Introducing TUF Petsitting

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I’d like to introduce you to a unique part of The Urban Farmhouse that’s not well known; TUF Small Animal, Bird & Reptile Petsitting. It’s run by myself, Crystal. To say I’m an animal lover is an understatement. So instead of me telling you all about it now, let’s move on to the Q & A. BTW, this is the very first TUF Local post. Yay me!!!!

~Crystal Lavoie

Animal Care Specialist

Describe your business

We provide care to small animals, birds & reptiles while their families are away.

Kemah relaxing in the kitchen window

What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?

It’s definitely my love of animals. It’s also the fact that my family have been exotic animal owners for over 20 years and we know just how hard it is to find trusting care for unique pets. Cats & dogs have plenty of kennel choices but exotic owners struggle to find a place.

What has surprised you most when owning your business?

The reaction that the owners have towards how I care for their animals. It’s in a good way though. Most people seem to be surprised by the fact that their animals are cared for in our home, right along side our family. Once here, they are equally cared for, spoiled and loved.

Tao the Sugarglider

What was it like when you first started?

It was exciting! I feel a great sense of pride in the way that I care for animals and the connection I feel I have with them. Not only could I share it with my own pets, but I could suddenly spread the love with other pets and their owners.

What is something most people don’t know about your business?

Most people don’t even realize that this business exists. That’s why spreading the word is very important to me. It’s amazing how many exotics pets are in the average persons home.

What would your customers say they love the most about doing business with you?

That the fees are more than reasonable and that they don’t need to worry about their animal(s) one bit. That makes my heart happy.

What are some odd requests you’ve had from customers/clients?

Nothing very odd. I have had people request that their pet be cage free and while that may work in their home, it doesn’t in ours. There have been a couple of people who have chosen not to bring their pet here because of that reason.

Maisy the Cockatiel

How do you motivate and encourage each other? Yourself? Or Staff?

I don’t believe I’m a motivator in this business. I believe that the animals are. For instance, the guinea pigs wee-wee-wee when they see me or hear a bag opening, in order to motivate me to give them yet another snack. If you heard that little wee-wee-wee and looked at those sweet faces, you’d be motivated too.

Where do you see your business in the next years?

I see the expansion of an outer building so I don’t have to be limited. There will be plenty of space for the growing number of animals that come through our doors. Currently owners bring their pets enclosure but I hope to have a setup where they won’t need to do that.

What are your greatest challenges?

At this point I feel I don’t really have many challenges.

Amelia when she was little

What is something most people don’t know about you?

That I don’t drive. And when they do find out, people tend to make it their goal to be the ones to convince me to drive.

What do you love most about your town/city?

I love that Saskatoon has so many beautiful areas. If you explore the city, they’re easy to find.

Why do you think it is important for people to support local?

Local businesses are created by local people who support their local community. When you shop local, you are allowing someone to use their creativity while keeping your money in the local economy. As an added bonus, local people usually offer great customer service, hire locals and usually have some pretty cool items.

What are your favorite local restaurants?

Bon Temps Cafe, Las Palapas Resort Grill & The Berry Barn are a few of my personal favorites.

Me and my skinny pig - Olivia

What are your favorite things to do locally?

My family loves the Saskatoon Zoo. We buy a seasons pass and go several times in a summer. The Berry Barn is also one of our favorite spots. We walk, we eat, we shop. Landmark Th