Tracy Burke, owner of the specialty pet sitting business, 2 Pigs & a Pup, has loved animals her whole life. She grew up as an only child and her pets were like siblings to her. She not only enjoyed the company of cats and dogs, but also exotic animals like dwarf goats, guinea pigs, and snakes. She began her career as a teacher for autistic children and came to recognize the therapeutic effect of animals on the children she taught. She noticed a deeply rooted bond between the animals and children, and realized the intuitive quality in animals was very special.
Tracy began to dream of a life where her career would be devoted to caring for and relating to animals. Her special bond with animals allows Tracy to communicate with them in a very personal way. She took the plunge two years ago to start her pet sitting business with encouragement from her husband, her children, and her pet loving friends. “I thought, ‘No way can I make that work,’ but now I pinch myself knowing that I spend each day caring for and communicating with animals that I love,” says Tracy.
The unique name for the business was the idea of Tracy’s daughter. She looked at Tracy’s two Guinea pigs, Gizmo and Hiccup, and Tracy’s pup, Aspen, and said, “2 Pigs and a Pup, of course!”
As Tracy began to build her pet sitting business, she realized just how deeply her nonverbal communication skills with animals go. “Animals communicate on a different plane, a more emotional level than people realize,” states Tracy. She began visiting and caring for animals with particular needs, like medication requirements, anxiety disorders, or other behavioral and health issues. She is often engaged to visit her animal clients even when their owners are not out of town. One client remarked, “Tracy has become an invaluable resource as our dog has aged. We know our senior dog with special needs is in great loving hands when she is in the care of Tracy.”
“Animals love unconditionally, without judgment, and they are free and generous with affection,” says Tracy. “Animals can sense how humans are feeling. I find working with grieving, medicated, aged, disabled animals, or those struggling with any issues, very rewarding.” Tracy strives to build trust with both the animals she works with, as well as their owners. She is bonded and insured and works to provide emotional stability for the animals. Her goal is one happy, satisfied client at a time. She does this by working with utmost integrity always doing all that is requested and more. She makes a point of listening carefully to what her clients want and need from her. Her clients come to think of her as part of the family. “Tracy is the ONLY pet sitter I trust. She was able to care for my special needs Chihuahua and my very feisty Shih Tzu. My dogs love her,” says her client, Kim.
Tracy volunteers with a local Animal Assisted Therapy group and is training to become certified in Wildlife Rehabilitation through Forsyth Tech. She hopes to become licensed for songbird rehabilitation, as she has a special love for birds. She also holds an Animal CPR and First Aid Certification, and carries her animal CPR first aid kit at all times. She also donates to the North Carolina Animal Response Team (NCART), an all-volunteer nonprofit organization dedicated to the technical, emergent response and rescue of horses, livestock and domestic animals. Tracy will be training with NCART this fall and is excited to become part of this amazing animal rescue group!
A future vision of her business includes adding to Tracy’s knowledge of pet nutrition and creating a line of organic healthy pet treats, maybe even opening a 2 Pigs & a Pup bakery and “hotel,” a small boarding facility, for her clients’ pets. Tracy would also welcome caring for more exotic pets such as therapy chickens, pet goats, and pigs, as well as horses and livestock. She envisions increasing a client base of people who work long shifts and hire her for daily visits to care for their pets while they work. As she grows her business, Tracy would feel, “blessed to hire others who love this work as much as I do!”
To reach Tracy at 2 Pigs & a Pup, you can call her at 336-918-7234 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to follow 2 Pigs & a Pup on Facebook!