not your average pet care provider
care for pets who see the world through a different lens
serious work, but made fun & positive
For over 20 years, area families have been saying, '...you're our first choice!' when seeking knowledgeable, in-home pet care for their animal companions. The reason? The very best in expert care, communication and the aim for excellence so that families can spend time away worry-free, no matter for pleasure, business or tending to family matters. This includes families with pets who've been assessed as seeing the world differently, like those with generalized anxiety, separation anxiety and fear aggression. These families often lack access to support from a Fear Free Certified Professional who not only understands the pet's needs, but has taken the time to seek education in those areas.
As families head back into workplace more days per week and take part in other activities as gathering together has become more feasible, there's still the matter of managing a pet's routine. From visits to keep a pet's behavioral medication doses on track, respite care for separation anxiety (SA) and more, find out why credentialed dog trainers and behavioral consultants, veterinarians and veterinary behaviorists recommend partnering with me.
Accepting firm reservations into spring, 2024
overnight sitting services
for those pets needing extra tending & supervision at night
Who doesn't love extra company at night? For some family pets, they just fare better when a trusted caregiver is there overnight. This is where I come in. Overnight pet sitting stays are an option that I provide to families for pets of any age, whether their health is stable or delicate. As the primary focus of the service that I provide, staying in the pet's own home overnight coupled daytime coverage lends:
-- peace of mind and much-needed respite for families with pets who require support due to age or fragile health while ensuring that their pet’s emotional well-being and care plan is maintained by an experienced and Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner (CAHP)
-- a worry-free time away from home for families who share life with pets who experience behavioral challenges -- like those assessed/managed by a credentialed trainer or veterinary behaviorist -- such as separation anxiety, fear aggression and generalized anxiety.
Medications prescribed for a pet's treatment plan whether it's for comfort care, chronic disease or behavior are kept on track, as are special diets and behavioral management plans.
Accepting new clients. Service area includes greater Ann Arbor (Dexter, and many areas of A2, Ypsilanti, Saline and even Canton.)
Now accepting firm reservations into summer, 2024
palliative, hospice, end-of-life doula (fourth life stage) care support for companion animals
when you can't be there, or need respite care
With my years of professional experience and ongoing training as a Certified Animal Hospice Practitioner -- palliative and hospice care for companion animals is my wheelhouse. Whether it's due to age-related decline, mobility issues, a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness at any age or conditions like cancer, Chronic Renal Disease, laryngeal paralysis/GOLPP, lymphoma, diabetes, immune-mediated disease and arthritis, I work closely with families and their veterinarians in managing and monitoring a pet's condition and to provide comfort care every step of the way. From palliative to hospice and end-of-life care support, there's no need to go it alone during your pet's final years, months, weeks and end-of-life with the expertise that I can provide. Find out why area families and their veterinarians recommend partnering with me.
Service area variable.
Inquiries about where to begin are always welcome.
Scheduling into spring, 2024
subcutaneous (SQF) fluid administration:
Does your pet require daily or periodic sub-q therapy because of a post-surgical protocol, or a diagnosis like Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?
Their SQF regimen can be kept on track while you're away. I'm experienced with this administering this therapy and do so using positive reinforcement.
esophagostomy tube (e-tube) feeding:
E-tube feeding and maintenance can be daunting at first for families, as can the prospect of having to maintain the feeding schedule. Having support and peace of mind can make the process less stressful, all using my skills as a Fear Free Certified Professional.
Service area variable, inquiries always welcome. Scheduling into spring, 2024
-certified professional pet care
-certified professional overnight stays for pets
-palliative, hospice, end-of-life doula care support for pets
-specialty services + care for pets
-certified pet loss and grief companioning
"Lorrie just looked after our 3 cats for the 1st time last week. They loved her, which is unusual because they can take a long time to warm up to people, but they warmed right up to her. One of them has an intermittent urinary problem and we totally trusted her to know what to look for as far as symptoms and what to do if he got sick. Huge relief! She's going to be our go-to from now on!" - Siobhan Donnelly, Ann Arbor
"Lorrie Shaw is a highly skilled professional. I would never trust my sweet pup with anyone else. She’s a lifesaver!" Diane Dues, Dexter
"We have worked with Lorrie for over 10 years now! She was with us for our first pup right to the very end. He was very scared of everything and only comfortable with certain people and Lorrie was one of his favorites. She was there every step of the way at the end going above and beyond at all times. I don't know what we would have done without her. We finally got the courage to get another pup and she was one of the first people I called. She's already gave us amazing advice and has helped already. I would recommend her to anyone, she is fabulous!! Thank you Lorrie!!" - Janelle Monaco, Dexter
"Lorrie is a trusted member of our extended pet family, and, as a veterinarian, I am very comfortable traveling for long periods of time when Lorrie is in charge. Her attention to detail, knowledge of each of our 5 pets, and willingness to jump in at the last minute if she is able has made her our pet sitter of choice! We are not the kind of people who would travel if it meant leaving our pets in cages at a kennel....Lorrie has enriched the lives of both us and our pets. Five stars!"
Cathy Theisen, DVM
"I have and an 11 year old German Shepherd Dog. In that time, I have found no one that I trust more to care for my dog than Lorrie Shaw! My dog has had 3 cancer surgeries and Lorrie is completely proficient in giving her dietary supplements with her food. Daily video text clips are a wonderful way that Lorrie checks in to show me how much exercise and fun my dog is having! Lorrie really has all of the bases covered when it comes to pet sitting and understanding the needs of animals. I feel fortunate to have found Lorrie to take care of my best friend while I am unable to! I highly recommend Lorrie as someone who I am happy is a part of my pet's life!"
Natasha A., Dexter
"We have been fortunate to have Lorrie dog sit for our dog, Quinn, on several occasions. Because Quinn is a special needs dog (he is blind and has mobility and behavioral issues), he requires someone to stay at our home nights and also to administer medicine during the day. Lorrie has cared for Quinn with skill and kindness.
Lorrie is a true professional. Her knowledge of behavioral and medical issues which affect dogs is remarkable. She shows true affection and caring for Quinn. Her communication with us while we’re away is super. She sends us updates on Quinn and videos of him. I addition, she has given us many good ideas for keeping Quinn entertained and happy. Knowing that Lorrie is taking such excellent care of Quinn while we’re away gives up the opportunity to relax and enjoy the trip!!"
-- Anita and Bob Vaughan, Ann Arbor
I seriously won the lottery when I found Lorrie Shaw. She’s a pet sitter who specializes in geriatric, special needs and hospiced pets. She cares for pets when their family people travel or who just work longer days than the pets can be left home alone. And then there are clients like me — mobility limited and not able to give my aging dogs all the best care.
Lorrie came daily starting last fall to take my 16 year old doxie Frank out for walking and exercise. He really enjoyed the outside time and being taken for walks on the driveway and grassy yard. He could sniff everything and wander at will something that would be difficult for me to do, especially getting him up and down the front steps since he could no longer manage to climb stairs and was growing more demented by the day. She also worked with him inside playing little food-motivated mind games which he seemed to enjoy. She stayed with her care for him until he went to the bridge late in the fall.
She also worked with my other doxie, 16 year old Duke, who had an enlarging heart but was in good shape until he injured his rear legs and became mobility limited himself. He was being hospiced at that point so no heroic measures were being considered, only medications and practices that enhanced his comfort. Duke needed to be carried outside at that point to take care of business and we could see that the more he walked the better and less stiff he became so Lorrie worked with him daily and achieved good results. He was always better for having been out to walk and remained in a stable condition far longer than we expected.
As Duke became increasingly picky at eating Lorrie was on a mission to entice him to eat daily in order to get meds (pain, heart and G.I.) into him. His appetite was quite variable and her track record of encouraging him to eat and take meds was remarkable. As an end-of-life doula she also worked with our previous vet clinic and the hospice pet home care vet we engaged toward the end. She is very knowledgeable about conditions and medical practices and was able to advise and assist with these. And was also very kind and caring of us when it became apparent that Duke was at his end. It was a rough emotional time for us and Lorrie was diligent about checking in with us even after Duke’s departure because that was also part of Lorrie’s service. There are not enough words of gratitude to adequately express thanks to Lorrie.
-- Char Olson, Pinckney
Lorrie is a dedicated person who is extremely knowledgeable about pet care. We trust her implicitly with our two cats, who can sometimes be challenging to care for - but they love her! One of them has some special needs and requires medication twice a day. Lorrie is patient and has provided helpful suggestions regarding his medicine. The peace of mind she provides when we're away makes our trips more enjoyable.
-- Wendy Hains, Dexter
I'm so lucky to have found Lorrie. I can't give enough praise for her knowledge, professionalism, and genuine love of animals. I feel very secure leaving my two aging, and demanding, cats in her care. More than once she has gone far beyond the call of duty to deal with challenging situations. And my cats think she's great, too!
-- Pat Truzzi, Ann Arbor
It is hard to find a pet sitter you trust will understand your pet the way you do. It is so much harder to find one that you trust to care for a chronically-ill pet. I know that I can make sure my sweet cat gets his meds on time, that his days have as little stress as possible and that he knows he is loved every minute. But until I found Lorrie Shaw I didn’t think it would be possible that anyone else could take care of him, including those in my immediate family! When some mandatory family travel came up (no one had traveled in over a year because I couldn’t leave my little guy), I had to take a chance on someone else. Lorrie turned out to be the absolutely magical combination of animal lover, experienced caregiver for ill pets and complete professional. Lorrie can handle complicated medication schedules … when they go right and when they go wrong. She is flexible, determined and primed with more tricks to get a dose into a cat than I knew existed! Most importantly, she is an exceptional communicator. Through both of our trips away I knew exactly what meds my cat had taken and when, and I also saw daily video proof of how well my two healthy guys were doing (and how much they liked her!) … which allowed my family and I to relax and enjoy both trips way more than I realized possible. I can’t recommend Lorrie highly enough – she took wonderful care of my healthy cats and kept my sick cat relaxed and on his medication schedule. Like I did, you may think you are the only one that can care for your sick pet. But trust me … Lorrie can, too!
-- Annemarie Dolan, Ann Arbor
If we had to define Lorrie Shaw in three words they would be; “Knowledgeable, Professional & Dedicated”. We were impressed with the thoroughness of the initial meeting and interview with Lorrie and her high level of organization to ensure that complete information and history on our pet was being provided.
We believe that Lorrie is the perfect person to stay in our home with Rip, our 12-1/2-year-old English Mastiff, and she provides us with peace of mind while we are traveling. Beyond that, Lorrie has the experience to think ahead and incorporate the “what-if” scenarios into the care of Rip.
An example of Lorrie’s connection with Rip was her suggestion to stop by for a visit with Rip prior to our next vacation. Our cleaning person was here when Lorrie visited and later told us how “sweet” Lorrie and Rip interacted, a “True Bond”.
It is great for all pet owners that Lorrie is so involved in promoting the pet care industry and continuing to pursue even more knowledge. We need more people with Lorrie’s skills, and she is working to help make that happen.
-- Lisa and Frank Johnson
Lorrie has been taking care of my cats for the past three years. She’s definitely the best pet sitter I’ve had in my 30 years of adult life with cats. I tend to be a bit of a worrier when I go out of town and leave my three guys, particularly because my oldest cat has some health issues. But I know that I can trust Lorrie completely - she knows her stuff! It’s been such a relief to be able to leave town and not worry one second about the cats. Lorrie is competent to handle anything that could possibly arise. She touches base regularly, including sending a daily video which features all three cats and an update on how everybody’s doing. It’s clear my cats are 100% comfortable with her and that they get to follow their follow their typical routine, including playing their favorite games. Lorrie’s absolutely the best, and I can’t recommend her highly enough.
-- Jamie Taylor, Ypsilanti
Lorrie has cared for our dogs both old and young for many years. She easily handled our elderly dog's medicine regimen and now she finds ways to occupy our younger, energetic dog in our absence. It is so reassuring to receive daily updates and videos of our pet when we are away! Lorrie is both extremely caring and reliable and I'm not sure what we would do without her.
-- Adrienne Losh, Ann Arbor
Our 15 year old dog Pele immediately took to Lorrie. She has a way that totally clicked with him. That was our first sign that Lorrie would be the right person to care for him in our absence. We recently had Lorrie care for Pele for five days and it was 100% clear how caring, kind, competent, reliable, and responsible Lorrie is. She was completely focused on his care. Her daily videos were lovely, detailed, and totally reassuring. Pele is a fragile elder who is deaf and who had suffered a previous TIA. Lorrie is truly knowledgeable about elder pet medical issues and her skill and professionalism allowed us to travel in peace knowing that our precious dog was in great, loving hands. Thanks Lorrie!
-- Rochelle Flumenbaum, Ann Arbor
I can not overstate how lucky we are to have Lorrie in our lives. She has cared so well for our dogs - especially for our geriatric end-of-life lab. I never thought that we would be able to leave town with an older, high-maintenance dog at home, but Lorrie changed that completely. We were totally comfortable leaving Lily in Lorrie's care because of Lorrie's incredible knowledge and capacity in veterinary medical issues (to say nothing of her love for the dogs!). Last year, our younger dog Rosie was a bit droopy one day, and Lorrie was the one who nudged me to take her to the vet, as she is tuned in to signs and symptoms that I am not - even though I have had dogs my entire life! What followed was a long weekend of emergency hospital visits and tests and difficult diagnoses, and Lorrie was available to help me with every decision I faced. When Rosie passed away very quickly, Lorrie checked in with us and our older dog frequently to see how we were doing. Our old girl - Lily - kept on going for a while, with lots of medication and veterinary support, and Lorrie helped to translate all the information coming at us from the vet and took great care of Lily whenever we were away. A few months ago, Lily finished her very long and wonderful life, and Lorrie helped us to navigate that decision as well, and has helped us to manage our grief during this difficult time. She understands dogs and she understands peoples' relationships to their dogs. She has cared wonderfully for our dogs, but that is only part of what she has done for our family. She helped us navigate the loss of two beloved dogs in a short period of time. Her compassion, perspective and knowledge - combined with her willingness to talk things through - make her an invaluable person to anyone with pets!
--The Ellis Family, Ann Arbor
It can be isolating and overwhelming to care for a beloved pet during the last months of their life. Throw in a pandemic, and a health challenge for a (human) family member, and it's an understatement to say that we were so lucky to have found Lorrie!
Lorrie, with her high level of skill/knowledge, kindness, deep love for and connection with animals, and fun sense of humor, walked right along-side us, and helped us navigate that crazy time. We felt strongly supported through the last months of our beloved, almost-16-yr-old dog's (Trucker Grace) life. With respite visits/encouragement/guidance/suggestions from Lorrie, it felt like we were being kindly and expertly supported through the ups and downs of that time, with Lorrie on one side of us, and our wonderful veterinarian on the other side (and clear, helpful communication between us all). Not only did Lorrie walk right with us through that time, she also stayed a couple steps ahead, anticipating what Trucker Grace and we would need next, thereby making everything much easier.
Our dog's life was full and good, right to the end. She and Lorrie, without a doubt, enjoyed each other, and Lorrie showed us ways to add comfort and ease (and fun!) to Trucker's days. Lorrie put emphasis on all the positive things that were truly, right there, but could get over-shadowed by grief or fatigue.
Though we miss our "pup" so much, we have deep peace of mind about how her last months unfolded, and we'll always be grateful to Lorrie; our whole family was helped. We also greatly benefited, after Trucker Grace passed away, from Lorrie's kindness and support of our grief.
-- the Bradley-Schnaidt Family, Ann Arbor
Lorrie is an incredible asset in navigating any type of pet-care need! Between her empathy, compassion, & confidence, I am sure there is no better choice. I met Lorrie during an especially overwhelming time in my dog's post-surgical journey. Due to an infection, my dog required daily antibiotic injections with fluid administration.
My dog is very sensitive at baseline, & often displays a large pain-reaction to relatively well-tolerated procedures, so the added layer of breaching her trust by poking her daily, in her home, by the person she relies on for safety & comfort, was just too much for both me & her.
I was referred to Lorrie by another member of my dog's care team, & was immediately comforted just from her first email back. Not only was she willing to help provide the needed care, she was kind & professional in her communication. I was especially impressed with Lorrie's new-client process, & her dedication to becoming acquainted with my dog's unique personality, needs, & temperament before beginning the treatment process. Lorrie always listened to me, validated my feelings, & looked for my input at every step. She was open to discussing other options & problem-solving alongside me to support the best outcome for my dog.
-- Marisa and Maggie, Ann Arbor
.Lorrie’s approach with pets is different, her understanding of animal behavior and consideration of their life stage helps form a relationship that is a positive experience from the pet’s perspective. For geriatric and special needs pets, she has excellent working knowledge of medical conditions and the treatments needed to support these pets in the home as diagnosed and directed by a Client’s veterinarian. Great effort is taken to deliver this care in a kind and low stress, fear-free manner. Lorrie’s professionalism, experience, and love for her work is apparent. We couldn’t be more grateful, she truly does go the extra mile when your pets are in her care.
-- Judy Conley, LVT Pinckney
I highly recommend Lorrie as a pet sitter for pets with special needs. One of my 3 cats is a 19 year old senior kitty with kidney disease. In addition to her 6 regular oral medications, she gets subcutaneous fluids daily and needs a Lot of encouragement to eat. Lorrie not only managed all of her medical care with ease, she spent the time necessary to get her to eat and adjusted plan of care as needed depending on how my cat was doing.
She reached out to me in the months leading up to the pet sitting visits to see how things were going with my senior cat, she even had recommendations for things that could help in my cats care. During the pet sitting visits, she kept me well informed of what was going on. She made me feel relaxed and comfortable enough to actually enjoy my vacation away, which was the first time I was leaving my cat alone overnight in several years.
I will definitely be contacting Lorrie again for all of my pet sitting needs for my senior kitty cat. she is truly amazing!
-- Pam Johnson, Pinckney
The term “pet sitter” may describe some people, but what Lorrie offers goes so far beyond someone who drops in to refill the food and water dishes and rub, pat, and/or walk your beloved furball. She not only cares passionately about her clients (in both two- and four-legged form), she also has an in-depth knowledge of so many pet-related topics, most critically health issues.
Our nearly 18-year-old cat, Sam, is a perfect example of Lorrie’s comprehensive care. Sam is diabetic, requiring insulin shots twice a day, and he can also be a moody, finicky eater, given his restricted diet due to his kidney and gastrointestinal issues. My wife and I had planned a weeklong trip for our first anniversary, but things got complicated when Sam experienced a blood glucose crash and had to be rushed to the hospital just two weeks before we were due to leave. He recovered, but with his condition still being somewhat unstable, I was concerned about being able to leave him for our trip.
But I needn’t have worried. Thanks to her thorough information-gathering, Lorrie already had a good grasp of Sam’s delicate situation, and she was well familiar with his medicines as well as with the FreeStyle monitor his vet fitted him with to provide continuous surveillance of his blood glucose. In fact, the FreeStyle app was already installed on her phone and ready to sync up with Sam!
While we were on our trip, Lorrie sent us daily video updates. She spent a lot of time with Sam to make sure he was eating and drinking properly and keeping his food down before giving him his injections and – also importantly – giving him all the loving attention he so definitely enjoys. With our permission, she even installed her own camera in our home so she could keep an eye on Sam when she was not there!
Sam has been a big part of my life for almost two decades, so it meant everything to know my cherished buddy was in such good hands. Leaving him in the care of someone without Lorrie’s compassion, knowledge, and training was just not an option. And, lest I give the impression Lorrie only takes on the challenging assignments like Sam, she also took excellent care of Sam’s much less demanding stepsister cat, Imogene, who generally prefers not to be seen by strangers.
I unreservedly recommend Lorrie for your pet care needs, whatever they may be. Despite everything she brings to the table that – I must be honest – not too many other professionals do, Lorrie prices her services affordably, on top of it all. If Michelin gave stars to pet care professionals, Lorrie would have one for sure!"
-- Dave Bardallis, Ann Arbor
Lorrie Shaw has my highest recommendation as a pet sitter for older dogs with medication and special handling needs. She was recommended by my veterinarian who also specializes in these situations … a high endorsement. She not only made our vacation possible, but worry-free. Her care in scheduling getting-acquainted visits with 14-year-old Toby before we left worked very well. Lorrie is a genius at getting a finicky dog to take his meds! And her quick, daily videos of Toby were reassuring, often funny and actually, a fun way for me to start my day, too. She is a respectful visitor in the house, plus being warm, helpful, inventive, thoughtful and compassionate toward both canines and humans. Her level of experience and training is top-notch. I’m so grateful for all of her help, which continued even after the vacation ended. She is truly a gifted person and a gift. Thanks, Lorrie!
Susan Elliker, Ann Arbor
I am completely confident leaving my dog with Lorrie. She is knowledgeable, compassionate, and professional. Lorrie visits our dog LuLu for everything from medication administration to week-long stays at our house. She is totally reliable and has the highest standard of care. When our other dog, Oscar, neared the end of his life, Lorrie provided expert comfort and treatment for him. She also helped us navigate the experience as a family, providing education on how we could help him live his fullest life for as long as possible.
LuLu is picky about her people, but she adores Lorrie. If you need care for an elderly animal, a respite, med visits, overnight stays, or even just someone to help you through a tough time with your pet, Lorrie is the only person I would recommend. It’s a real gift to have someone that not only cares for your pet but enhances their life, as well.
-- Kelly Daniels, Ann Arbor
As our beloved Labrador Retriever’s health began to deteriorate at age 11, we began to search for someone who might provide responsible care during the times we’d need to be away from our home. The challenge? The caregiver would need to be reliable, knowledgeable, comfortable dealing with a complex medical condition and medications, loving, and responsive. We’re so grateful that Lorrie Shaw came into our lives and (immediately!) began to improve our situation. In addition to her “official” services, we’ve discovered that Lorrie provides us with informed insights into some of the behavioral and medical issues we’re confronting. She’s accessible for consultations and down-to-earth when discussing our options. Our dog Stanley adores her (and the feeling seems mutual). When we travel – or just need extra care during the day – it’s wonderful to know that Lorrie will do whatever necessary to ensure Stanley’s comfort.
-- Deborah Linder, Ann Arbor
We highly recommend Lorrie for anyone who has pets with special needs. When we adopted our dog, who had been under socialized as a puppy, he had never stayed alone without his owner. Lorrie worked with us and our dog patiently and consistently over multiple visits until he was comfortable in her care. Our dog loves spending time with Lorrie and we cannot express the relief of being able to leave him knowing that he is happy and well cared for. We are so grateful to have found someone so patient and understanding of our dog’s particular needs.
--Daniel Newell & Mary Creedon, Ann Arbor
I'm a big believer in communication, and doing it right from the start. Want to get the ball rolling to see if we're a fit? Feel free to reach out by phone or with the email address at the bottom of the page. You can also zip off a message to me with the form provided below. Please include your first and last name in your correspondence, as well as your telephone number, and location, with a street/cross street/your city. I look forward to connecting with you. -- Lorrie Shaw, CAHP