I've been so busy recently and also spending a lot of time with some doggies that don't have an Internet connection so I have not been posting at all! :) I have a RARE 3 WHOLE DAYS OFF right now so I'm trying to catch up on some things.
We recently got a kitten. His name is JoJo and he has already earned several nicknames, one of which is Rambo and which was given because he is RAM-BUNC-TIOUS. Wow, he's a little terror. And I love him so much! He's the cutest little bugger you've ever seen, especially when he's asleep! ;) I'll post a photo of him asap.
JoJo was nice enough to bring a virus into the house, we think, so Muffin and Little Man have been sick. Little Man lost his voice and Muffin got icky, white pus in her eyes. They're both taking Clavamox now and feeling a little better. Muffin's "rodent ulcers" (more properly known as eosinophilic granulomas) have struck again, this time in the roof of her mouth. Poor girl. We've increased her Leukeran back to once per day instead of every other day to see if that will help. (I don't recall if I told the whole story before on here, but Muffin has had chronic skin issues, previously on her lips and paws. We tried gazillions of different medications - first steroids, which notified us of her heart condition in a very scary way - and Leukeran, a chemotherapy drug for humans, was the only drug that finally helped. Fascinating.) I think the Clavamox is helping with the rawness/redness of the ulcers, but they are still there and still look very painful and icky. Lily has fought off the virus so far, knock on wood, and JoJo is totally healthy, too, except for some lingering ear mites that are hopefully on their way out the door.
As for the social acclimation amongst the group...well, it's moving along slowly. Little JoJo thinks he owns the house and is right now sleeping peacefully on a bed that had previously been Little Man's "territory." Muffin, Little Man and Lily all smack, hiss and growl at him and he jumps right back up, completely unphased. Heh. I feel bad for the big cats, but they'll get over it. There have been moments where I thought Little Man might have been having fun smacking the little guy away. :)
I haven't had much time lately for anything other than caring for client pets. I think I mentioned that in an earlier post. I was going to hire employees to help me, but I got very overwhelmed with that process and what it entailed so I put that on hold. I have made a few changes, such as increasing my rates, trying very hard to stick to a daily maximum number of visits, and only accepting new clients close to home. But, I'm sad to say that I think more changes are probably in order. For now, I think the best thing for me to do is to continue to reign in my service area. Therefore some of you may be receiving messages from me in the near future saying that you will no longer be in my service area as of some near future date. It kills me to do this because I love all of the pets so much. But I love my pets, my husband and my home, too, and I need to see them more. And I need to love myself a little bit more, too, by taking care of my mental and physical health (including rest, downtime and eating healthier). My family and friends also deserve better than what I have been giving to them lately. Speaking of obligations to family and friends, I have not yet decided whether I am working over the holidays. I need to make that decision asap because I have already received inquiries!
To be completly honest with you all, over the next few months, I will be deciding whether to (1) shut down the business completely and try to find a more "normal" job where I'll have "normal" hours and probably much better pay, (2) continue the business, but scale back the service area and number of visits per day, and probably stop most overnight visits, or (3) continue the business and hire employees. I feel just awful that some of my decisions and actions with respect to the business over the past few months have been inconvenient, and in some cases inconsiderate or unprofessional, to my clients (not to mention family and friends). I hope you all know that I am doing the best I can. I never dreamed I would be so fortunate to have this much business 1.5 years after starting! Had I known this, I probably would have done a lot of things differently from the beginning and spared us all some trouble. But anyway, it has been and still is a lot of fun and I never knew I had so much room in my heart to love so many animals as I do now (and to grieve those that you and I have lost). I hope you will all continue to be patient with me as I figure things out. Please comment or e-mail me if you have any wisdom to share. I am always welcome to your thoughts and advice.