Daily trips to a private park, pet sitting and a whole lot more!
My name is Erika Teschke and I am the owner of Erikaís Pet Service. Thatís me in the picture to the right. I first became acquainted with pet services as a profession when we moved to Seattle, oh so many years ago. Claudia Ware, dog walker extraordinaire, helped me survive those lean years by taking my dogs to the park twice a week while I toiled away in an office building downtown. It was then that I learned what an invaluable service dog walking and pet sitting is. I started Erikaís Pet Service because, much as Claudia has done for me, I wanted to help people and their pets live easier lives with each other. See below for pictures of my own crew and thanks for considering us.
Sue (Evil Sue): 16 year old Beagle rescued from a puppy mill. Small, cute, extremely skilled, sly food bandit. Would weigh 100 pounds if she ruled the world. She tirelessly works towards both of those goals every day.
Sara (The Beast): 13 year old Australian Cattle dog we fostered for the SPCA. She was adopted out to a lady who promptly brought her back after Sara tore all her lawn furniture to bits. Who could resist that kind of charm? She really enjoys barking.
And below, you will find a picture of my husband, webmaster and occasional animal wrangler.
In Memory of:
Daisy: Picked up off the highway on Thanksgiving Day in 1994, Daisy never lost her love of running wild across the countryside. It became ritual when camping or hiking in the deep wilderness for everyone present to kiss Daisy goodbye, check that her bell was securely fastened to her collar and then turn her loose. Sprinting off at a dead run for the horizon, all of Daisy's admirers would watch her depart, look at each other and say: "Do you think she'll come back this time?" We all agreed she would. And she always did. It was the jingle of the far off bell we would hear first, doubling back, checking out chippy holes and then resuming her path back to us. Trotting through camp she would grab a drink and head back out again. Then finally, after the sixth or so go around, she would walk up to one of us, look us in the eye as if to say: "Somebody please stop me." And hook her to the leash we would.
We always liked to say Daisy started at the bottom and made her way steadily up to the top. Daisy was wise like that. We had an understanding that if she stuck by us, we would do the same for her. Along the way Daisy was a cheater of death. Before she recognized us as her ticket to ride, she dashed across the highway twice on that fateful day we first laid eyes on her. She came with heartworm and a limp. Years later she fell into a sink hole and disappeared for four hours, treading water until Taylor heard her barking from underground.
And for all the drama in her life, Daisy was the least dramatic of dogs. She was the leader of our pack and ruled with a calm yet firm hand. Taylor and Sue followed her lead always, knowing nothing was cooler than what Daisy was checking out.
But the end must come and so it did for Daisy on February 7, 2007. Succumbing to an aggressive form of melanoma, she kept her dignity to the end and passed away peacefully in our arms at our home. We miss her everyday.
She was our rock. She was The Red Dog.
Taylor (Lee-Zard): There are so many great things to say about this dog but I think the phrase that describes her best is that she was so easy to love. Uncomplicated, yet not simple. Sweet sweet sweet, yet not sappy. Needy, yet not clingy. Loved her routines, but happy to frolic in the woods. Taylor came to us at about 4 months of age: all knock knees, crooked hocks and a lumpy noggin. She belonged to a pot smoking friend of my brothers who thought it would be fun to get a puppy for his kid. As soon as Taylor started to get big she found herself living on an apartment balcony. We were, and still are, suckers for a sob story.
Taylorís entire life was at odds with her Dalmatian heritage. She loved to be told what to do. And in the absence of instruction, took a nap. She was Daisyís shadow, tripping on the beagle along the way. Iíll always remember when she knocked herself out trying to leap over a sunken driveway in East Texas. And that when excited, she would pull her lips up in a smile and then sneeze immediately afterwards. Taylor also became a therapy dog for the Delta Society. We visited the rehab unit at Providence Hospital where she would put her head up on the beds and blink as she listened to patients talk about their own dogs. And when, after visiting the Ronald McDonald House for several months, we came for our visit on Halloween and all the kids were dressed as Dalmatians. That dog was easy to love.
If any dog lived entirely in the moment, it was Taylor. So as her back slowly gave out and her legs refused to come along, Taylor didnít worry. She didnít get nervous and she didnít get frantic. She did what she always did: she looked to us for instruction. And when her dignity was compromised, Taylor, always willing to follow our lead, passed quietly in her favorite chaise lounge with her head resting in my lap.
We were lucky. 14 years is a long time for a big dog to live. Big T, Beastie Lou, Tattie, Lee-zard we miss you.