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Canary Feed and Pet Sitting

I love animals and all my friends and neighbours know it. No surprise, then, that when they go out for the day or take a holiday I am the person who gets asked to take care of their pets.

Much as I enjoy looking after the animals, trouble is never very far away. The most innocuous animal can prove problematic. Life is never simple when it comes to much loved pets and looking after someone else’s is a huge responsibility.

Lost Dogs

I have been presented with many challenges over the years. Dog walking isn’t usually a problem, unless you lose the dog which I did on one occasion. Thankfully I found the pooch before the owner returned. I have also looked after a cat only for it to give birth to kittens in my bedroom! This meant that I was stuck with the cat and her offspring for 6 weeks.

Cantankerous Kittens

On another occasion my neighbour decided to take a holiday just three weeks after one of her cats had produced three kittens. I was in and out of her house four or five times each day for over a week. It would have been easier to have moved in there with the feline family. This adventure resulted in me keeping one of the kittens. I should have known better!

The cute little bundle of white fluff was cantankerous at three weeks old. He hasn’t changed much and he is 15 now! I have spent the last 15 years wondering why I didn’t choose one of the other kittens. You should never be succoured into taking on a pet because it looks adorable, especially when you know that the cute face conceals an arch manipulator!

Diabetic Dog

Then there was the dog which needed insulin injections. I was a little nervous about approaching that hound with a needle but managed not to kill it or to inject the wrong dog. At least I don’t think I did. The diabetic dog had a sister which looked almost identical!

I also had to take care of a canary despite knowing nothing about these birds. I was left with the bird, the cage and a bag of canary feed. I didn’t really know how much to provide and was paranoid about my cats making a meal of my feathered friend. Would the canary end up obese, malnourished or dead? I grew to like my chirpy little companion but was relieved to hand it back alive.

Biting Lizard

One of the worse moments in my pet sitting career came when a friend asked me to mind his lizard. I like reptiles but this gecko was a feisty sort which was prone to biting. It went by the name of Eddie (Eddie Lizard!). I was convinced that this episode would end badly but the little chap survived despite me having dropped it on the bedroom floor when it bit my finger. On reflection the canary was an easier gig!

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