May 24, 2011 Issue #4 Published by Sue Skiff

A Note From Sue


Well, this certainly is a learning process. Here, I thought that I set up the last two e-zines so that you could click on the title of an article at the top, and you would be taken to that article. It worked when I tested it. However, when I received my copy of last week’s newsletter, I noticed that that feature was missing. I have been unable to fix this,`so I am giving up on doing this in this issue. However, if you have noticed in past e-zines that you could do this, please let me know. Perhaps, it's jut a problem with my e-mail program.

This is going to be a shorter e-zine, I think. I am having computer problems, again. I say, again, because I dealt with one computer problem after another for almost four months, ending in March. Oh well, such is life.

Thank you to those who have sent feedback! I really look forward to responding to comments on the content, and to your questions. So, keep providing that feedback! You can do that by simply replying to this e-mail.

Last week, I had a question about why I am sending this e-mail out weekly, and if I had ever considered sending it out less frequently, I will answer the second question first. The answer is, “Yes.” M y first attempt at a newsletter was a hard copy newsletter, which I left copies of at various businesses. I did e-mail a few copies to dog training client, as well. It was supposed to be a quarterly publication, as suggested by a coach who specialized in dog businesses. There were two problems with this publication. First, it took weeks to distribute the newsletters. Second, the time lag between issues caused me to procrastinate when the next issue was due. I produced two of those newsletters; a fall issue, and a spring issue (winter got skipped).

My second attempt at a newsletter was my first attempt at an e-zine. I thought that, perhaps, I’d try it monthly. I sent out one issue. When the first month was up, and it was time for the second issue, my mind was on other things.

So, now the answer to the first question: My original answer to that question is that it I what Is recommended if you want to build a client list using an e-zine. However, a second, even more compelling answer has come up for me. That is, it’s easier for me to set up a weekly routine than it is for me to set up a monthly, or quarterly, routine.

So, I am going to keep sending this out weekly, and that’ that!

Enjoy the e-zine!


Six Reasons for Training Your Dog to Sit

Sit is one of the first things that I teach a dog. Training a dog to sit is extremely valuable. Here are some of the things that I use sit for. Hopefully, they will help you to see why “sit” is such an important command.

Reason 1

I teach all the dogs that I work with to sit to get my attention. Why? A dog can’t sit and jump at the same time. If a dog knows that the way to get attention is to sit, it will choose to sit, instead of jumping. It really impresses people that meet your dog, too.

Reason 2

I have my dog sit and stay while I feed her. This not only prevents her from jumping on me during the feeding process (like many dogs, she gets very excited by food), it also reinforces the idea that I am in charge by reminding her that I am in control of her access to the resource known as food. The latter is accomplished, because she has to stay until I put her food down, and release her to eat.

Reason 3

To cut down on the chances that a dog will bolt through an open door, I teach dogs to sit and stay while I open a door or gate. The dog has to stay until given permission to go through the door. If I’m going through the door with the dog, I start to go through first. This, again, reinforces my position as the one in charge, since dominant dogs will go through doors before more submissive dogs.

Reason 4

I have my dog sit before crossing a street. This gets her in the habit of stopping before going into a street, thus reducing the chances that she will run out into a street should she ever get the chance. It also keeps her calmer while waiting until it’s time to cross.

Reasons 5 and 6

I also like to have her sit while I am talking to someone on a walk. This allows me to know where she is, and what she is doing, without me having to continuously be watching her. I make her sit when she brings a toy back to me during a game of fetch. This keeps her from running around with the toy, and increases the likelihood that she will bring the toy all the way to me.

So, those are a few of the things that I use “sit” for when I am working with a dog. I trust that it helped you to understand the importance of this command. As far as my dog Emma is concerned, she now sits whenever she wants something. All I have to do is figure out what it is that she wants.

Next week, I will give you some tips on how to train your dog to sit.

The Sheep and the Swimming Pool

Last week, I sent you a story about some turkey vultures that I encountered while pet sitting for some long time clients. What I didn’t reveal in that story is that nearly all my strange pet sitting adventures seem to happen while I am sitting for those same clients. The main reason for this Is that they live on a few acres, on a private road, east of Mt Diablo, without a fenced yard. Today, I want to tell you about an “adventure” that I had with their swimming pool.

I started pet sitting for these clients when they first moved into their newly built house. In fact, it was so newly built that it was still being finished. I watched, in little vignettes, as improvement after improvement was made at that house. The swimming pool was put in in the first year of their living there. And, it was not long after it was completed that I had my first swimming pool “adventure.”

It seems that, during the first few years of their residence at that location, one of their neighbors had a flock of sheep. During those years caring, I often saw these sheep on the surrounding lands, especially below the house, where there is a nice pond. Sometimes, there would be a sheep herder with them. On the day that this story takes place, there was no one with the sheep, and they were all over the front yard when I arrived to care for the family’s pets.

I walked passed the sheep to get to the front door, and went inside to care for the animals therein. When I went out to the chicken coop to let the chickens out, I discovered that there were sheep in the backyard, also, including a ewe in the pool, swimming.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever spent any time in the presence of sheep. If you haven’t, I have to tell you that not all sheep are cute, cuddly little lambs. These sheep were easily triple my weight, and none of them seemed at all cuddly, or even tame. The one in the pool was terrified; frantically swimming around, looking for a means of escape. There was no chance of me coaxing her to me, and I certainly wasn’t going to get into the pool to get her out that way. That would have been way too dangerous, not to mention extremely cold.

I walked around that pool, trying to come up with a solution. Then, suddenly, she was there in a corner of the pool where I could reach her. I made my way to her, grabbed her by the scruff of the neck, and hauled her out. Off she ran, without even a “thank you.” I expressed my gratitude, though, that it turned out to be not too hard to get a sheep out of a swimming pool, and that I had arrived while that ewe was still alive.

Next week: Another swimming pool “adventure.”

Last Week for Summer Specials

There's only one more week left in May. That means you only have one more week to take advantage of my summer special. Here’s the deal: Make reservations with us for pet sitting that starts anytime between June 1 and Sept 30 (Sept is one of our busiest months for pet sitting, so I want to include it), sign a contract, and pay a deposit, by May 31, and I will give you a 20% discount. This discount replaces any other discount that you may be entitled to, so make sure you ask what your best deal will be.

So, go ahead and give me a call at (925) 366-6042, or e-mail me, and get those summer reservations in. I look forward to talking to you!

I Need Your Testimonials

If you have used my services in the past, please consider writing a testimonial for me. I will put it on my website for all to see how wonderful a writer you are. I’m giving you 3 ways to do this. The first way is to simply send me an e-mail, with your golden words included. Or, you can post a review on my Yelp Page Thirdly, you can post a comment on my Facebook page Thank you for your help in making Silver Lining Pet Services a success!

Silver Linings is a publication of Silver Linings Pet Services, and is published for the purpose of marketing services. The current address of Silver Linings Pet Services is: 5555 Merritt Drive Concord, Ca 94521