Printed in the Palm City Spotlight
and the Stuart Exposure
“Arpeggio” greets us at the door belly-up, a sure sign of a friendly, feline welcome. She knows the routine and quickly sits on the corner of the oriental rug underneath the grand piano. There’s light classical music emanating from the HD TV. Diane’s thorough grooming with a fine-toothed comb (no shedding in this house) is followed by a full body massage. Next, a catnip aperitif before a catered dinner on the kitchen counter.
“Critter Sitters,” founded by Diane Delong 30 years ago, is the oldest, full-service, pet care company in the tri-county area. She and her staff of 16 go far beyond just feeding, walking and cleaning up.
Her stories are funny, informative and impressive. For example, one of her clients, a golden retriever, is always waiting for Diane to swim laps with him. “Rex” gets exercise, has fun and sheds fleas before returning to the house.
“Fergie,” a standard poodle and show dog, asks Diane for assistance in hitting the treadmill every day to stay in shape for the next show. And care for “Lexi” is booked a year in advance; her parents fly their beloved Yorkie down to their Florida home while they go to Europe, and Diane sleeps there for a month until their return.
Critter Sitters will take care of any pet (Even horses!), any special needs, and any situation. This includes; taking in mail, watering plants in/out, changing lighting to ward off stalkers, taxi trips to the vet, addressing special needs, and bereavement counseling.
Here’s a good example: Diane was asked to care for “Petie” who was deaf, partially blind and spent most of his time under the bed. “My goal,” said Diane, “was to put Petie into a bright and safe environment. I brought his bed into the kitchen, left the lights and TV on, and he never went under the bed again! He had a total personality change. It was really awesome.”
Diane’s caring service also helps to avert disaster while homeowners are away. She was caring for a pet in Sewall’s Point and arrived to find that the hot water heater had burst all over the new hardwood floors. Another client unfortunately suffered a heart attack while in Miami. His brother called Diane, learning that she had a key, and asked her to help care for his brother’s pets while he was recovering.
“We can always come in and save the day!” says Diane.
She’s very careful about hiring staff, even including submitting a handwriting sample for review. She has contracted with 16 people who displayed their natural passion and understanding of animals. “They come to me like a gift,” she says. “It’s a special talent that can’t be taught.”
After 30 years, Diane says, “This is my baby. I will never retire…I always want to be involved with helping and caring for other people’s babies.”
You may call Diane at (772) 220-8665, email her at Diane@crittersitterstheoriginal.net or visit her website: www.crittersitterstheoriginal.net.