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What America's Funniest Videos can teach pet sitters

Learning doesn't always have to be in a classroom

I've always been a fan of America's Funniest Videos (AFV). It is wholesome humor that pokes fun at our human and pet natures and foibles. It never ceases to amaze me how humans and pets can get themselves into trouble, even when they aren't looking for it.

The photo above is of Todd the cat. She is inspecting my coat during one of my pet sitting visits.

Pets are curious and I believe they can become more curious, sometimes fueled by a little anxiety when their owners go away.

One of the funniest AFV videos I've ever seen showed a cat calmly eating his meal, and the family cockatiel, standing right next to the bowl with his wings out, wobbling from side to side, and saying over and over again, "Here kitty, kitty! Here kitty, kitty!". The poor cat was trying to ignore the bird knowing that he would probably be in big trouble if he hurt the family cockatiel.

AFV often shows curious cats or overly rambunctious dogs or birds getting themselves into trouble. Luckily, as the show says, they don't show videos that end up in actual harm to anyone, but still, you wonder how did that person or animal ever get out of that situation without being hurt?

Pet sitters can learn a lot from AFV because it helps to raise awareness as to the possible weird scenarios that can affect a client's pets. Even considering the above photo of Todd inspecting my coat, one day while she was doing that, the coat fell off of the knob and landed on her. Luckily, she is a cool cat and took it and stride, but a more anxious cat could go off the rails with something falling on her and take off and run into a wall, or down a flight of stairs. You know what I'm saying.

Weird situations are some of the reasons why pet sitters need to be aware of possible problems that can go wrong while owners are away.

Another scenario:

One time, I walked into an apartment, and usually, the 3 family cats would come running to greet me. On this morning, nothing happened. No cats. Well, apparently since my visit the night before, the cats were playing and somehow knocked off the clothes the owners had on top of their bedroom door and it closed the door on them. The cats were trapped in the bedroom until I arrived.

Technically, they could have been stuck in that room for about the 12 hours I was gone - from night to morning. However, there were no poopies on the floor, no vomit, and everyone looked calm when I opened the door. Their food bowls from the night before in the kitchen were empty. So, I figured they must've only been in there only a little while before I came.

So, pet sitters can learn a lot from AFV. When you watch the show and see the antics of some of the pets, think about your clients and the possibilities they can encounter while you are at their home or while you are walking a dog.

Even though my jacket fell on Todd, it didn't stop her from checking it out every time I came. I just kept an eye on her. She seemed to like doing it - it was "her thing". Wherever I put it, she was there, sniffing it.

Another scenario:

Do you know those tall kitchen trash cans with the lids that swing back and forth? They cover the garbage but with a quick push, you can deposit garbage in the can, and then the cover swings closed. Well, on two occasions, in two different homes, I personally saw a cat jump from the countertop to try and land on the garbage can and instead fall inside of it. Once, toppling the can and the cat raced out of it in a panic, the other needed me to scoop her out. The big danger there was what if something sharp was in the bin and the cat landed on it? What if they ate something in there that was harmful - like say, dental floss, or a dangerous food item? After watching those two incidents I'd check people's swing-top garbage cans and either move them to a closet, close and tie up the bag, or move it to a place it wouldn't entice the cat.

In short, AFV can teach pet sitters:

* To be more aware of possible dangers.

* To keep a closer eye on pets in their care.

* To move things out of pet's harm.

* To make sure you have your pet first aid stuff handy.

* And in harmless situations, to have a camera ready to snap a fun shot for the

owners to see or post on a blog such as this!

Thanks American Funniest Videos for inspiring me to write this post!


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