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Always Home Pet Services, Inc

Doggy daycare and enrichment center, kennel-free boarding, dog walking, over-night care, dog sitting, cat sitting, and more!

Licensed and Insured in Salina Kansas

July 17, 2013

July 22, 2012

Salina woman will come to your home to service animals

Sunday, July 22, 2012, Salina Journal


Organized activities, mental stimulation, tooth-brushings, and time to just run and play together and learn social skills.

It might sound like the ideal day care, but it's not open to humans.

A shy kitten sits on the table in front of Peggy Huscher at her home Wednesday July 11, 2012. Huscher owns a pet sitting business where she takes care of peoples pets. The pets range from dogs and cats, to birds and snakes. (Photo by Evert Nelson/Salina Journal)

Peggy Huscher started her pet-sitting service about a year ago, visiting people's homes to take care of their pets while they were away.

Before long, she started taking some of the pets into her home, where they could play together during the day.

On a typical day now, she has three dogs at her home on weekdays and a few others she visits when their humans have to leave town as part of earning the dog-food money.

The business is now about half in her home and half visits to other people's homes, she said.

Wherever they are, she said, each pet gets individual attention.

"One dog we have is a rescue dog, and he just loves to sit in my recliner -- it's where he feels safe," she said. "So that's where I feed him. He wouldn't make it all day in a kennel."

As part of her training for the job, Huscher took a class in Boulder, Colo., about the body language of dogs.

"I learned when dogs are scrapping, when to intervene, and when to let them work it out," she said.

She gets assistance in that area from a "motherly dog, who watches the puppies when they're playing, and corrects them when they're playing too hard," she said.

Huscher also organizes activities for the dogs, including swimming in a backyard pool and walks at Lakewood Park.

Herbie the Cockatoo
Herbie, a white cockatoo, holds onto the fencing of a bird cage at Peggy Huscher's residence in Salina Wednesday afternoon. The bird is one of many animals Huscher takes care of with her business "Salina Pet Sitting." (Photo by Evert Nelson/Salina Journal)

There's also a play area in the backyard, with wooden ramps, tunnels and places where she can hide treats for the dogs to find.

And the day-care pets also get a daily tooth-brushing -- each one has his or her own toothbrush.

"Most people don't brush their pets' teeth, but they should," Huscher said. "At least they're getting it here. And if I'm doing it, the dogs get used to it, so it's easier for the owner to do it."

In addition to dogs and cats, she also takes care of birds, guinea pigs, reptiles, frogs and other animals, usually in their homes -- or motel rooms.

"I've had a few people who are passing through town, or in town for a wedding, and want me to check on their pets while they're out," Huscher said.

"I'll usually spend 30 minutes or so at each home," she said. "While I'm there, I can also bring in the mail, water plants, turn lights off and on, open curtains and that sort of thing."

She'll also play with the animals: "Some older cats don't want to play, so I'll just sit and read to them for a while. If people want, I can spend the night."

And she's qualified to dispense medications to animals -- most often insulin shots to older cats.

A lot of her experience working with animals came from working for 10 years at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, "working with almost everything but the chimps at one time or another."

She quit that job to care for her ailing mother, and after that was looking for some way to continue working with animals.

"People say, 'You must have a cool job, playing with dogs all day,' " Huscher said. "But there's a lot of cleaning, a lot of time in the car, a lot of time at the computer sending out invoices. Still, I love what I'm doing now."

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