I always giggle a little when I tell people that I’m going to a professional conference. I think it’s funny to tell someone I’m going to “Barkworld” or to a conference where I get to have hands-on education with cats and dogs. We also attend business conferences that enlighten us on the nuances of running a business. But still…it is kind of cool that we get to go to these types of conferences. I can tell you that they are a lot more fun that the conferences that I attended when I was in sales.
The journey begins…
Way before I decided to become a professional dog walker and pet sitter, I adopted my dog, Diesel. It was then that I started to immerse myself in learning more about dogs. After owning him for a couple of years, I began volunteering with Atlanta Pet Rescue and I became more interested in learning. I’ve read many books, many articles, watched many YouTube videos, spoken with many vets and trainers all in the name of becoming an “expert” in dog language, behavior, training, nutrition, safety and health. I don’t have a big enough ego to say that I’m an expert, but I feel confident in saying that I know a whole lot about those topics; way more than the average dog owner. And I’m proud of that.
I’ve always wanted to be a resource to dog owners whether they were clients, adopters, people I met at the park…whomever. I just want the dog-owner relationship to be a positive one because it saddens me to know how many owners surrender their dogs for reasons that could have been addressed and fixed.
What about cats?
Cats. I’ve always loved cats. I’ve read many articles, some books and watched some videos about cats. But mainly I get information from a few close friends that I call “the cat ladies.” I know a lot about cats, but truthfully, not as much as I know about dogs and certainly less than I want to know. Laughing Pets Atlanta has been very lucky to not have cats that: are aggressive towards people, are difficult to medicate, hide in places that cause us to search for a long, long time, never come out of their hiding places and mostly, we’ve never had a true cat emergency . No medical emergencies to date. We can definitely handle those scenarios, but there is always more learning to do. You’re doing WHAT??!!?
So guess what? I get to go to a Cat Conference! Yay me! This weekend, I will attend a two-day conference focused solely on cats. Topics such as:
- Help For Aging Cats
- Human-Directed Aggression in the Cat
- Cat Nutrition and the Relationship Between Food and Behavior
“Do y’all take care of cats?”
There are many people who don’t know that we care for cats. We have a good amount of cat clients and we love them as much as our dog clients. In addition, there are many people who don’t recognize the precarious situations cats can get into when their owners are away. We enjoy educating them on a variety of topics when the opportunity presents itself. When I return from this conference, I’m sure I will come back with a wealth of knowledge that I will pass onto my staff and on to my clients or prospective clients.
Cats are NOT our red-headed step children. We love our cat clients, we want more cat clients and we really want to be the “experts” in cat behavior, language, health and safety!