At Together By My Side, LLC we understand that your pet, just like your family, is both special and unique and should be treated as such. Our goal is to be an extension of your family by keeping a consistent, loving environment for your pet while you are gone. By taking our cues from you, getting a detailed history of your pet as well as his or her daily schedule, we can best reduce your pet’s stress, loneliness and boredom while you are away from home. Fully insured and bonded, we are a proud member of Pet Sitters Associates. Together By My Side, LLC looks forward to exceeding your expectations!!! As proud pet parents, as well as lovers of all animals, we understand that the unconditional love we receive from our animals is a vital component to any family, and a relationship we hold very close to our hearts.
Born and raised in Easton, Marnie is a graduate of Joel Barlow High School and Boston University, with a B.A. in Psychology. After living in Los Angeles and working in IT, Marnie moved back to Easton in 2003, where she Vice/Co-Chaired the committee which built the new Municipal Animal Shelter for the Town of Easton, as well as volunteered and fund-raised for local animal rescue organizations. As an advocate for animal rescue and animal rights, she believes that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. She has cared both medically and emotionally for her own special needs and senior animals, and has helped others with their special needs pets. Having shared her life with dogs, cats, horses, Guinea pigs, parakeets and snakes (just to name a few, though not all at the same time!!!), Marnie understands that the bond between human and animal is ancient, complex and strong. She hopes that she has had as much of a positive impact upon the lives of her animals as they have had upon hers.
Thomas grew up in Redding and attended Joel Barlow High School. After graduating from Western Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Business Administration, he re-located to San Diego to pursue a career in finance. The loss of a close family member to cancer in 2013 changed Thomas’ perspective on life. He realized that “giving back” was far more rewarding and important than “getting,” and decided to change his career path. Due to his experience working as a veterinary technician during college, as well as the unconditional love and joy that his own dog had brought into his life, he decided that his true calling was to work with animals. Thomas is a certified graduate of the Animal Behavior College, and is currently studying under several well-known local trainer/behaviorists. He is a volunteer at ROAR (Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue). Thomas also helps out at other local animal shelters, helping shelter animals to find their “forever homes.” In addition, Thomas spends his spare time hiking with his Border Collie and advocating for cancer awareness. He is also active member of the Easton Lions Club, one of the oldest service organization in the United States.
Lux (whose full name is Antigone Lux Infinitum, since all rescue dogs deserve the names of show dogs) came to us in the summer of 2015 from a Border Collie rescue in Upstate New York. She had been living in a cramped basement apartment in Brooklyn (no place for a working dog!) and was happy to discover the “country life” here in Easton. An avid paddler at Lake Mohegan, Lux is a well-rounded athlete. She enjoys tennis (because of the balls), soccer (once again, the balls), football (odds are you get where we’re going with this), and basketball. She also enjoys nose-work, hide and seek, and snacks. Lux’s beautiful soul, big heart, keen intelligence and sense of humor bring us joy each and every day. We were blessed the day she came trotting into our lives.
Cairo (a.k.a. Mixed Martial Swats) appeared in our back yard the week before Labor Day, just a few days after Lux found her “forever home” here with us. It seems that they came as a “boxed set.” A panther trapped in a house cat’s body, Cairo is an apex predator, and the Muhammad Ali of Swatters. He enjoys swatting (of course), mousing (at which he excels), and the occasional catnip. When he finally settles into your lap for a well-deserved cat-nap, his soft, gentle purr makes all of your worries melt away.
I have known Marnie for well over a decade. She was one of the founding members of the Committee which built the new animal shelter for the Town of Easton. She has also parented, fostered and volunteered with the full spectrum of animals (most of them being rescues). Her unconditional love for her own animals as well as the welfare for all animals are second to none.
- Kelly Fitch, Easton Animal Control Officer
Marnie and Thomas have been caring for our two beloved Golden Retrievers and we could not be more pleased. They are extremely caring, very professional and provide regular communications on how the dogs are doing. When they come to walk the dogs, they spend lots of time playing with them or taking them on long walks. Recently we also had them begin training the dogs to walk properly on leash, and they have made incredible progress in a short time. We highly recommend Marnie and Thomas – two wonderful people who deeply care about dogs and their customers.
-Patty and Kenn, Redding, CT
It is my pleasure to review and endorse TOGETHER BY MY SIDE PET SERVICE. Marnie and Thomas are consummate professionals. They are bonded and insured. The contract and information documents reflect careful legal consultation. How reassuring! Marnie and Thomas are consistently responsive, responsible and reliable. They will never fail you and your pet! At an initial meeting with new clients, you will be asked to provide detailed information about your pet’s behavior and care. At that first meeting, they will make every effort to create a bond with your pet. They treat every pet as if he or she is their very own and provide written information about each visit. We have NO concerns about the safety of our pets and home. Finally, I feel confident that you will be delighted that you found Marnie and Thomas and will not hesitate to refer them.
-N.M., Easton, Ct
I have been looking for a long time for someone i could trust with my baby's, When I meet Marnie and Tom I knew right away they were perfect for me and my dogs. They are wonderful people!
-Susan Deacon Citarella, Easton, CT
Years ago when Marnie and I both lived in California I had a job that required me to fly out of town for 2 weeks a month. It was excruciating to leave my sweet American Eskimo pup behind, but worrying about her well-being was never an issue, because I knew Marine would treat her like her own. And indeed she did. Marine is one of those few people whose compassion and love for animals and dogs specifically goes beyond the usual. She adores them. Her reserve of love for dogs and other pets is bottomless. I have no doubt she would put herself in harm's way to protect an animal, whether it be from a threatening coyote or an abusive human. She's really remarkable. You could not find a more trustworthy and loving human to take care of your babies. I wouldn't hesitate for an instant hiring her again. If only she were closer!
-Kelly Kelley Mission Viejo, CA
I’ve never “boarded” a dog or cat in a kennel, and would never do so by choice. Granted, when I was a kid with a horse living in Lower Easton, the only option was to board my baby-girl at a stable. I did protest, but my parents, being reasonable people, understood that we were not living in “The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking,” and therefore I could not, in fact, keep my horse in my bedroom. Now that I’m a “grown-up,” and since I currently am not a “large-animal-mommy,” as I still live in Lower Easton (although, believe me, I still try to think up ways to disguise rescue horses, pigs, goats, etc. as “new dog breeds which are not currently recognized by the AKC.”), I have always used in-home pet care if I need help due to work, injury or the rare occasion that I am away for a few days and cannot bring my animals along. Now, you might be thinking, “Oh, she’s just writing this because she has her own in-home pet care service.” And you would be right. I am WRITING this because I provide in-home pet care, but I have always TOLD everyone who would listen that in-home is almost always better than a kennel. And it is ALWAYS better if you can find someone you can trust. I’ve used both friends and professional services. Both can be great. Both can also be a disaster. Once again, it goes back to finding someone competent, reliable, and who really cares about your animal(s) and the bond that you share with them. Just a quick note on legality, here, largely because I always hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. While your friends and family might have the best intentions, things sometimes go wrong. Granted, I feel strongly enough about the care of my animals that I have literally lost friends due to what I deemed to be “lax animal care,” but at least no animals were harmed and no humans were sued. I’m not exactly sure how you feel about court battles with friends and family, but I am not a big fan. So, let me just say one thing about hiring an individual or service that you find online or through friends – please make sure that they are bonded and insured. Although I have no personal experience with this, as I always hired professional agencies, I have read some horror stories. I actually read somewhere recently that NYC is starting to “crack-down” on unlicensed/uninsured dog-walkers due to so many negative incidents. So, let’s get back to kennel vs. in-home, as you are probably thinking, “Another tedious blog… Blah blah blah. Stop reading now.” And I will put it in bullet points, so you can bang right through it.
No-matter how posh it might seem to you, I swear your dog is thinking, “Why am I in doggie-jail? I am a GOOD DOG. I don’t even think I am a first-time-offender.” And, whatever your dog is thinking, odds are your cat is thinking worse. As well as how to even the score.
Your animal may be confused and frightened by an unfamiliar environment with strange smells, noises and people. Many animals find it difficult to eat, sleep and eliminate in a kennel environment. It can be especially stressful for seniors, special needs and animals with separation anxiety.
Not all kennels offer 24/7 staffing, so your animal may be left alone over-night.
While some kennels offer play-time and walks, these services are not always standard.
No-matter how clean the kennel, there is always the risk of cross-contamination. Once again, seniors and special needs animals are particularly susceptible to this.
While some kennels may offer pick-up and drop-off services for an additional fee, the responsibility normally is on you.
Continuity. Your animal stays in your home, with his or her own familiar sights, sounds and smells. Most in-home care services work around your animal’s existing schedule for meals and walks, and over-night services are usually available, so your pet is never alone for more than a few hours at a time.
Convenience. No pick-ups or drop-offs. In-home services come to you and work with your schedule.
Safety. Not only are your animals not exposed to the possibility of parasites and diseases from an unfamiliar place and unfamiliar animals, having someone come to your home several times a day not only gives your animals a sense of safety and familiarity, it tells possible intruders that someone is home, as lights are turned on and off, mail is taken in, etc.
At the end of the day, my point is this: In-Home Pet Care… Use it!!! You’ll be happy. But, more importantly, your animals will be happy. Just find a great provider. I’m hoping you’ll try Together By My Side, LLC. Pet Services in Easton Pet Services in Westport Pet Services in Fairfield