• Donna Ferrigno

My Heart Breaks with Yours

Dogs are "man's best friend."

I can't speak for all the other pet sitters out there, but for me...this is not just about dog walks and making money. The joy I get when I see the excitement in your dog when I visit is priceless. All the dog walks and pet sitting jobs I do is my time to bond with your dog. A time to develop trust, respect and love that grows stronger with each passing day.

Losing "man's best friend" is never easy...

I was not there when my first dog, Buffy, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. She was an adorable toy poodle who lived to be fourteen. I will never forget that day. I was talking to my mom on the phone, and I remember her casually saying to me, "Oh, we had to put Buffy down today." I was in shock. My mouth dropped and I couldn't speak. This was a terrible loss for me and I vowed I would never get another dog and go through that kind of pain again. Well, that didn't last very long. Several years later, I found myself with a new puppy, Haley. She was a sweet little Bichon who gave me many years of love and devotion. Eventually, my doggy family grew with the additions of Sambuca and Zoey. Yes, I knew what I was getting myself into. Yes, I would have to deal with that pain again and again and again. A couple of years ago, I was confronted with that pain once again. It does not get any easier. I knew what I had to do. I had to be strong for Haley. As I sat there with Haley on my lap, I slowly caressed her as she took her last breath. This was the first time I had to deal with putting down my dog and there are simply no words. These events have made me more empathetic towards others who have lost their pets, crying with everyone's individual story.

The hardest part of being a pet sitter...

When I became a pet sitter, I did not expect to become so attached to all of my clients. They have become my extended fur baby family. Dog walk after dog walk. Pet sitting visit after pet sitting visit. Overnight stay after overnight stay. I bonded with my furry little friends. I love them like my own. So, when I receive news that your beloved pet has passed away, it is like I lost one of my own. One dog, in particular, stands out in my mind, Honey. And just like her name, she was a golden retriever that was sweet like honey. I did several overnight stays with her and got to know her pretty well. I remember how much she loved to roll around in the grass when it was sunny. I remember how much she loved ground buffalo mixed into her kibble. Her mama, Ann, loved her so much that she would cook this special for her every day. I remember how much she loved her treats as well. Sadly, Honey's health was deteriorating quickly. I was supposed to take care of Honey for a long weekend but Ann called me to cancel. She was not doing well. I had a terrible feeling deep inside and asked if I could stop by to see her. When I arrived, she was laying there on the rug by the back door. Ann was crying. And, I began crying too. I looked into Honey's eyes and slowly petted her. I looked at Ann and we both knew, without a word spoken, the pain. The next day, Honey had passed away. I am forever grateful that Ann chose me to care for Honey and that I was able to have the time that I did with her. And, I am especially thankful I was there to say good-bye. Ann, my heart broke with you then, and still does to this day.

Having gone through this myself, I understand how deeply it hurts to lose a beloved pet. My heart breaks with each and every one of you. Each pet I cared for holds a special place in my heart. And for this reason, I dedicated a portion of my Gallery to those that have crossed over the rainbow bridge in memoriam.


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