Friday, February 7, 2014

Pet Sitters International (PSI) Announces Recipient of 2013 Platinum PAW Award

February 6, 2014

PSI honors Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover, Mass., for promoting quality pet care through community events.

Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover, Mass., has been named the recipient of Pet Sitters International’s 2013 Platinum PAW Award. This prestigious award is presented to one individual pet sitter or pet-sitter network annually.

The Platinum PAW Award was created by Pet Sitters International (PSI) in 2009 to recognize professional pet sitters for promoting quality pet care through community events. PSI is the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters.

Zysk has been offering pet-sitting services for the North Andover community since 2001 and is actively involved in local events, including Smolak Dog Days, Sheep Shearing Festival and North Andover’s National Night Out event. She is also an active member with the North Andover Merchants Association and the North Andover Police Crimewatch Program.

In addition to participating in community events, Zysk is also dedicated to the ongoing promotion of animal health and wellness education.

“Being able to educate pet owners on how to properly care for their pets will help to improve the quality of life for these animals,” she said.

Zysk also writes for two local papers on a volunteer basis, covering pet-related topics.

Zysk will be honored in person at PSI’s 2014 Pet Sitter World Educational Conference & Expo in Indianapolis this September.

To learn more about Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care, call (978) 697-6571. For more information on pet sitting or find a local PSI pet sitter, visit the PSI website at

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our PAWSITIVE Stay at the Residence Inn Andover MA

On April 24, 2013 the unthinkable happened. I had just completed a very long day of work. In fact it was my busiest day of the week. I had walked twenty four dogs and was absolutely exhausted.

I was looking forward to going home, spending time with my adorable Boston terrier Lani and possibly ordering some take out. Once I walked into my condo, I knew, I just knew something was wrong. My Lani was trembling on the couch. Behavior of a very scared little dog, not common for my super cuddly pup. Then I saw why?

OH MY GOD, water was gushing, everywhere. I stood there in shock. The unit upstairs was flooding into mine, it wasn't a simple little drip, this was a wave that had burst through the ceiling. End result: My bathroom was a complete loss !

Holding onto my dog, to comfort and protect her from this unexpected disaster, the thoughts in my head were spinning. What was I going to do? Where were Lani and I going to live? Yes...where were BOTH Lani and I going to live. We're not separating, she is my dog, she is my family.

I called my insurance and got the process started. My rep at Horace Mann couldn't have been any more supportive during this crisis, he took ownership of this situation and calmed my nerves. He stated:

" You will need a place to live and your policy covers your hotel stay."

Immediately without hesitation, I responded " It needs to be pet friendly, you need to find a place where my 22lb Boston can stay with me."

My rep made a few phone calls and all was taken care of..he found THE place. The Marriott Residence Inn Andover MA.

I packed up my car, Lani and I drove over to the hotel. I had that " Momma/daughter talk with my baby girl letting her know that things were going to be a little crazy for the next few weeks and I needed her to be a big brave dog. She knew what I was saying, she understood and she gave me a big kiss.

I really didn't know what to expect. I had never had to live in a hotel for an extended stay and I had no idea how my dog would do in this new environment.

As with any construction rebuild, delays are going to happen. However, mine turned into a four month project. This was not in my game plan. I never expected to live in a hotel with my dog for four months!

From day one, this staff made me feel at home. What I never expected was the way the staff went up and beyond for my dog. My Lani tends to be shy with strangers and doesn't really do well with new situations. But every single staff member made her feel comfortable. Lani was spoiled with a gift basket of toys and treats, was known by every employee on a first name basis and she even got to hang out at the front desk every night.

Yes, the Marriott Residence Inn is pet friendly and I am proud to say every person checking in was welcomed by my Lani and received kisses when departing.

My Lani was treated as more than just a dog staying in a room, Lani was made to feel at home. For me, that is what I needed and feared wouldn't happen. I wanted my dog to feel at home and she did.

Life can toss situations at you when least expected but when it does occur, there needs to be a resource, a solution to the situation, and it has to happen.

The Marriot Residence Inn in Andover MA, part of the Marriott corporation is a pet friendly hotel. Exactly what I needed, they were my resource, they were the solution to my situation and they made it happen !

To anyone that may be traveling with their pets or become displaced from their home and need a place for their family including pets, I cannot express my gratitude enough to this wonderful corporation for allowing pets to stay in their hotels.

Literally a life saver for me and my dog..............

And to the entire staff at the Marriott Residence Inn Andover, Lani sends each and everyone of you a BIG WET SLOPPY KISS !


Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's National Guide Dog Month

Honor our Guide Dogs

North Andover's Tilly

September is  National Guide Dog Month which is an honorary way to  celebrate  the work of guide dogs in the United States.  This includes a way to raise awareness, appreciation and support for guide dogs, the function they perform and the training schools they attend across the United States. It was established in 2008 as a fundraising drive to benefit non-profit guide dog organizations accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation.

Guide Dogs, also referred to as Assistance Dogs, Service Dogs and Seeing Eye Dogs are dogs that are specifically trained to help people who have disabilities including visual and or  hearing impairments, mental illness, seizures, diabetes, Autism, and many other diseases.
Their goal is to "assistant"  a physically or emotionally disabled humans to perform daily tasks that they may not be able to do otherwise.   These dogs are also trained in preventive measures.  For example, a dog may be able to alert for help when a diabetic may be starting to have a seizure.
In the past couple of year, the US Military has started to utilize working dogs for more than combat.   When a solider returns home with a disability there are now options to pair the solider with a dog.  Most recently,  the Military has invested in  Guide dogs that are trained to help detect Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  These dogs are now being paired with soldiers returning  home from combat that have been diagnosed with this disease.
These dogs are not family pets.  In fact, they are called Guide, Assistance or Seeing Eye for a very specific reason.  It is the tasks these dogs are trained to perform which allows them to become an extension of the human.   These dogs are the added help to allow the person to live a normal everyday life.

The American with Disabilities Act  (ADA) a law passed in 1990, protects the disabled from being discriminated against added a specific clause protecting working dogs.    " Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go "
If you are a business owner and have concerns about letting dogs enter your facility, well, you just may want to review this law first:

Pictured is Tilly,  she is a Seeing Eye Dog that assists local resident Sue Christensen.  Sue is legally blind and works in downtown Boston.  Many may recognize Tilly as she rides the local commuter rail to Boston everyday with Sue.   If you see Tilly and would like to say Hello, please kindly ask Sue first, ( or ask any handler before you approach his assistance dog) and Sue will put Tilly into her proper commend, and well, be prepared Tilly will probably shower you with kisses !

Tracey is the owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care of
North Andover or on facebook at












Saturday, June 22, 2013

June is National Adopt A Cat Month

What a Purr- fect time to bring a feline into your home.  June is National Adopt a Cat Month.    Rescue leagues nationwide in collaboration with the American Humane Society  will be promoting this annual adoption event in hopes to find 1000's of cats and kittens their forever home.
In the spring months, better known as " Kitty Season"  you may have started noticing the births of more and more litters of kittens,  Due to mating season,  there is always an abundance of young kitties left for homeless and animal shelters and rescue organizations  are often full.

Preparing is Everything:  Ask yourself the following:

1.  Why do you want to bring a kitten/cat into your home?  - This is a lifelong commitment. Therefore evaluate your lifestyle and determine if you have the time for a pet.

2.  Are you financially prepared for the expenses of owning a cat?  Have a short term and long term budget. You may even want to consider pet insurance

3. Meet the cat first and make sure the temperament and personality fits with yours.
4.  Do you want a kitty or are you interested in a senior aged cat?  Once again, depends on your personality, lifestyle and finances.

5.  Research your local veterinarians and bring your new cat in for a visit within the first few days of adoption.  It is important to develop that relationship between your cat and vet as soon as possible.

6.  Cat supplies- Go shopping before you bring your cat home.  You want to introduce your new cat to his surrounding and make it as welcoming as possible.  Also cat proof the home before you bring him home.  This will set the boundaries when he is first introduced to his new place.

7.  Pet sitting- You will travel and you will need someone to care for your cat when you are not home.   Make sure you have family members available to help and also build a relationship with your local petcare business.  Wiggles & Jiggles Loves ALL pets !

8.   Family evacuation plans - include you cats and all your family pets in your designated family evacuation plan.  You just never know what mother nature will toss our way.  Be prepared:  travel crate, extra food, collar, tags and have your  cat microchip.  In case of an emergency this will help you to be able to keep your cats from being displaced from you during an emergency.

Now go  "Save a Life and ADOPT"

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Winning Weekend for Wiggles & Jiggles

It was an exceptionally good weekend for Tracey Zysk, pet care specialist and owner of Wiggles & Jiggles.

No, she did't get a new puppy.

On Friday, Zysk attended the Valley Patriot's 9th Anniversary party and was presented with a community service award -- the Good Will Ambassador Award.

On Saturday, at the NAMA "Knight of Honor" gala, Zysk was surprised with another award, Volunteer of the Year.
Zysk started Wiggles & Jiggles 11 years ago.

"I am more than thrilled, I'm touched by this community," Zysk said. Zysk didn't know beforehand about either of the honors.  Zysk has been volunteering her whole life. When President Bill Clinton launched Americorps in the 1990s, Zysk was one of the first volunteers for that program. She said participating in that nationwide good will movement led her to appreciate the long-term effects of helping communities.

"I love to give, and I think when people need help, the community should go out there and help," Zysk said. "As a buz owner, I am so grateful for the opportunities this town has given me. Without my community, I wouldn't have the business I have today. It's my home, and these are my neighbors, and that means more than anything."

"Volunteer of the Year" ~ Tracey Zysk

March 23, 2013 I had the honor of being presented the " Volunteer of the Year" award by the North Andover Merchants Assocation. This is an award given to the dedication of volunteering within the community of North Andover. Thank You to the North Andover Merchants Association. Seated with Selectwoman Tracy Connolly Watson and State Rep Diana DiZoglio

Goodwill Ambassador Award - Tracey Zysk

March 22, 2013  I had the honor of being presented the "Goodwill Ambassador Award" an award given for involvement within the Merrimack Valley and dedication to the mission of The Valley Patriot. Super big Thank You to owner/editor Tom Duggan