When Anne Sabagh began planning her Northern Virginia pet-sitting business, she knew she wanted to do more than just feed her clients’ cats and walk their dogs. She wanted to care for the whole pet—and their human guardians—in a way that would encourage balance and wellness. And so, in April 2010 Sabagh opened Just Paws, offering holistic, in-home pet care.
As a provider of holistic care for cats, Sabagh looks at the big picture of feline lives rather than focusing on a snapshot of a single symptom. This means taking into account everything in the cat’s day-to-day life: where they live, what they eat, their personality and activity level, and whether there are other pets in the home. “I chose to focus on holistic care for animals and people because of my move towards a more holistic focus in my own life,” Sabagh says, citing the benefits of a holistic perspective in getting to the root cause of a health issue.
Two years before opening Just Paws, Sabagh began working for an established pet-sitting company, where she learned the ins and outs of caring for other people’s pets. She enjoyed the experience so much she decided to strike out on her own. Now she provides services ranging from bathing cats and trimming their nails to vacation cat-sitting, which involves visiting the home to feed the cats and give them fresh water, clean the litter box, administer medications if needed, and play with the cats and keep them company for a while. Sabagh also practices Reiki, a Japanese form of energy work in which she gently lays her hands on a pet (or a person) to help calm them and bring them into balance.
The best part of all this, Sabagh says, is knowing that she is making a difference in the lives of pets and their people. She enjoys helping people learn about how to care for their cats more holistically, and the positive updates she gets from her clients are especially fulfilling.
Her direct interaction with her furry clients is fulfilling, too. Two of Sabagh’s clients are a brother-and-sister pair of rescue cats named Nat and Ana. Ana, a gray tabby, was the first kitty client to receive a Just Paws Reiki treatment. As Sabagh gently placed her hands on Ana for the 15-minute treatment, the tabby looked steadily into her eyes, seeming to welcome all the balanced energy Sabagh was sending her. “She was quite the client indeed,” Sabagh says of Ana. “It was a very cool experience.”
For more information: Just Paws cares for pets and their people in the Fairfax, Oakton and Vienna areas of Northern Virginia. Contact Anne Sabagh at [email protected] or 703-732-2468.
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