Whenever I leave home, I know my pets will be safe and well-cared for by Barbara. Over the years, she has watched my two cats, my dog, and my two dozen or so chickens. She waters my plants and my vegetable garden, and she feeds the birds who come to my yard every day.
The chickens are a lot of work, as they need to be let out of the coop each morning, and closed in each night. They get two types of feed daily, their water needs to be changed, and their coop needs to be cleaned out. There are eggs to be collected, and they love their organic vegetable scraps!
When we leave our dog with her, she makes sure to give him lots of love and exercise. One time, Barbara called me to say that he was very thirsty, lethargic and stumbling around. She drove him to the closest urgent care facility for pets--this was on a holiday weekend!-- and they told her Jack was in shock, had blood in his abdomen, and had probably been kicked by a horse. Barbara knew this was extremely unlikely and called me to say she was taking him to a different ER for a second opinion. Thank goodness!! This new vet immediately recognized that Jack had symptoms of having eaten rat poison a few days earlier and got him on Vitamin K and fluids and kept him overnight. Barbara picked him up in the morning and drove him to our regular vet, who proceeded with the treatment. All this occurred while we were stuck on Catalina Island in high winds with no ferry service, but I always trusted that Barbara would care for Jack as if he was her own dog. Jack is fine now, and the neighbor who put out the rat poison surely never did so again.
I can even call on Barb to collect rattlesnakes for me, at the coop and in my yard, since I am too big a chicken to do it myself.
Santa Clarita, CA