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I’m pretty proud of Firstborn for submitting an essay into the Humane Society’s annual contest. Though her entry wasn’t selected as one of the winners, it’s [she’s] a winner in my eyes. With her blessing, the following is her essay, the 2018 prompt “I Can Be a Good Friend to Pets By….”

I can be a good friend to pets by taking care of my own pets and helping other people take care of their pets as a pet-sitter. I have two cats, two bunnies, and two guinea pigs of my own, and I regularly pet-sit several dogs, cats, birds, rodents, lizards, and fish for friends, family, and neighbors. 

As a homeschooler, people choose me to help with pet-care because I’m home during the day while they are at work or away on vacation. I help love on their pets by taking good care of them as if they were my own. A pet’s needs don’t go away when their owners do. 

I often give pets their medications, several times to a seventeen-year-old Siamese cat named Miko, for his kidneys, and for a kitten named Peanut to treat ear mites. 

I used to feed two Great Dane puppies lunch every day because they were growing so fast while their humans were working. 

With chickens, it’s important to collect their eggs or they’ll peck at them thinking it’s food. 

It’s also important to play with pets when their owners aren’t there, so they’re not bored or scared. A dog named Lucia had to be played with several times a day so she wouldn’t get nervous and potty in the house.

When I pet sat for a bunny named Honey I had to make sure she had plenty of cold water and shade during the summer, as well as a frozen water bottle. (Bunnies don’t do well in heat because they only sweat through their lips.)

One time I boarded three guinea pigs, plus our own, and had five guinea pigs in the house! Guinea pigs are very social, so you should always have at least two to keep each other company. 

I love pet sitting because I get to experience how people take care of their pets and I love taking care of animals that are new to me. In the past I have had a dog, chickens, ducks, fish, hermit crabs, tadpoles, and a newborn orphaned kitten, but as a pet sitter I get to work with all kinds of animals. There’s no animal I wouldn’t take care of– even a tarantula! 

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