Pet Peeves – The Blog

Live to Work – or Work to Live

I made the decision a long time ago that I wanted to find a way to leave the corporate world yet still feel motivated and challenged by whatever career path I would choose. It was a difficult decision as I was considered a mover and a shaker and defined myself by my accomplishments at my job. How could I continue to get what I felt was a “necessary pat on the back” from another path.

Also on the wish list was the ability to work at home so that when I did choose to have a family (well find a husband first was also on the agenda at the time) that I could enjoy the experience of motherwood and actually see my family.

So here I am 22 years later.  Husband – Check,  Daughter – Check……..lots and lots and lots of Dogs – CHECK CHECK…..I don’t really know quite how it worked out this way.  But it was the better path and one that I am proud of each and every day.

I am getting lots of licks and I am now doing ALL the “patting”.  Yes I work from home….apparently 24-7 but who’s counting?  I have a great quality of  life and I have to thank all of my clients for allowing me to care for their special family members each and every day.

I LIVE my WORK…..and I WORK my LIFE…..maybe a bit of play on words but I get it….I get it and I have the best of both worlds  Life and Work.

Thank You!!

Walking Along – Singing a Song – Barking Along

Funny – if I had to name my first love it would be Singing. It was always a dream of mine to be a professional singer. I begged my father for singing lessons and I think he managed to pay for TWO. He told me Barbara Streisand was just a natural and of course he squashed my dreams……

Of course that was always his plan – he expected me to be one of the top five Doctor, Lawyer, Dentist, Engineer or Architect. No one ever mentioned to me that you could actually go to school to learn about Business. You would think a smart girl like me would have found out about business school before going through Sciences and writing the MCAT and then changing my whole career path after realizing I wanted nothing to do with that in my life. So GMAT and Many years later I was finally in Business.

I must say my dad did feign a heart attack when I told him I was leaving my career already a VP of Operations to start a dog walking business.

But I really just wanted to SING…… I started to Karaoke and loved it so much I started calling MYSELF the Karaoke Queen. Sadly, now in the present my daughter gives me the evil eye when she hears me singing to the radio and my husband give me the perfunctory nod of approval that he feels he must. Although, he has willingly taken me to karaoke…mmmm…..Maybe they offered good cheap beer…..I am not sure I know the true motivation.

So I digress. When I started my Pet Business all my MBA Friends gathered – sat down with me to do a “pow wow” on what to name it. So many names came to mind — Pet Patrol, Pet Partners, PetsRus, oh you name it we thought of it all punchy, ad savvy, direct, they knew what they were talking about.

But I was stuck on my tag line – of course a result of my hidden singing needs. Whenever anyone asked how things were going I would chime in and I literally mean “chime in” Just Singin A Song….Barking A long….. my body would sway as I chanted the tag line. Made me feel good.

In fact….I sang to my hearts content when I was driving around the city picking up dogs…and then could I belt out a ballad at the park.

I never lost a dog….they always knew where to find me by my shrill. And I can BELT IT OUT let me tell you.

So I have finally found my audience – and they are all willing to listen and I feel like I am truly a star…….LEADER OF THE PACK and BARKING ALONG – just singing my song!!

Sunday – A Day of Peace

Sunday – a day of peace, to reflect, to relax and enjoy family. However in this case I am talking about SUNDAY the dog. A wonderful golden retriever a dog that fit her name in that she was a joy to her family and wonderful way to relax and enjoy your day with. A dog who gives unconditional love and now Sunday is at Peace.

After more than 20 years I was bound to have dogs pass away and cross over the “rainbow bridge” and I get affected by the loss personally. It never ceases to amaze me how these creatures chip their way into my heart with their quirky personalities and charm.

I personally cared for Sunday when she was diagnosed with cancer about 1 year ago. Her lovely parents had commitments in Pakistan and needed me to care for her. It was always bittersweet. Seeing her enjoy her bone, a lazy walk in the park, an excited tail wag going for a drive in the car. Never knowing when she would turn. And she did many months later and the decision was made for her.

Even at the end she gave her love to all of us. She meant so much to me – I can only imagine the void in the hearts of her parents.

I feel thankful to have know her and so many of my canine friends. I miss so many…
Cory, Taiga, Sonoma, Honey, Brendan, Winnie and Perkins, Sherlock, Mac, Georgie, Britain, Sammy, Chester, Max, barkley, Jasmin, hudson, sadly the list is long – too long to continue and actually quite painful.

Take the rest of the weekend off!!

The title of this blog resonates with me to this day……it really is a constant battle for me to take any time off but this statement was made to me at around 10pm on a Sunday night by one of my most favourite yet demanding clients.

After a plenitude of problems that Sunday – not being able to return his dog to his home. A workman had double bolted the door and this wonderful client wanted his dog back even though it was very late — but finally he said to me……..Aviva – you should just take the rest of the weekend off. I know he was being humorous and we do have constant banter….which is why I like him so much. But there was a lot of truth in what he said.

I suppose that is why we have been successful. I generally put the needs of the clients before my own and work 24/7.

This does take its toll on me and my family – well mostly my family because I actually thrive on the work and resolving the issues as they arise. Shhh don’t tell!!

Often things like grocery shopping gets forgotten — nothing that a restaurant can’t fix.

I don’t see anything changing. This is my life and I like it just the way it is.

I was told by my doctor(overactive bladder – so I pee a lot….oh well) that I need to find something to relieve the stress in my life. I like the stress in my life. It keeps me sharp – keeps me hopping and apparently keeps me peeing often.

My husband told me I need a hobby and that would be a stress reliever. I will save that for another rant…..

Another Day – Another Milkbone

Today like any other day has been all about the dogs. However my daughter is about to arrive home and will fight to make the rest of the day all about her. Its a constant battle between business and personal, daughter and canine, invoicing and dinner. Conversing with my husband or calling back clients with new business inquiries.

Maybe not a battle – maybe the word I am looking for is a balance. How do you find a balance when your time is so stretched and you have so many that need “YOU” and your attention.

Oh did I add my sister’s needs into the mix. Can’t live with her or without her but she certainly drives me crazy along the way.

My daughter needs me – she wants an after school snack……I will give the dogs a few milkbones before I prepare their dinners.

Till next time.

Dog Names

So you often wonder about the connection between our personalities and how we name our pets…..

Let’s take Cisco Jr. for moment. We assume there was a Cisco Sr. and there was. (picture is Cisco Sr.)How could we name our dog the same name twice you ask?

Well, before we continue I must tell you every pet I had as a child was named Barnaby NO — not after Barnaby Jones but after Barnaby the clerk in Hello Dolly….don’t even ask….I was young and impressionable and loved Barbara Streisand.

I digress. So after hours of coming up with a name for Cisco Jr while we were driving back from the SPCA in Hamilton with her…..Emily said since it was her dog she would make the decision in the morning between I think it was snickers and sparky.

We were all still dealing with the grief of loosing Cisco Sr. Something I will leave to another blog in its entirety. But ultimately she had always been MY dog. This new dog would be our first family dog. It felt right when we saw her. She looked like a baby cisco. It felt almost Fateful…. Same colouring I almost get choked up thinking about her to this day.

It had barely been a month since she died. Steve and Emily had been in Florida when I suddenly had to make the decision for Cisco Sr. to cross over that Rainbow Bridge.

I digress again…SO….Emily woke up the next morning and said: “MOM — I want to name her Cisco – it just feels RIGHT”. She said this with such conviction for a 6yr old. Everyone thought we were crazy but they didn’t know I had many Barnabys in my time and I knew just how Emily felt.

AND it did feel JUST RIGHT. Baby Cisco Jr. was born and she helps to keep Senior’s memory alive for us in a small way but she has her own personality and we have our own history with her.

Oh BTW – Cisco is after “cisco the kid” not Cisco systems….although I did make a small fortune back in the day when NASDAQ was hot my first stock bought was Cisco because of cisco in 1995. So maybe not such a savvy investor but I got lucky and bought my first house.


What is it about snow that the dogs find to be so exhilarating. My daughter Em has been begging for snow for weeks now. We have this amazing hill in the backyard that is surprisingly fun to Toboggan on. I even went out to buy brand new toboggans at Cdn tire just so she could have more fun with her friends. Okay…so what happened you ask?

The snow melted.

Last night was the first hint of snow in forever. Now having grown up in Winnipeg this concept of winter without snow is just too much to fathom.

Tessa the black lab with endless energy was chasing our Cisco junior on the hill and Cisco came rolling down the hill ……no damage just a bit shaken.

Em is praying there is enough coverage for even one run. Steve is now assuring me he will turn the hose on and create a LUGE in the yard. Of course that may increase her chances of hitting the house and breaking a bone or two. Thanks hon….but no thanks. I don’t really want any liability issues with our daughter’s friends.


I want to thank the person that created coffee. My mornings are peaceful – well in my mind they are. But to the outside world they must be quite the opposite. I wake up to a horrific high pitched beep because steve has the music alarm that goes off at the ungodly hour of 545am So when I wake at 715 the dogs know I must do “my business” first. then its a mad rush down the stairs to the office barn door. Okay now its everyone IN and nobody OUT. Of course there are those that are not permitted to sleep in the bedroom so now all of us are in the office and its a mad rush to the sliding door as its time….time to go outside into the dogrun….do frolick and do business.

Sunday – she is so sweet a geriatric Golden retriever – Her hair is not growing back from where they did the radiation treatment in guelph for her bone cancer. But its not bright pink anymore. we had her groomed recently. Her parents are in Italy and then to their home in Pakistan for a family wedding.

Luella – yes she is a poodle…what else could she be with that name. Although I love calling it out long and drawled its just such a funny name. And she has this really cool rastalike haircut big bushy floppy chocolate coloured head and body and quite the lady. Yet finding her in my office chair on a regular basis is quite disconcerting as she truly looks like she is surf the net at times.

Alfie – Now he is my prize pug and NO his snoring did not keep me up last night I was so exhausted from superbowl weekend. His dad dropped him off last night after Em and I got home from Dance. Alfie was here when he was just a pup and we had just brought home cisco junior – OMG she was smaller than he was and now she just towers over him being a lab/sheppard +++ cross. He still bosses her around and she lets him. But if he tries to pee on her one more time I am going to absolutely kill him.

So back to my coffee. They are all sleeping now under my desk and content to have me here. I am happy drinking my coffee.

This is my first post. I should be doing invoicing or something productive. But it was a bit cathartic to talk to someone other than the dogs.

Gotta run – Indy just arrived gotta let him out. Hope Alfie doesnt try to pee on him too.