Furry friends: Don’t work around your vet’s schedule!

Work around your own with Riverdale’s travelling RVT

Written by Fleur Boomsma

Does your furry friend need to get a mani/pedicure? Contact Meaghan Michaud for her services // Image by LISA ROLLAND

Does your furry friend need to get a mani/pedicure? Contact Meaghan Michaud for her services // Image by LISA ROLLAND

Your precious, furry, little friend deserves the best care in the world and taking a trip to the clinic or pet store isn’t always as comfortable for the both of you. What if you knew about a registered veterinary technician (RVT) that could come to your home to offer the services you need?

Pet Pedis is Riverdale’s travelling RVT and has been in business since 2012. The owner and RVT, Meaghan Michaud, offers treatments like nail care, ear cleaning, B12/insulin injections, and now also offers pet-sitting for a great price. This way, you don’t have to work around your vet’s schedule and start working around your own.

Michaud comforts her furry friend, Hank as she is trimming his nails // Image by  MEAGHAN MICHAUD

Michaud comforts her furry friend, Hank as she is trimming his nails // Image by MEAGHAN MICHAUD

Michaud realized that nail care for pets wasn’t necessarily something that owners payed attention to. Some owners who may have physical disabilities weren’t able to put their pets in a carrier and bring it to the vet once or every couple of months to have its nails trimmed.

‘When I was working at a vet clinic, I thought it would be an interesting side project for myself,” Michaud said. “Little did I know that a lot of people would be interested in this kind of service.”

To distinguish the difference between a vet and a RVT is that the vet is essentially an animal doctor and the technician is a person who has successfully graduated from an accredited school and has met all the requirements identified by their provincial state or state association. Michaud also likes to refer herself as an animal nurse.

According to Michaud, to be a RVT you have to write the national exam, pass a criminal background check, and have to attend professional ethics seminars. These technicians are required to keep up with continuing education whether that means attending a conference, a lunch-and-learn, or take an online course. This way the RVT is constantly learning about the changes and updates in medicine.

As a Riverdale resident, Michaud has developed many relationships over the years. She believes it’s a privilege to be trusted with people’s pets, let alone to be trusted enough to be invited into their home.

Hetfield is getting his medication // Image by  MEAGHAN MICHAUD

Hetfield is getting his medication // Image by MEAGHAN MICHAUD

“They’re taking a complete risk asking a stranger to come into their home and handle the most important four-legged creature in their life and yet they do it,” Michaud said.

Michaud has also found that some pet owners don’t quite understand the vet’s instructions and don’t want to ask any further questions because they may feel distraught.

Image by  SUZANNE LEWIS

Image by SUZANNE LEWIS

The difference with Pet Pedis is that Michaud goes over the instructions at a pace that works for her clients and in a home that they are comfortable with.

She will take the extra time to make sure that they understand and may even send a follow-up email going over and adding additional information that will help with any further concerns they have.

Going eco-friendly: Ride the bike!

City of Toronto installs three new bike station docks in Riverdale's Withrow Park

Bike station docks at Carlaw Ave and McConnell Ave.  Photo taken by Fleur Boomsma

Bike station docks at Carlaw Ave and McConnell Ave. 
Photo taken by Fleur Boomsma

Article and photography by Fleur Boomsma

Since the City of Toronto started investing in “Bike Sharing” back in 2011 the number of bike rides and annual members have grown significantly. According to Bike Share Toronto, they had over 4,000 members in 2016 and it continues to grow. The Riverdale community is one of the perfect places ride the bike safely wherever you go, no matter what time it is. See biking as an entertaining and economical way to get around town while avoiding traffic, TTC delays and Taxi or Uber fares! Let’s not forget you get the exercise!

Finally, on July 10, the city installed three new bike sharing docks near Withrow Park which are located at Carlaw/McConnell Ave, Logan/McConnell Ave, and Logan/Bain Ave. Each station block has between 9-17 bikes available. Now you may see that bikes are not always parked at the station docks, it seems that the Riverdale community is fully committed to bike sharing! The city recognizes that our growing Riverdale neighborhood is ready for this bike system around its well-known Withrow Park.

How does it work?

The system is simple. You locate a bike at one of stations by going to the Bike Share Toronto website or the mobile app. Once located the bike (or if you are at a station already), purchase your pass with your credit card and you will receive a 5-digit code that gives you access to unlock a bike. The benefit of bike sharing is that there’s no need to return the bike to the exact same station.

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What is the cost?

Though a single trip of 30 minutes would cost you $3.25, it’s wiser for you to purchase a 24-hour pass of $7. That way you will avoid getting overcharged on your credit card if you don't return your bike within 30 minutes.

If you want to explore the city you can purchase a 3-day pass for $15, which is much more cost-effective than using the public transportation in Toronto.

If you are a committed bike rider like the Dutch in the Netherlands, who will bike anywhere no matter what weather condition they are in (summer, fall, spring AND winter), there is the option of purchasing the $99 annual membership that allows you to have unlimited bike rides for an entire year.

We would love to hear your thoughts on the new bike sharing installations! Is it worth your while?

A fresh start for Riverdale’s puppy school, Freshpuppy

Freshpuppy undergoes metamorphosis as Sydney Bleicher goes from dog expert to certified dog trainer

by Kaela Beaton

Do you remember going on a school field-trip as a child or exploring your favourite store for the first time? Field-trips for dogs are just as important too, whether it’s exploring the Toronto subway system or Holt Renfrew. Part-time server and full-time dog enthusiast, Sydney Bleicher, a certified dog trainer for her company, Freshpuppy, spends her days empowering new puppy owners to raise gentle and loving companions that can comfortably navigate through our city.

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     Sydney enjoying a brisk sunny day at the park with her new puppy

Sydney enjoying a brisk sunny day at the park with her new puppy

In the early 2000s Sydney founded Freshpuppy, a puppy training and education company. After years of experience working with young dogs and co-creating Ultimate Puppy, a toolkit focused on socialization and preventative-styled exercises to stop the development of poor behaviors, Sydney decided to take her passion for working with dogs to new heights. Today, Sydney works closely with Riverdale-based dog owners, many of whom she met from her time working at Lolita’s Lust restaurant which recently closed after 20 years.

“Sydney is so talented as a trainer and consultant! I always get excited when we have a shared client because I know they're getting the most fantastic information and support,” explained Caryn Charlie Liles when reviewing Freshpuppy’s services.

While Freshpuppy has been around for several years, it is currently undergoing a period of metamorphosis. In April, Sydney graduated from the Karen Pryor Academy and now proudly holds the title as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. Since her graduation, Sydney has revamped her Ultimate Puppy curriculum and adjusted her training methods to help people become more connected to their dogs. “I love educating people and watching the transformation happen; it’s awesome,” says Sydney.

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     Sydney’s client enjoying a game of ‘throw and catch’ with her

Sydney’s client enjoying a game of ‘throw and catch’ with her

At Freshpuppy, Sydney stresses the importance of early socialization. In private training sessions, Sydney exposes newborn and adolescent dogs to behave properly within the city of Toronto using a science-based approach. She focuses on socializing dogs between the ages of birth to 16 weeks, explaining that dogs are most vulnerable to adopting poor habits during this critical time.

“Dogs are not euthanized for illness but for preventable behavioral problems,” says Sydney. “The best thing people can do for their puppy is to find a good trainer.”

Today, you can find Sydney serving at one of Triple A Bar’s three Toronto locations, inspiring dogs and dog owners alike to become loving household pets or taking her puppy clients on field-trips through the Toronto subway system and even Holt Renfrew at Yonge and Bloor.


Freshpuppy
East Toronto
www.freshpuppy.ca
(416) 939-2853