My name is Kylie Riser, and I have been an animal lover my entire life. I have worked in animal rescue for the past 8 years, which has provided me with experience with all types of dogs and cats, from socializing feral kittens to caring for elderly dogs to administering medication to uncooperative cats. This is where my passion for dog walking and pet sitting services comes from.
Growing up I always had a pet, including hamsters, guinea pigs, a rabbit, and cats. But when I was 13, my parents finally granted my wish to get a dog. They bought me a book on dog breeds and I fell in love with the Bernese Mountain Dog. I convinced my mom that a 100+ pound dog would not be an issue. When my dad asked how big they were, I innocently replied “medium”. When my mom and I came home with a 4 month old puppy that weighed 40 pounds, the jig was up. Of course, it took about a day for my dad to be just as much in love with him as I was.
When I graduated from college, my husband Scott and I adopted a German Shepherd/Akita mix, Bear. When I moved in with Scott, he had a tuxedo cat named Aspen that I had encouraged him to adopt when he moved to the DC area because he didn’t really know anyone, and I thought a cat would make a great companion for him.
Soon after I started working in animal rescue, and we added another cat, The Professor, who had special needs, and Otis, an 11 year old 45 pound mutt who looked almost exactly like a coyote. The Professor survived distemper as a kitten, but had to be re-taught almost everything a cat knows instinctively- how to walk, how to jump, how to use the litter box. At first, Scott and I would just sit with him, and help him sit up for a few seconds at a time. Eventually The Professor learned to live an almost normal, but very happy life.
Otis came into our lives when his previous family brought him into the vet that the rescue group I work with used to have him put to sleep because he has become an inconvenience to them after 11 years. He had no health issues, or behavior issues. When the receptionist at the vet clinic told me what was going on, I knew I could not let it happen. Fortunately Scott and I were just about to move from our apartment into a house, so the timing was perfect to bring another dog into our lives. Otis had been an outside dog his whole life, so there was an adjustment period, but he was so sweet and we were so happy to give him a new lease on life for 7 more years. Though The Professor and Otis are no longer with us they will always be in our hearts.
In addition to Bear, we currently two other cats: Tide is a brown tabby that we adopted a few months after we lost The Professor. He is a little shy around new people, but he loves to curl up on a lap that is covered with a blanket (laps without blankets are not okay with him!). We also have Nolin, our foster-failure cat. He is a big brown tabby with white markings, who went on a hunger strike at the adoption center and almost didn’t make it. Once he was healthy he was supposed to find a new forever home, but he has wormed his way into our hearts and is staying with us.
In the spring of 2014, we added another dog to our family. Nyx is a Leonberger. It is a German breed. Leonbergers are giant dogs, and Nyx is quite a handful, but also a big love bug.
My love for animals continues and is the source of my enthusiasm for great pet care. My experiences have taught me that each animal is unique and has individual needs. I am patient with them, and have an honest, deep down love for them.