Nice to meet you!
We are fully bonded and insured, affording an extra measure of protection. We can provide a multitude of references to ensure that you receive direct input from clients who have experienced our professional care. We have a background rich in experience that has influenced the exceptional service we provide today and will continue to provide in the future. We abide by a strong set of ethics in order to serve in the best interest of our clients and their companions. Furthermore, we offer the opportunity for you to meet with your Cloud 9 sitter for a consultation within the comfort of your home before any services begin. This means that you and your companion(s) will receive a thorough introduction to the person who will be acting as your "second best"!
The safety and security of your pets and your home is of the utmost importance to us. Cloud 9 Companion Care maintains insurance and bonding through Pet Sitters Associates and we are registered with the State of Texas.
In addition, Cloud 9 Companion Care is a registered member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters as well as Professional United Pet Sitters. We strive to pursue continuing education in animal care and behavior to stay abreast of the latest information that best serves your beloved companions.
About the Owner
Welcome! I am Stephanie Artz and I am the proud owner of Cloud 9 Companion Care! Like others in my trade, I have loved and LIVED animals my entire life. My experience with animals and family pets started at a very early age as I spent much of my childhood visiting my grandparent's "country place" right outside of San Antonio. With my grandfather as a patient, gentle mentor, I developed a deep admiration and respect for nature through his teachings of science and the natural world around us. He instilled a solid base of empathy that, to this day, fuels my compassion for humans and non-humans alike.
Dogs, cats, chickens, snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, and the occasional wounded squirrel or orphaned bird shared our home throughout the years. Just as it is now, my heart was most at ease when I had creatures to care for and learn from!
Since 1998, I have worked with animals in a hands-on, professional capacity across multiple settings. Throughout high school, I spent my summers volunteering in the veterinary medical unit of the Audie L. Murphy Veteran's hospital. I participated in FFA and raised a duroc pig, whom I was very tempted to keep! I also secured my first job as a veterinary assistant with a busy animal hospital.
In 2005, I graduated from Texas A&M University, College Station, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (with heavy focus on biomedical sciences). In 2013, I graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Master of Science in Psychology.
While pursuing my undergraduate degree, I simultaneously held multiple jobs caring for animals. I worked full time at a national chain pet store where I gained invaluable knowledge of small animal pet care. I was employed with the Texas A&M Small Animal Veterinary Clinic as an animal caretaker for pigs (Yucatan Minis) and dogs (Great Danes). In addition, I worked as a caretaker for a private bird rescue that housed close to 50 Amazon parrots. Talk about a lot of noise! But, a lot of love, too!
As I pursued a master's degree, I was employed full-time by a local veterinary hospital that provides routine and emergency care 24 hours a day. I gained precious medical knowledge and fine-tuned valuable veterinary technical skills. It was during the early point of my employment at the clinic when I stumbled upon the field of pet-sitting. A long-time, cherished client asked for assistance with her animal companions and I jumped at the opportunity. I was hooked from there on out!
My term within the master's program also furthered my understanding of animal behavior. I focused my studies on the behavioral development of beluga whale mothers and their calves, and I had the fortune of assisting with observational data collection at Sea World, San Antonio!
Though my employment background is dominated by experience with animals, I have also pursued career paths involving human care and advocacy. I have worked as a pediatric nurse's aide in a large hospital and I have also served as a legal caseworker for Child Protective Services. Though my reasons for following these lines of work were noble, I was not as satisfied personally and professionally as I am when working with animals.
Cloud 9 Companion Care was borne from a desire to integrate a lifetime wealth of skills, knowledge, and experiences so I may continue to pursue a labor of love with animals while still following my passion to help their human counterparts. I truly love what I do and I am very thankful to have the privilege to work with so many amazing clients and their wonderful animal companions!
In 2004, a co-worker found Panda abandoned on a country road, brought her to work, and I immediately became attached. At approximately 3 weeks old, she was a very small pup, covered in ant bites and fleas, underweight with parasites, and she had crusty eyes, indicating an infection. Panda received immediate veterinary attention and recovered quickly. She has been attached to my hip since then and she has been an extremely loyal, affectionate companion who never ceases to amaze me with her intelligence and goofy personality. She LOVES to run, enjoys wind-surfing during car rides, is absolutely crazy about sprinklers (or water in general), and one of her favorite past-times is removing caps from plastic water bottles!
In 2008, I was driving along I-37 in Southeast San Antonio when I witnessed Dodger trotting across the highway. In horror, I watched as he was hit by the underside of an 18 wheeler. I waited for a safe opportunity to grab him and intended to transport him to the nearest clinic to help ease his suffering in a peaceful environment. However, the WONDERFUL staff at 4 Paws Animal Hospital jumped into action and Dr. Jaimez was confident that Dodger had a chance. After a few days of intensive care, Dodger was able to go home with much bruising and most of his ribs fractured. Following a month of kennel rest and treatment for a tick-borne disease, Dodger was like a brand new dog!
I was never able to find his owner, but I admit that I'm glad Dodger has become a part of my family. Dodger is most happy when he is able to curl up next to you and get plenty of rubs. He also loves car rides, playing with other dogs, and munching on rawhides!