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June 13, 2011

What About Dad?

Father's Day is this Sunday, so there's still time to find a thoughtful gift for your the dog dad in your life, and here are just a few ideas:

  1. Honor dad's generous spirit with a donation to the Calgary Humane Society or his favourite rescue organization in his name.
  2. Give a dog dad the gift of time: wrap up a custom-made coupon for dog washes or grooming, dog walking, or even a photo shoot.
  3. Celebrate the love of a pup with a framed photo - perfect for the mantle or a dog dad's desk.
  4. Surprise a dog dad with a photo mug or keychain featuring his best friend. Find a website with photo gifts, upload a photo and you're set.
  5. How about a gift certificate from an awesome online pet boutique? Sometimes dad likes to pamper his best friend!
  6. Plan a special outing (you, dad and dog), pack a picnic and enjoy an outdoor day of summer fun.
So don't forget the doggie loving dad's this weekend. They aren't always just about big screen TVs and Surround Sound Systems. Well maybe just a little...

Happy Father's Day! Woof!

June 6, 2011

Why Can’t We Be More Like Dogs?

Dogs are always true to themselves. They do what they want, live in each and every moment and are completely happy with whom they are.

We as humans however, trudge off to work everyday and face the unbearable monotony of our boring and unfulfilling work day. Why do we do this? In order to achieve all the things we are told we want. House, car, nice clothes, vacations and so on. We work 40, 50 or 60 hours each week to make the money we need to buy these things and most of us are unhappy in the jobs we do. And once we buy all this stuff, most of us are still unhappy and we continue to only see the things that we don’t have. It’s a vicious circle and we spend our lives existing instead of actually living.

Dogs however, take each moment as it comes. Although many dogs experience extreme sadness and despair through neglect, abuse, starvation and loneliness, they still find the good in everything and experience extreme joy once all that hardship passes.

Most dogs living within good families sit at home day after day waiting for us to return and as boring as it may get for them, they are completely happy doing so. They wait patiently for us to return which is the highlight of their day. They really only have one desire, to be our friend and companion. They only want to love and be loved in return. Everything else is either an annoyance or a bonus.

How simple would life be for us if all we cared about was being someone’s friend and wanting to be loved by those closest to us?

This old dog could certainly stand to learn a new trick.

April 27, 2011

Even Feral Dogs Deserve A Chance

I have a friend named Patty who recently moved to the Okotoks area and lives in a house with good sized yard. A perfect set up for someone who loves dogs and cats!

After moving there she quickly found an awesome rescue organization based in Okotoks called Pound Rescue. Believing in what they do, Patty ended up fostering a loveable little pup named Charlie who had met with some very bad luck early in his life. Due to his injuries, Charlie ended up losing one of his rear legs. The three-legged dog soon made his way into Patty’s heart and she went from fostering him to adopting him. I always meant to blog on this story because Patty’s dedication to Charlie was amazing as she nursed him back to health, created a loving home for him to feel safe in and eventually making him into the confident, fully functioning dog he is today.

Yesterday, Patty sent me a note on a new Pound Rescue foster she has dedicated her time to, a feral puppy she named Bear. She received this puppy only a week ago, he is only three months old and is believed to have never interacted or even been touched by human hands. He and his siblings were found on April 18th covered in porcupine quills.

Below is an email update she recently sent to Pound Rescue to let them know how Bear is progressing with his rehab into a home filled with love, food and a safe environment. Keep in mind, Bear is a wild puppy and has never known life with humans.

“I picked up the puppy on Thursday, April 21st in the AM, feeling sorry for him from the start when the vet picked him up and he defecated all over himself because he was so terrified. I got him home and into the kennel where he cowered into the corner.

I spent most of Thursday leaving him alone; Charlie and the cats spent lots of time in his room checking him out, I would walk in the room occasionally and just talk to him. Thursday evening I was able hand feed and he even let me crawl into the kennel to spend the night petting and scratching!

Friday I picked up an X-pen, which I set up in the living room by the TV (for people noise), in front of the window (for viewing) and right where he could see the other animals and myself all the time. This allowed me to also sit in the pen with him and Charlie while watching TV and I could pet Bear for hours!

Saturday we progressed to outside in the yard, I felt like the poor guy needed a stretch! I left a leash on him but let him run in the yard and just be a puppy. He came running to me on the deck with Charlie when I held out a treat and called. After that he started to come up to me over and over again to see if and whenI had any more to hand out. Turns out Bear loves the squeaky toys, and runs after this one special dog ball I have in the yard. Saturday night was spent in the pen again, all three of us, getting pets and loving!

Sunday was the best! We went in the yard again, Bear ran and played with toys and with Charlie, and even remember to come running to me to check my hand for treats again. My friend Chris came by with his dog, Bailey. They all three played and played, Chris could not believe his eyes! Sunday night in the pen again (need a bigger pen), Bear enjoyed getting pets until he fell asleep.

Monday I left him in his pen with Charlie roaming free in the house. While I’m at work, they have the window to look out and each other for company and when I get home we'll go outside for more play time.

If you can believe it, he's even started using the dog training, pee pads! Whew!”

This is just the beginning for Patty, Bear, three-legged Charlie and the cats. Patty’s goal is to be able to trust the newly rehabilitated Bear and Charlie with the run of the house in about a month. This is another example of people’s dedication and love for the unwanted and unfortunate. What would we do without folks like Patty and the people who run rescue organizations like Pound Rescue?

Keep it up Patty, we’re rooting for you and Bear! I think she’s actually thinking of renaming him from Bear to Teddy.

For more information on Pound Rescue visit their website at or "Like" them on their Facebook fan page.

April 21, 2011

Forget the dog, beware of owner!

I just can't sit back and let this go by.

On Wednesday, April 20th someone decided to post an ad on Kijiji completely slamming our company, our service rep and our owner, Roland Pearson.

I feel the need to defend ourselves and I’m going to choose to do it here on my blog. I hate to make this public and I’ll apologize upfront when I start getting personal. Because I will…

The ad posted on Kijiji, April 20, 2011 is as follows:

"i just caught an employee of poooh busters going through my mail box not just placing somthing in but rummaging through

apparently this is ok with poooh busters because the owner roland hung up several times when confronted on this issue. he then called my sister and harrased her that he would sue if i posted about this lol here you go Roland Pearson fill your boots thief...

take this for what it is worth... but i cannot recomend Poooh busters

403-462-4351 Roland Pearson @ poooh busters

how about you guarantee me your employees are bonded

a guaranteed piece of SH$# is still a piece of #@&*

Edit thank you for all your replies. yes pooh busters was hired to do two family yards, all accounts are prepaid address is clear and there was no reason to be in mailbox. yes we have contacted police and canada post.

April 21, 2011…yesterdays post got 96 hits and i received many emails of support . You are right we do need posts like this to warn others of shady practices, word of mouth good or bad will have a great impact on people like these..."

As you can see the post was very well written *insert sarcasm here*. Additionally, I have to say the view of this incident from the author’s point of view is completely twisted, much like the author himself.

Our side of the story:

Our long time, faithful and hard working service representative, Shaun visited a brand new client's yard for the first time. She happens to be the mother of another client of ours. She liked the idea of Poooh Busters coming to clean her daughter’s yard so much; she decided to hire us as well for her own yard. You see she has a 30-something, lazy son living a glorious life filled with X-Box and Chitos dwelling in her basement. He seems to think that owning his own dog and living with his mother negates his responsibility to clean up after his own dog. Because his mother doesn’t want to clean up her son’s dog’s crap herself, she’s hired us to do it for him. Unfortunately for her, she’s paying for it. Surprise, surprise…

Shaun arrived at this house for the very first visit, dropped our door hanger in the mailbox and started to follow his normal routine of cleaning the yard. Inside the house Shaun could hear the family dog going crazy because like most dogs we encounter every day, it didn’t like seeing a stranger roaming around its backyard territory. Funny thing is, dogs don’t know any better, and humans do. Most sane people would ask why this person is in the yard. Not this guy.

I assume he was immediately put into a bad mood because with his dog going crazy he was forced to hit the pause button on his very important game to see what the commotion was all about (I have to wonder as a side note, why wasn’t this dude at work?). He had emerged from the basement ready for a confrontation with Shaun. He was immediately very angry and threatening and even threatened to release his dog on Shaun.

Of course Shaun decided this was a good time to leave the backyard and went out the gate to the front. Shaun decided it might be best to check his door hanger card to see if he was maybe at the wrong address. Why was this guy so upset? Shaun went to the client's mailbox to pull out the door hanger card in hopes of confirming he had the correct address. I guess this is where we are accused of “rummaging” through our client’s mailbox.

After it was over and Shaun left, the angry son must have immediately hopped onto our website and grabbed some information off of it, including Roland’s contact information. He called Roland and began yelling and screaming at him, threatening and belittling Roland and our staff. Roland as most people would do hung up on him as it was not a productive conversation. Not to mention he wasn’t even our client, his mother hired us. This maniac barraged Roland’s phone with at least 10 more calls, leaving messages that would make a sailor blush.

Roland could not get a hold of our client so he went to the next person on the file, her daughter, our other client. Roland wondered if there was anything she could to do help us with the situation that was started by her brother. This is where we are accused of “harassing” her. Note: I can spell the word harassed.

We eventually did get a hold of our client and let her know what had happened. We have yet to come to some sort of resolve on the issue and when we do I’ll be sure to place an update to this blog.

It may be unprofessional of me to post this to our public via my blog but we are a hard working, family owned company. I especially work very hard at creating the image of a fun, family-oriented culture for Poooh Busters, so I am taking this attack somewhat personally.

I mean come on, we pick up dog crap for a living, there shouldn’t be this much drama in what we do. Please accept my apologies for the rant but I wanted to make sure our side of the story was heard. We have made mistakes in the past and hope we did our best to correct them. If we were wrong in this case, we'd sit and take our lumps.

We were just doing what we were hired to do. Unfortunately for Shaun, he just happened to come across a gap-toothed, basement dwelling troll who got mad because he actually had to get out of bed before noon.

April 1, 2011

A Positive Message

As many of us experience on Facebook, we inevitably find people we've lost touch with over the years. In one case I stumbled across Allison, someone I dated for a few years back in the early 90's. We eventually parted ways.

Some 15 years later Facebook comes along and reunites us in a virtual world. She is happily married and living in Iowa. Back when we dated, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know her Moms. They were a couple of quirky, happy-go-lucky ladies who travelled the country in their huge RV, and every now and then they would blow into town and stay with us for a few days. One of the things I remember fondly about these wonderful ladies was their love for all animals, particularly dogs. They used to always travel with their dog Jessie, a medium sized mix breed who looked a little like a German Sheppard. I recall Jessie was an incredibly friendly and well-behaved dog. Not knowing much about dogs back then, I did know that this dog was an above average, good and loyal dog with a huge heart...much like their guardians. Jessie has since passed on but the Moms always found room in their hearts and family to care for more dogs since.

Allison recently posted a note about her Moms and their latest experience with another one of their lovable pooches. I was at first saddened to read this story but I soon found it was written with a sanguine message despite the tragedy. With the unfortunate events that sometimes fall upon us as pet parents, it's nice to see that we can take those same events and turn them into something positive.

This is Allison’s note:

“To begin, my moms are the Mother Theresas of the pet kingdom - they have always had multitudes of cats and dogs that have been discarded or mistreated by the masses. The day before yesterday my mom was doing her usual park excursion with their current two pups. During that walk, their eldest dog, Emma, was accosted by a couple young brutish canines. The large alphas were muzzled, which my mother was most thankful for, but the excitement was still too much for Emma to handle. By the time they returned to the van, Emma was in great distress and went into horrific convulsions, biting and swollowing her tongue and suffered a heart attack. My wee little mom (4'10"-71 yrs) had to wrestle this extremely large animal, who had just died before her, into her van. Her other dog, Camilla, watching on in bug-eyed horror. She did it--she always gets done what needs to be done. When she arrived home, shaking still, she popped on Skype to tell me the sad news.

So what is the moral or point of this story? There is no one to hate or be angry with. No injustice to scream about. There is no other outcome to wish for. (Secretly, I will always carry the wish for all living creatures to pass miraculously in their sleep.) She is sad, she is rattled (a diet-breaking vodka was in order), but she is thankful. Emma had become so old and so crippled. She was suffering with the pain of her age -- and in a quick, unexpected moment it was over. Emma is at rest. My moms were saved the heartwrenching decision lurking in the near future to have her put to sleep and out of her daily misery. Those big dogs that made a fuss and went after her--they did not intend to cause her to die. It just happened that way. Life. Life takes over.

But my moms--it is terribly cliche but they are my heroes. Little old ladies kicking life's ass and taking names. Tough as nails. Not falling to pieces when a crisis rears it's head. And yet so giving, such open and welcoming hearts. Emma was alive still because of them. She, and countless wonderful animals before her, had long, well-fed, warm and happy lives because of them. And for as long as they live, any animal in need or distress that crosses their path will get nothing less. Love. Love takes over.”

Allison tells me Emma has been placed in a special place in the country to rest beside her past siblings including our beloved Jessie. Thank you for sharing this story Allison.

March 22, 2011

Western Canada Weight Pulling

It’s been a while since I last blogged. This is definitely a crazy time of year for Poooh Busters, the snow melts uncovering layer upon layer of that dreaded doggie doo. People call us desperate for help and want us to come immediately and we try our best to accommodate!

On top of our crazy season we try to fit in a bunch of other things as well. One of the biggies coming up for us is the Calgary Pet Expo. We are attending with our booth next weekend on March 26th and 27th. We can’t wait and are very excited as always to be part of such a great event. Please be sure to come down and look around. If you bring a donation for the Calgary Humane Society, you’ll get $2.00 off your admission!

The other thing we worked hard to fit in between initial cleans was to attend the Western Canada Weight Pulling event that took place on March 12th and 13th. Poooh Busters sponsored the final event. We also sponsored one of the awards that were given to the top weight pulling dogs. Sleep Rover Doggie Hotel & Daycare sponsored the other one.

This was an incredible and unique experience to say the least. Being a part of the pet industry, we get exposed to a lot of different activities and events for pets but this was certainly one of the coolest ones I’ve seen!

Basically, dogs are fixed to a pulling harness and compete to pull the most weight in the quickest time. Let me tell you, these dogs LOVE their job! They work hard to pull that cart of cement blocks across the finish line and are begging to do it again.

The event we attended was the final one of the season and the top dogs were there competing to be the best. The Poooh Busters team, including Mrs. Big Nate were there cheering on the dogs.

It’s a little known sport and the attendance for each event is up and down. It’s too bad, because I can see this being a really fun and exciting competition for competitors and spectators alike.

To help bring about more awareness, Poooh Busters will be working with organizer, Sean Hammell again for next year’s pulling season. We really hope to help him grow the audience and participation in the future so the dogs who are working hard and competing get the applause and cheers they deserve!

If you want more information on this dog weight pulling sport in Canada, be sure to visit the International Weight Pulling Association (IWPA) website. This is the organization that Sean Hammell’s events are registered through. They have the events listed, the results for the season and the champions. There is some really great stuff to check out.

February 28, 2011

Calgary PetExpo is

offering CKC Canine Good Neighbour Testing!

The Canine Good Neighbour (CGN) training program embraces both purebred and mixed-breed dogs and is fun, rewarding, and useful. It encourages owners to have a better and richer relationship with their dogs. The program also enhances community awareness of responsible dog ownership and the numerous benefits associated with dog ownership.

To become Canine Good Neighbour Certified you and your dog must demonstrate confidence and control and pass a series of 12 Tests. A registered CGN evaluator will assess and pass or fail your performance.


The PetExpo is excited to offer 45 Open Test Times during the Show.
A lottery will be held from all
e-submissions to fill the available times.
Requests for testing will be accepted until March 15th.
Selected Teams will be notifed immediately.

To Enter - Email

Be sure to include:

  • Your name
  • Your Dogs name
  • Your Contact information (email & phone number)

All tests will be held at the Show either Saturday, March 26th or Sunday, March 27th.

If you and your dog are selected you will be notified via email and assigned a scheduled time for your CGN Test. All Teams selected will be provided with Free Admission into the Show.

There is a $20 Fee to participate in the CGN Test that is payable at registration.

For more information on Special Requirements - please click on the below:

February 24, 2011

Going Green Without Even Knowing It!

With my interest in technology (Apple products specifically), I realized that not only is it fun to have an iPhone, iPad and an iMac, it’s also environmentally more friendly.

We here at Poooh Busters are not only champions of responsible pet guardianship and for supporting Calgary local businesses, we believe in being environmentally responsible.

So I was happy to read an article about how using technology today is helping our environment. This example involves some of my favourite things; books and music. The following is an article from a great “green” website called One Simple Act.

Green Books and Music
Have you ever wondered what the future of the newspaper and books will be in this electronic age? Technology has changed the way we read the written word. There is a plethora of gadgets to make our lives faster and easier and maybe a bit greener. You can read books on computers, electronic tablets, digital readers or e-books, and even some cell phones. And we can listen to music on MP3 players and computers.

Whether you choose a real book or a digital book, they both have an environmental impact. Which is greener? It depends on the number of books you read and the various uses you can get from one electronic gadget.

Each option’s environmental impact is concentrated in a different place. The biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the book industry is from paper production, accounting for almost 70 per cent of the industry’s emissions. For digital readers, the most carbon-intensive step is production of the device itself. The greatest impact of reading online is the energy that it takes to power the computer while reading or listening to music.

Despite the initial cost of electronic book readers and the plastic used to create them, they can have a smaller eco-footprint than paper books. With an e-book reader, you can download books, newspapers and magazines from anywhere so you won’t have to drive to the bookstore to pick up the paper versions. To increase your green points, you can recycle your reader when you're done with it.

If you’re not sold on e-books, there are other ways to be a greener reader. Hopping on your bike and pedaling to the local library will reduce your personal transportation impact. Library books are a much more eco-friendly way than buying a book brand new since it avoids all the costs associated with publishing and transportation. Your local second-hand bookseller is also a good choice for finding reused goods, and websites like Kijiji let you trade your used items with other users and keep more trash out of landfills. Schools, nursing homes, gyms, or shelters may also accept donations of old magazines. Ask first though as there is concern with the spreading of germs.

Carbon offsetting can be used when there are no other green alternatives or along with other green alternatives. Reusing, donating, buying and donating used book and garage sales, freecycling and encouraging publishing companies to print on recycled paper can still be the first alternatives.

One Simple Acts
  • Switch to iTunes: think of the plastic that won't be used for CD cases; the paper that won’t be used for the CD covers; and think of the CD's that won’t stack and take up space.
  • At Tunes for Trees, for every 10 tracks you buy they plant a tree for free.
  • Industrialized nations, which account for 20% of the world's population, consume 87% of the world's printing and writing paper. Try an e-book.
Minimize the environmental impact of your electronics by using it for as long as possible and recycling it at the end of its life.

February 15, 2011

Good Dog Owner or Bad Dog Owner?

Do you consider yourself a good dog guardian? Many of us, me and Mrs. Nate included, feel we are exceptional pet parents. We walk our dogs daily, we feed them quality food, and they get regular grooming and vet visits.

Well I found this little quiz on a blog called the Somerville Bark. I enjoyed its “tongue in cheek” approach but carries a very important message that we all need reminding of every once in a while.

Take the quiz and see where you score!

You brush your dog’s teeth once a:
a) Day
b) Week
c) Millennium

You walk your dog on a:
a) Leash
b) Long piece of string
c) Telepathic plane

You bathe your dog when your:
a) Car smells doggy
b) House smells doggy
c) Neighborhood smells doggy

You clean up after your dog:
a) Always
b) When someone is looking
c) When Environment Canada cites you for having an illegal landfill

When your dog is gassy in the middle of your dinner party, you:
a) Quickly light the candles for “ambiance”
b) Sternly order your dog from the room
c) Secretively point to the person to your left and mouth “woo-eee!”

Your dog comes home with orange fur in his mouth right around the time your next-door neighbor’s cat, who is often in your backyard, is missing. You:
a) Bury the fur and rehearse your alibi
b) Apologize to Mrs. Murphy and never let Fido outdoors again
c) Trade your dog in for a cat

When the neighbors in Copperfield complain that your dog’s barking can be heard all the way to Tuscany, you:
a) Invest in “Dog Training for Dummies”
b) Tell them to invest in soundproof windows
c) Trade your dog in for a Basenji

Your black suit is covered in white fur again. You:
a) Decide to trade in basic black for winter white
b) Carry lint brushes with you everywhere and even use them on your dog
c) Trade your dog in for a Mexican hairless

When your pound of chocolate box is suddenly empty and wrappers are strewn in a path to Fido’s bed, you:
a) Follow the plan you have neatly typed out and hanging on the fridge for such emergencies
b) Panic and call your mother
c) Punish Fido — those were your favorite kind of truffles

When your dog gets a little too intimate with the chow at the Southland Off-leash Park, you:
a) Say, “Those rascals,” and walk with dignity to the car
b) Say, “That’s amore,” and look on
c) Don’t notice because you’re on your cell phone

If you answered “a” to most of these, you can pat yourself on the back — you live in a very strange, dog-centric world but try to be considerate of others.

If you answered mostly “b,” this is probably your first dog and with time you’ll come around.

If you answered “c,” you should own a ferret. Owning a dog means more than just picking up after them (and some dog parents even fail at that, so call Poooh Busters).

Luckily, Calgary for the most part is on top of it — but as we all know, there are no bad dogs, just bad guardians.

February 1, 2011

A Sad Day For The Husky's

I’m sure most of you have heard of the senseless and inhumane slaughter of the 100 dog sledding Huskys in Whistler, BC.

Outrage and sadness are my initial emotions after reading the news story and watching the coverage on the CBC news website.

After the initial emotions subside and I get a chance to think about it, I start to analyze why this happened, how it could have been handled differently and what could have been done to prevent it in the first place.

After a round of emails with Mrs. Big Nate and our friend Melaina a few things were brought to light. Firstly, some folks might have thought a mass adoption of these dogs would have been the answer. Melaina immediately squashed this idea knowing full well that these particular dogs were not in an adoptable state. They never would be. They weren’t raised in an environment of domestication and would have only posed a harmful threat to the humans who may have adopted them.

So the only answer in this case is to euthanize them. I say euthanize, not slaughter. It could have been done humanly under a vet’s care and supervision. Unfortunately, that costs a whole lot more than a few bullets and a sharp knife. It’s sad to know that the owner(s) of the company that used these dogs for their own financial gain couldn’t at least return the favour of a humane death. After all they wouldn’t have made the money they did without the dogs in the first place!

Secondly, if we as humans would just stop giving these businesses our money, they might go away! It just reminds me of the dolphins. I remember going to Mexico and seeing the “Swim with The Dolphins” attraction. I thought to myself, I didn’t know there were dolphins in Mexico. Then I went to the Dominican Republic and once more saw a similar attraction and again in Jamaica. Turns out most of these dolphins are caught by Japanese fisherman and shipped off all around the world for our entertainment. Wonder what happens to the dolphins that aren’t needed in these cases?

If you want to know more about this subject, watch a movie called “The Cove”. Be prepared for outrage and tears.

The Huskys dog sledding attraction in Whistler, BC is just another example of outright animal exploitation and cruelty. This time it’s sadly right here in our own country.

So let’s end the cycle! Stop buying puppies from a pet store, stop going to the circus, stop paying for pictures with an iguana or parrot. We as consumers and patrons have a huge responsibility to stop supporting businesses that take part in this shameful exploitation of animals and toss them away like so much garbage once they are no longer required.

January 31, 2011

Are you a Yelper?

Ever since I got my iPhone, I’ve downloaded dozens and dozens of apps. It’s hard not to be a little addicted to trying out new apps as they are released.

Most of the time, I find the apps I download are not user friendly, some may have bugs or they’re just plain useless. But every once in a while I find an app I simply love and wonder how I ever got along without it.

One such app is called Yelp. If you are familiar with you know what I mean. Yelp created a wonderful site to help folks find and talk about great (and not so great) businesses.
The one thing I love about a site like is that I can read the user reviews before I buy a product. I look for overall score, how many reviews have been submitted and finally I read the reviews themselves. This really helps me determine if I should buy the product I’m thinking about.

Another great site that I use before booking any travel is This site is simply awesome for reviews. If you want to have a nice holiday in Mexico at an all-inclusive resort, you simply must read the traveler’s reviews of the hotel you are thinking of staying at! Again, the reviews I read make a huge impact on my decision. is set up for everyday businesses in your local area. Thinking of trying a new restaurant? Look it up on Yelp, chances are you’ll find reviews from previous diners. Want to know if that automotive place does a good job of fixing your car and at a reasonable rate? Check with Yelp first! or your Yelp iPhone app really helps you decide if you should take your chances and spend your hard earned dollars at a business you are thinking of patronizing.

So why am I telling you about this? Well because we at Poooh Busters feel we are a responsible business that provides great value to our clients as well as excellent customer service. We’ve thrown our hat into the Yelp ring and added our business to their listings.

Now people like you (our customers, past and present) can go onto Yelp and provide any kind of feedback about our business that you want others to know. Good or bad, we can take it! A company’s true worth is in its customer’s feedback.

So in order to get the ball rolling we have an offer for our weekly clients. If you as an existing client submit any Yelp feedback, we’ll give you one free week of service! That’s right, one free week for two minutes of your time and your opinion on our service.

So go to today, create an account and start yelping about all your favourite and not-so-favourite businesses.

January 17, 2011

Five Star Accommodations

Do you feel sometimes your pet lives better than you do? What level of accommodations do you provide for your animals?

Mrs. Nate and I have always allowed our pets to have the run of the house. They go where they like, sleep where they like and pretty much do whatever they like.

Some might say we aren’t setting enough boundaries for our “kids” but when it comes down to it, if our pets are happy, we’re happy.When we adopted Burberry from the Calgary Humane Society, one of the staff there was slightly concerned that we were bringing this new member of our family into a home where there already existed two other cats plus two dogs. Our friend, Melaina who works there assured her co-worker, “Don’t worry, their house is like a Five Star hotel for pets.”

Since then that statement kind of stuck with me. When I look at what we provide for our brood of five, Melaina is absolutely right. The entire house is at their disposal and we provide so much specifically just for them. Kitty condos on every floor, area rugsplaced for the purpose of eating on and pet beds in several rooms.

Not only do they have all this available to them, they pretty much play, rest and sleep wherever they wish. Oscar loves to lie on his back in the mornings on our bed, snuggling down deep in our cozy duvet. The three cats sprawl out on our master bath floor as it is equipped with in-floor heating. They LOVE the heat the floor generates and spend much of their time there. Chloe hangs out on the dining room table and kitchen counters. Mojo takes up much room on the couch lying on the pillows; we’ll sit anywhere on the couch but in his spot. Heaven forbid we disturb him! Mr. Goo insists that the fireplace be turned on so he can sprawl out in front the warmth of the fire.There are constantly toys spread all over the house, they all get fed the same time every day and expect it (and there is a treat schedule too).

If dinner or snacks are late, we hear about it! The kitty litter is cleaned every day and the dogs
go for a walk not once but twice daily. Not only are the accommodations plush, they have my wife and I serving them hand and foot with play time, pets and one on one time.

Now I’m sure we’re not the only crazy ones in this world who dote over their pets. I’m sure there are a ton of homes out there where the pets rule and we as the humans sacrifice so they get what they want and when they want it. Aren't there? I hope...

How about you? What do you do to pamper your pets and keep them happy?

January 6, 2011

Resolutions For Your Dog

With the arrival of a New Year inevitably comes a variety of New Year’s "resolutions." Mrs. Nate and I don’t really believe in resolutions but we tend to secretly make ones anyway. I personally think if you’re going to do something, you’re going to do it! You don’t need a certain time of the year to begin making a change for the better.

But since we all jump onto the resolution bandwagon every year, I thought a list of resolutions that involve not only our own well-being but the well-being of our pets should be included too! So how may we improve ourselves as pet parents? What New Year’s resolutions should dog guardians consider?

Here are 9 suggestions for your consideration:

1. Provide your dog with the highest quality nutrition possible. This means researching the ingredients in dog food and often, thinking outside the grocery store kibble aisle. It’s easy to research for quality dog foods, or even better, you can ask the experts at Tail Blazers – Health Food Store for Pets. They have very knowledgeable folks working for them and carry nothing but the best food products for all pets.

2. Make it a point to ensure your dog's health through providing adequate and appropriate exercise. This is partly how Mrs. Big Nate and I lost around 90lbs each.

3. Be realistic about your dog's weight. Obesity shortens longevity, dogs, cats and people. If you can't feel your dog's ribs easily, he is too fat. We are guilty for Oscar and Mr. Goo’s obesity problem and are working on it by feeding them a raw diet.

4. Train your dog. Training is not a luxury, it is necessary. Not only will appropriate training make living with your dog more enjoyable for you, it will make life more enjoyable for your dog by providing him with the mental stimulation all dogs need and crave.

5. Make it easy for your dog to succeed. If your dog loves chewing on shoes, do not allow him unsupervised access to shoes. If your dog eliminates in the house, provide him with plenty of opportunities to eliminate outside by giving him frequent breaks.

6. Be appreciative of how wonderful your dog is. One of the biggest elements of successful training is looking for desirable behaviors and reinforcing them with something your dog likes and appreciates - a treat, a butt scratch, a game of tug, the opportunity to go for a walk. Never miss an opportunity to thank your dog for good behavior.

7. Make time for your dog. This may mean rearranging your schedule. It may mean going out in the cold or rainy weather to give your dog a walk. It may mean skipping Wednesday night book club so that you can enroll in the agility class you wanted to take. It may mean spending less time on Facebook and more time playing, training, and exercising with your dog.

8. Be a responsible dog owner - keep identification tags on your dog, renew your dog's annual license, make the annual veterinary appointment, clean up after your dog, respect leash laws, etc.

9. Help a less fortunate dog at least once this year. Remember that not all dogs are as lucky as yours. Not all dogs have regular meals, veterinary care, someone who loves them and will play with them, a home to call their own. There are many ways you can help less fortunate dogs - by making donations of either goods (beds, leashes, collars, food, toy) or cash or by volunteering your time to our local Calgary Humane Society. There are many, many rescues located in and around Calgary that could use our help as well. Our favourite rescues include ARF, ARRCS, and Little Mutt’s Rescue.

January 4, 2011

Pet Care Subsidy

My friend Melaina from the Calgary Humane Society posted a link to a Calgary Herald article on her Facebook wall. It talks of how our recent recession has affected pet care right here in Calgary. It’s a sad situation to say the very least.

Her post and the related article are timely. Only two weeks ago one of our past clients who remain a loyal fan of Poooh Busters asked me if there were any resources available for pet owners who struggle with the costs associated with regular pet care. Annual shots and check-ups specifically.

The story posted by the Calgary Herald talks mostly of extreme cases where charges were laid against the pet parent for neglect, allowing their pets to suffer from injuries they sustained or from an illness. They couldn’t afford to get their sick or injured pet the care it required so they just went on letting their dog or cat suffer until it had to be put down.

The person I’m referring to loves her doggies and cares for them as any responsible pet guardian would. Her only trouble is she lives on a fixed income and when these little extra costs for simple shots and check-ups rear their ugly head; she is at a loss to find the funds required. She is a responsible pet parent and didn’t just ignore the fact that her dog’s shots were due; she cares enough about her dogs to take the initiative to seek out and ask about financial assistance to help her cover the costs involved.

Unfortunately after I spent some time asking around, it appears there is no such subsidy in existence. With so many human subsidies in place for people in need, the last thing our municipal, provincial or federal governments are going to do is set aside tax money for general pet care subsidies.

Although the City of Calgary Animal Services did recently open a low cost spay/neuter clinic to help with those costs. This was put in place with hopes that it will decrease unwanted litters and slow the ever-increasing the pet population. But they aren’t able to help with the basic care of annual shots and check-ups.

The only advice I was able to offer was that she try to get her vet to give her a break on his price or at least allow her to make small payments.

So what does one do in this case? It’s a great question and if anyone has any ideas or answers, I’d love to hear them.