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Making My Vocation My Vacation

By Jon Blinderman, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Owner of Port Paws Pet Services, Jon has extensive experience providing individualized pet care services.

Making my vocation my vacation, Mark Twain once said, this was a promise I made to my ailing mother years ago. Port Paws Pet Services LLC is just that. After spending the past 18 yrs working in the criminal justice, social work, and education fields helping children and adults, I decided it was time to live up to my end of the deal. Animals have always been a part of my life growing up, mostly a variety of dogs and cats. From Tibetan Spaniels and Toy Poodles to Weimaraners and St. Bernard’s it was clear my family loved dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors.

I was fortunate enough to get my own puppy (Golden Retriever) as a 10 year old, named Jordy after most 10 year old’s basketball hero, Michael Jordan. But it wasn’t until I saw my older sister’s blind best friend, Jay relying solely upon his English Black Labrador Guide Dog, to be independent and attempt to live a normal teenage life. However, Jay was anything but a normal teenager. In high school he was a Connecticut state wrestling champion for 2 years and was Valedictorian for his graduating class. Both Jay and his dog went onto work for NASA. When I was in middle school Jay had taught me several important health facts and training techniques about his guide dog that I later used with my own dogs. Witnessing this relationship between human and dog, trust and loyalty made me want to work with animals at an early age. I  was fortunate enough to volunteer working with Guiding Eyes for the Blind for several years before and after college raising and training their young pups to adulthood. It was heart breaking when each dog left for placement with their new owner. However, to be a part of giving some independence back to people whom needed these dogs, was one of the best feelings in the world.  This is when My love for Labradors grew exponentially.

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