping paper. And he barked like crazy at all those weird presents who suddenly appeared under the Christmas tree.

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He managed to knock over Mats in excitement and felt really bad afterwards. I am not sure if he felt all that sorry about chewing up my favorite boots and also my husbands working shoes. Both of them when we had left him alone for only an hour.

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But hey, that’s what puppy’s do, right?

Walter, we know you will continue to make your family very happy and well maybe, we will see you again on their next vacation.  🙂

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COCO! Oh, Coco. Biggest sweetheart.

Happy holidays to everyone!

The day after we had attached the car stickers, I was walking Romeo for the first time together with Mats, when the phone rang. The person on the phone mentioned my car behind the buildings and I immediately responded: “Oh, I was told I could park there.” But, no, I wasn’t in trouble. Donna saw the Simply dog walk advertisement and was curious if I could walk her dog. She was suffering from a knee injury and had just moved to Sausalito. And that is when our story started.

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Meanwhile we have come a long way, at least, it seems that way. We have gone through a crazy time, when thick toxic wildfire smoke was hanging over Sausalito and us running around with masks. Well, the dogs still had to be walked, but Coco’s owner Donna was one of the few who thoughtfully had the health of her little one as well as us on her mind and made us do short ones only. Thank you, Donna!

But let me tell you a bit about Coco. Most of the time she is the first and last dog I walk. She is sweet and very submissive. But she can be stubborn too and she loves her Momma more than anything! And that is how our first minutes go down. Donna, the owner is usually home, when I pick her up and that is where Coco would like to stay too. I totally get it. She loves the walks, but she just doesn’t want to be away from Donna. Treats are not helping to move her forward. I try to tell her, that she needs her exercise and that I promise, I’ll bring her back. Not so sure, if she quite understands me, it takes quite a bit of patience. It is funny, it’s usually happening every single time. Like I said, she is a little stubborn.

Sometimes on our stroll, I drift away in thoughts and enjoy the beauty of Sausalito

when a sudden pull on the leash gets me back to reality. I get this look and four paws 🐾 are in the ground.

It helps though, if I bring another dog along. She is actually loving it, even though I think the first times she was not sure at all, if she would. So, I first brought Noah, our dog.

It went really well and they got into the groove. Always great to have a success story, when two dogs meet for the first time.

And than I took her with Romy, two totally different dogs, one hyper and full of energy and than shy, sweet Coco. They are best friends now, Romeo happens to live in the same apartment complex and every time I pick up Coco, her first move is towards his door. Often I have to disappoint her.

They both love the beach and I try to take them down there on low tide.

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Coco was also there, when I walked 3 dogs for the first time. She is the one with the calming energy and that helps a lot. That was a great walk.

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Lately I have been walking her a lot with 6 months old Boston Terrier puppy Bonnie. They both rather be home and start running much faster, when they think they are heading back to there house.

I am looking forward to many more walks and adventures with Coco and fun talks with her owner Donna. Glad you two came into my life and I wish you a wonderful holiday season!

Well, I see you later… :–D

It’s picking up quickly!

The following weeks things got busy. I was walking Lucy my Nr. 1 dog twice a day and Buckydog ,the dog walking company I am also walking for, set me up with lots of different opportunities. I was able to create stronger connections with the puppy Murphy and take my son along.

We also got to hang with easy going french bulldog Joe a lot and like him more and more.

We had Duffy, an energetic, super friendly red Lab, who does not like walking up hills. I was glad I got the hint from Buckydog, since they live on a big hill and it would not have been much fun to get surprised by Duffy refusing to walk it up at the end. We drove her down in my car and walked around downtown Mill Valley and checked out a nice park together.

There was our neighbor dog Sanka, which I have known since she is a puppy. She is dominant and sometimes I walk her with our dominant dog Noah. They get along great and have a little contest going every time to whom is the last to pee on the other dogs pee. LOL!

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That week we were also helping our friends out and watched cute Chihuahua Bubba. He snuck into bed every night. A bit unusual for us, but he is a calm sleeper.

We were in for a treat at there place and enjoyed lots of hot tub time.

Olli in Tiburon was a last minute add and he is a very strong guy. I was assured once again, that he is very kid friendly, before driving to the house. With a harness he was manageable, we were all tired at the end of the last walk of the day.

I met puppy Baloo, very energetic and smart dog. I had already talked about him a little bit on facebook and instagram, see post below.

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Have a happy week!

Joe and Luna

Joe and Luna were the first two dogs I walked together. I went to Joe’s house first and met the little french bulldog. I had not met one before and my ears mistakenly caught a snort for a growl. He was so small, that of course he wasn’t able to jump into the car. Since I had just met him, I was hesitant to pick him up. All went well and when I got to know him a bit better later on, I realized that there was nothing to worry about, he is a funny and super friendly guy.

I also met Luna for the first time that day. It was hot and I realized that people living on hills must like to hire dog walkers! We went up and down, trying to get to a park. Luna is very energetic and Joe had a hard time keeping up with his short legs. He did a good job and Luna was also tired at the end of the walk. It was fun, walking those two friendly ones together.

I was walking Luna the next day again and Mats came along in a stroller. And that’s when I really started liking the hills. 🙂

Puppy love!

How cute he was! The second dog  I walked and gave a “Puppy pampering” was Murphy. It was the first time I went to a house with directions on where to find the dog and what to do. It felt a bit weird to walk into a strangers house. I took my shoes off and walked around on tip toes, a bit nervous and trying to remember how I found everything and being respectful not to leave any traces. Silly, since they booked the service.

It was a great experience, taking that little guy for a walk, giving him some food and playing around with him throwing toys and balls. I could tell immediately, that he will be a great companion for the family. But I also knew, that Puppy time is an important period, where they learn best. Unfortunately I was not in contact with the owners directly, since this dog was given to me by a dog walking company. I did not find out the commands or matching up any other training methods. It’s a bit of a bummer, as I want the best for the dog and owner, even if I am “just a walker” and not a trainer.

A big change for me happened, when the suggestion was made, that I could bring my little man to meet Murphy! Oh my gosh, I had not thought, that that was even an option. So, the next time, I took Mats with me, they had so much fun together!

From that moment, my first question would be if the dog is kid friendly. If that was the case, I would go and meet the dog first and than decide, if it also seemed safe to me, to introduce them to Mats.

As long as Mats likes to tag along and he likes it better than going to daycare, this is the perfect job. He will go to Kindergarten next year and his interests will most likely also shift and he does not want to hang with his Mom so much. So, I better enjoy this time! 🙂

Thanks Murphy!

Meanwhile I also ran into the owner and we are able to communicate the needs of Murphy a little better!