2006-07-06 / Community

Local dog walker featured on on National Geographic

By Michael Picarella pic@theacorn.com

DOG'S BEST FRIEND-Catherine Cobb, shown here with her golden  retriever  Dougal,  will  appear  on  "Dog  Whisperer"  with Cesar Millan on the National Geographic Channel. Cobb runs Fido Fitness, a dog walking and pet sitting business in Calabasas. DOG'S BEST FRIEND-Catherine Cobb, shown here with her golden retriever Dougal, will appear on "Dog Whisperer" with Cesar Millan on the National Geographic Channel. Cobb runs Fido Fitness, a dog walking and pet sitting business in Calabasas. Who says you can't get on TV just because of whom you know?

Catherine Cobb, who owns a Calabasas dog walking/sitting/pet massage business called Fido Fitness, recently taped an interview on National Geographic's TV show "Dog Whisperer" because one of her clients knew Cesar Millan, the show's host.

On the show, Cobb spoke of the danger rattlesnakes pose to pets. "I was interviewed on the show because I had an experience in dealing with a dog that was bitten by a snake," Cobb said. "So I had to describe what happened."

Cobb explained on the show that it's important for pet owners to have a plan in place in case a snake bites their pet. It's vital to be prepared, she said, or panic can strike and efforts to save the animal may not be effective.

When a snake bites a human, fire department paramedics probably will come out immediately, Cobb said, but when a dog is bitten by a snake, it's not likely to be treated as a life-threatening emergency. "It's important to know that so you can go to Plan B," Cobb said. Pets may die if they don't receive medical attention within an hour of a rattlesnake bite.

"You need to know which animal hospital has the snake antivenin and what their hours of operation are," Cobb said. "I happen to know that the (Woodland Hills) hospital on Winnetka (Avenue) and Ventura (Boulevard) is an after-hours emergency hospital."

Cobb's episode of "Dog Whisperer" hasn't run yet but she said National Geographic Channel plans to schedule it soon. The show airs at 6 p.m. on Fridays.

Cesar Millan, known as the "Dog Whisperer," made an impression on Cobb through his show, but he had an even bigger effect when the two met for the show's taping.

"He's a great asset to all pet owners," Cobb said. "He's just a fantastic human being and I treasure knowing him. He has a lot of wisdom to share."

Cobb's company, Fido Fitness, serves the area from Woodland Hills to Westlake Village. It has been in operation for more than three years and each year shows growth.

"The inspiration was my golden retriever named Dougal," Cobb said. "I became a stay-athome dog mom the day Dougal was born. When he came home at 7 and a half weeks, and as we got to know each other and developed a routine, I began to wonder how other dog lovers could stand to be away from their pets for long stretches of time.

"That's how Fido Fitness began. I wanted to provide a service for those whose business, travel or everyday life commitments prevented them from spending the kind of quality time Dougal and I have always had."

Cobb, who had worked in the corporate world, got Dougal as a birthday present about five years ago.

Fido Fitness provides regular walks and exercise for clients' dogs.

"There's also a good portion of my clients who, when they go out of town, have their dogs stay at Dougal's Bed and Breakfast, which is my in-home service that I provide," Cobb said.

Cobb hopes her appearance on "Dog Whisperer" will take her business to a new level and allow her to expand and franchise it.

"I would like to franchise the business and pass on what I know-make it available to other communities across the nation," Cobb said.

For more information about Fido Fitness, visit the website www.calabasasdogwalker.com or call (818) 871-0753.

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