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2014 Client Instagram Contest

April 14, 2014

instagram-logoIn past years we’ve done a traditional photo contest, but this year we thought we’d switch it up and do an Instagram contest.   If you’re anything like me, your Instagram feed is full of pictures of your dogs anyway.  (And food, sewing projects, hiking trips and running shoes.)  So tag your photos and show us your best!  Are you a follower of themonsterminders on Instagram yet?

Prize:  $50 off your next invoice with The Monster Minders.  There will be four winners.  (See below.)

The Contest:  One entry per category, per client.  (So each client can enter FOUR photos, one for each category!)  Three categories will be judged by Philly pet celebrity judges and one will be an “Audience Choice.”  All entries must be submitted (via hashtag) by May 2, 2014.


  • Best Dog Smile – #MonsterMindersSmile
  • Best Action Shot – #MonsterMindersAction
  • Best Wintery Photo – #MonsterMindersWinter   (We know you were snapping photos of your dogs in the snow!  Something good has to come of that stupid Winter.  So show us your best.)
  • Audience Choice – #MonsterMinders2014 (Tell your friends, tell your coworkers, tell everyone you know.  The photo with the most “Likes” on Instagram will win this contest.)

How to Enter:  You can use old photos you have already posted on Instagram or tag new photos.  Just make sure to comment on the photo you would like to enter using @themonsterminders and the appropriate hashtag (above) so we can find your photos.   Example of a comment to enter  your Instagram photo:  “Hey @themonsterminders – check out this photo for #MonsterMindersSmile”   (Please only comment on your own photos in your own Instagram feed.  Please do not enter other people’s photos!  We want to see YOUR best.)

There is no need to email us your pics.  As long as you use the correct hashtag on Instagram, we’ll be able to find them.  Each client can enter each category once for a total of four entries.  As usual with our contests, third party “Philly Pet Celebrities” will judge the categories.   (Vets, Trainers, etc.)   If you do not have the Instagram app for your phone, it’s a quick download and really easy to use.  :)   (And highly addictive.)

Other Rules:  Contest is open to current clients of The Monster Minders.   If you are not an active client of The Monster Minders, you are not eligible for the contest.  This is just a special contest for our special clients!  All hashtags must be submitted by 5/2/14 as judging will take place that weekend.

See below for an example of tagging an old photo!

image (1)

Our best Winter Photos

January 28, 2014

Last week we asked our staff to take their best shot at getting the perfect Winter photograph.  (Because dogs become even more photogenic in the snow, right?)  So here are our best!   Enjoy!  

Macey - Taken by Lindsay

Macey – Taken by Lindsay

Jack - Minder Lindsay

Jack – Minder Lindsay

Josie - Minder Matt

Josie – Minder Matt

Rufus - Minder Garvin

Rufus – Minder Garvin

Luna - Minder Nikki

Luna – Minder Nikki

Bo - Alaska Lindsay

Bo – Alaska Lindsay

Saffron - Alaska Lindsay

Saffron – Alaska Lindsay

Sadie - Minder Beth

Sadie – Minder Beth

Bailey - Minder Dylan

Bailey – Minder Dylan

Baku - Minder Petia

Baku – Minder Petia

Bear - Minder Petia

Bear – Minder Petia

Franklin - Minder Lyndsey

Franklin – Minder Lyndsey

Staff Photo Contest 2013 and Holiday Party

January 13, 2014

Dogs make the best subjects, so it has become a tradition here at ‘The Minders to host a staff photo contest.  The submissions this year were fantastic!  Below are the winners of the 2013 Staff Photo Contest.

Best Motivational Poster – Minder AJ (Monster Phillip, in the rain.)

AJ Motivational 3-1

Best Smile – Minder Sari (Monster Oscar)

Sari Smile

Best Serious Face – Minder Beth (Monster Scully)

scully serious(1)

Best Overall – Minder Dylan (Monster Mya)


We’ll be sharing these and other photos on our Instagram account so be sure to follow us for more awesome Minder pics from 2013.

We also had another stellar holiday party with our staff.  It has become a tradition to go to Taquaria Veracruzana on Washington Avenue.  They always treat us so well and don’t mind that we take up half of the restaurant.  It was great to hang out with our employees and reflect on an awesome year.  Here are some pics…




Happy New Year!  Here’s to an awesome 2014!

The Animal Friends

November 18, 2013

Our staff just oozes with talent, not only as dog walkers, but also as professional artists.  Minder AJ Bredensteiner shares with us some background info on his venture, The Animal Friends.

Give us a bit of information about your background as an artist…

I grew up in Nebraska taking art classes where we mostly drew, wait for it… wildlife animals! I stuck with it from then on and when my first attempt at college didn’t go so well I had art to fall back on. Some chance events led me to UArts in Philadelphia and in 2011 I received my MFA in painting.

So tell us where you got the idea for The Animal Friends…

Check out Rex, one of The Animal Friends.

Check out Rex, one of The Animal Friends.

In grad school they filled my head with a bunch of interesting nonsense :) When I graduated, I decided I just wanted to make art that I could have fun with. The idea slowly evolved into a bunch of animals making mischief in the city… It wasn’t three months later that I started walking dogs in the city almost by coincidence. All of my dudes (and dudettes) that I walk make me laugh and cry every day, there is so much drama going on inside their furry heads… Im constantly mopping their stories up and wringing them out into the Animal Friends ;)

What does the future hold for The Animal Friends?  

My big goal is to make art that people are engaged with throughout the creative process, not just the finished product. This would include using aspects of Facebook and Youtube to connect with people as I am working through all the stages of creation. I am also trying not to limit myself to just art that is hung on a wall, I have a children’s book in the works, and I would REALLY like to make a video game in the future. There are a bunch of Animal Friends stories to be told and the challenging/exciting part is figuring out which form to tell them in.

It appears that Princess is locked, how exactly do we go about investigating how to free her from the castle?

Ha! Princess might be there for awhile, her story is yet to come


Detective Schultz was inspired by a long term Monster Minder cllient! We love it!

Have any of your clients inspired new Animal Friends?

There are some big personalities that are just itching to become Animal Friends… Its just a matter of time before I find a way to weave them into the stories :)

Check out all of The Animal Friends on their website.  (Hopefully Schultz will be there soon!)



The Animal Friends on YouTube:  AJ has his own YouTube Channel with awesome How-To-Draw videos for The Animal Friends.  You can check AJ out, actually drawing the Friends, while he gives the viewers tips and tricks AND gives some adventure updates at the same time.  We’re totally addicted.  Fox has a crush!  Rex builds a sandcastle!  Grab a sharpie or a pencil and follow the action.

The Rescue Run 5k

October 15, 2013

A few years back we had this crazy idea that lead to the formation of The Monster Milers (our volunteer non-profit running group that visits area shelters.)  Then naturally, the next logical step would be to host a race, right?  And thus, we started to plan The Rescue Run 5k.

We were really excited to launch Philadelphia’s first race to benefit rescue, but as with anything “new” we had our normal jitters.  Will people register?  Will people show up?  Will the weather hold out for us?   Would sponsors be interested?  Thankfully, the event went off without a hitch!

Manager Nikki R. gets some kisses from George, a dog that was adopted at the event.  (Photo by Peggy Jackson)

Manager Nikki R. gets some kisses from George, a dog that was adopted at the event. (Photo by Peggy Jackson)

We sold out and hundreds of runners laced up their sneaks on Sept. 29th, 2013 to run for rescue.   50+ volunteers joined us to make the day extra special.  Thanks to our amazing 2013 sponsors, volunteers and the NINE rescues that joined us on race day.

And their off!  Hundreds of runners, racing for rescue! (Photo by Hannah Close)

And their off! Hundreds of runners, racing for rescue! (Photo by Hannah Close)

Since we sold out weeks before race day, we decided that we should give people a lot of heads up for 2014′s race.  (Hint, Hint.)  We’re going to increase the registration numbers, but we do predict we’ll sell out again!  Join the 2014 Registration Waiting List.

We did it!  (MM founders and owners, Carrie and Lindsay.)  Photo by Peggy Jackson...

We did it! (MM founders and owners, Carrie and Lindsay.) Photo by Peggy Jackson…

Former Monster Minder Manager, Leah Milito (center) was our race day volunteer coordinator.  She was awesome sauce!  Photo by Peggy Jackson...

Former Monster Minder Manager, Leah M. (center) was our race day volunteer coordinator. She was awesome sauce! Photo by Peggy Jackson…

Nine rescues were on site, introducing racers and spectators to adoptable dogs.  Yes!

Nine rescues were on site, introducing racers and spectators to adoptable dogs. Yes!

Thanks going out to our race sponsors, volunteers, and registered runners!  We couldn’t have pulled it off without you!


Learn more about The Monster Milers

Check out The Rescue Run 5K website

Follow The Rescue Run and The Monster Milers on Facebook

The Monster Minders collars “Best of Philly 2013″

August 13, 2013

It all started with a tweet alert:



And I squealed!  Loudly.  Probably loud enough for our neighbors to hear.  Winning BOP never looses it’s charm.  When it was made official three weeks ago, that squeal was so loud that I was worried our neighbors would freak out.  I actually posted on my personal Facebook page  - “We just got good news.  Sorry for the squeal neighbors.”


Being awarded “Best of Philly” (Best Dog Walkers) by Philadelphia magazine, brings us to our third BOP award.  It’s always wonderful to get media attention and “best” titles, but Best of Philly is THE award in Philadelphia.  We now have 2006, 2009 and 2013 under our belts (or collars?)  The first time we won, Lindsay and I were absolutely floored with shock.  We had only been in business for a year and it was just the two of us.  Apparently word of our reputation “got around.”   And by our third award, we’re still just as giddy as we were back in 2006.  (On another note – where on earth did seven years go?)

A company is only as good as the employees that represent them.  We are so proud of our crew right now and excited to share this with them.  In a few weeks we’ll be either taking the Minders to the ballpark to see the Phillies play OR doing a craft night in which we’ll be making monster masks while drinking champagne in celebration of the award.  (The Minders are split between baseball and glue-gun crafty madness.)

Thanks to all of you out there who have believed in us and trusted us with your monsters and your home.  Looking forward to living up to the honor, “Best of Philly.”

BOP Collage

Queenie is for Adoption!

July 9, 2013

This past weekend we picked up a foster dog from ACCT.  Our criteria for a foster pup was that she had to be cat friendly and gentle with nervous dogs.  (We have two nervous pups at home.)  Immediately, Queenie stole my heart.  She was a nervous wreck at the shelter and was not “showing well.”  When we did our cat test she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me – she was so frantic and nervous about her surroundings.  After our dog meeting (ACCT requires foster families to bring household dogs) we knew she’d do fine with our two mutts.  We filled out the necessary paperwork to become a foster family and took her (and our pups) directly to the Wissahickon to go for a hike/swim (and shake off some of those shelter-nerves.)   She loved every minute of it.   She actually jumped right in the creek and started swimming immediately.  (On-leash of course, which meant I went in the creek too!)

When we got her home, we gave her a quick bath, she sniffed the entire home, and then almost immediately fell into a deep sleep.  She’s one of those dogs that looks up at us with insanely grateful eyes.  It’s as if she KNOWS she has it good now and she’s not taking it for granted.  This shy and shut-down dog (at the shelter) has blossomed into a wonderful family dog in less than 48 hours.  She’s taking cues from our other dogs about how to act and she’s very well mannered in everyday situations.  She knows not to beg, she knows when it’s time to be calm, and she’s starting to understand normal dog language like, “Wanna go for a walk” and, “Food?”  We’ve had staff, friends and neighbors over to visit and she’s getting more and more confidence as the hours tick by.

More about Miss Queenie:
Dogs:  She is dog friendly.  She LOVES to play but is really good about reading cues from other dogs about what is appropriate and inappropriate.  When she wants to play with our dog, Lola, she’ll do a polite play bow or roll onto her back to see if Lola is game, and if she’s not, she’ll move on.  She still seems to be very excited to see dogs on-leash, but we do not believe she was walked much at her previous homes.  We’ve just been keeping interactions positive.  Again, she’s good at reading cues from other dogs so walking with our own dogs has been very helpful.

Cats:  She is cat friendly, but is very interested in our cat.  She’s not one of those dogs that will ignore a household cat.  If there is a cat in her future forever home, he/she would have to be comfortable with clumsy dogs who might pounce occasionally.  Thankfully, our cat grew up with big, slobbery dogs so knows how to handle the canines.

Her Personality:  She is a pure sweetie.  She aims to please and like I said before, she looks at us with the most grateful eyes constantly.  While you never know what exactly a rescue dog went through prior to being saved, you can tell that she is honestly thrilled with her new life.  She “sits pretty” often – without prompting, she’ll just sit and look up at you with these eyes that say, “You think I’m cute, right?”  As if she knows how gorgeous she is and she just wants to be by your side.   While in the house, she’ll have little bursts of energy then is keen to spend most of the day napping.  We’ve been crating her at night (her crate is in our bedroom) and she sleeps like a champ until we start stirring in the morning.  (Dogs like to know that their crates are near their humans, so we thought this would be the best place for her.)  We’ve been practicing short “alone” crate sessions (with stuffed Kongs) to get her used to the crate when no one is home.  She’s doing well.  Queenie likes to be in the same room as us, but doesn’t constantly need to be on top of us.  (She definitely follows us from room to room so we don’t forget about her!)  In my humble opinion – she has the perfect amount of energy for a dog.  She’s spunky enough to be a fun dog for an active family, but isn’t tearing through our house constantly.  A run, a few good walks, or a long play session each day should give this girl the energy outlet she needs and then she just naps.  In that regard – she’s your typical dog.  :)

Running / Leash Exercise:  Queenie was getting over a mild case of kennel cough when we snagged her (no meds needed) so we didn’t run her for the first two days.  I’ve taken her for a short run, and like most dogs who are new to running, she runs REALLY fast (or tries to) for the first few blocks and then settles into a nice, quick pace by my side.  I think after a few weeks of regular runs, she’ll realize there is no reason to start out so fast.  We all have to learn about pace, right?  We’ve been using a martingale on her for runs and a Gentle Leader for walking.  The GL has been SO helpful with teaching her proper leash-manners.  I get the firm feeling that she didn’t get out much in her past households, so our first few walks seemed like they might be most exciting thing she’s ever done.  (A bit of mental overload.)  Now that she’s getting into a routine, walks are still exciting for her, but she’s much calmer on-leash.  She’ll still need manners reinforcement on leash, but we’ll be happy to work with adopters to teach what we’ve done with her.  (She’s infinitely better than she was 48 hours ago and we can actually walk with a slack leash for a good portion of our walks now!  In a few weeks, I think she’ll be a champ.  She’s really in-tune to positive reinforcement so a simple, “Good Girl Queenie!” when she’s walking calmly by our side goes a VERY long way with her.)

Human Socialization:  Her intake papers say she is good with children, though ACCT would require all family members to come visit her prior to adoption.  We don’t see any reason why she wouldn’t be great with kids.  We’ve made a point to have LOTS of visitors in the house since we brought her home and she’s calm, but happy to meet new friends.  (She’s a bit shy on-leash, but that’s not uncommon.)  With us, she’s a doll.  She has not shown any resource guarding and we’re able to pet her and pick up her food bowls while she’s eating.

Health:  She’s a bit underweight, but that’s easy to fix!  She weighs in at 40lbs, but she should probably be around 50lbs.  Fattening up dogs is oh so fun!  Right now her skin is dry/flaky which could be due to crappy dog food and/or stress.  She was only with her previous family for three months so we think she was bumped around a bit.  We’ve seen an improvement in 48 hours of rest, comfort and good food so we’re hopeful it will clear on it’s own.  She’s 1-2 years old, has BRIGHT white teeth and has been given a clear bill of health.  She’s up-to-date on shots and will be spayed and microchipped before adoption.

Training:  She knows basic commands:  Sit, down and we’re working on “Stay” and recall (indoors).  She’s VERY easy to train and constantly wants to please humans so she’ll look at you as if to say, “Is this OK?” and “Did I do the right thing?’  As we noted before, we’re working on leash-skills with her and she’s picking up on it very quickly!

All up – I think Queenie would make a wonderful running companion and best friend.  If you’d like to meet her, please contact us.  All adopters will need to complete the adoption process and application at ACCT.   (We’ll go with you!)

About ACCT (From their website):  The Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia (ACCT Philly) is the region’s largest animal care and control service provider.  ACCT Philly is an independent, 501c3 nonprofit organization, contracted by the City of Philadelphia to provide animal control services. Our animal control officers provide service over 142.6 square miles to the city’s more than 1.5 million residents and ACCT Philly’s facility in North Philadelphia handles more than 32,000  of the city’s animals, from dogs and cats, to small animals, reptiles, birds and wildlife, annually.

In addition to animal control and sheltering, ACCT Philly is open 365 days a year for pet adoptions. ACCT Philly also supports a foster care program where community members provide temporary homes for sheltered animals and one of the (if not THE) most extensive rescue partnership program in the country where approved rescue partners accept ACCT Philly animals into their adoption programs. Under contract ACCT Philly’s Animal Control Officers provide animal control services and code enforcement. Other exciting ACCT Philly programs include a food pantry for low-income pet owners, a vibrant volunteer program, trap-neuter-return for community cats, a unique Pen Pal program to assist dogs at risk … and so much more!

Her Animal ID at ACCT is: A20355836


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