Northeast Oklahoma woman makes a business out of animal sitting

Monday, November 22nd 2004, 10:30 am
By: News On 6

Lots of people will try to get out of town for the holidays. People with pets will have to find someone to care for them. Folks with livestock, well that's a horse of a different color.

News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says livestock owners need a "Barnmaid." "Horses don't have holidays." Yeah, I never thought about it, but I guess that's true. You can't really just load 'em up every time you want go somewhere.

Enter Deana Martin and Barnmaids. For three years she's been animal sitting for people all over this part of the state. Leo's an aging horse with an arthritis problem. "It's very important he gets his supplement everyday." On the other hand, Daisy and Sunshine here are only about 8 months old they need special feed for growing horses, so this is more than just throwing some hay over the fence. "I pick up the papers out of the driveway. I pick up the mail, I take out the trash."

She has four clients she's working on right now so her morning starts early. "I went to Verdigris, Keatonville, Claremore and now here." She has chores inside and out. Three horses and two donkeys, also 2 dogs and three cats. This is just a warm-up for a client she's working for over Christmas. "They literally have 50 goats, 4 llamas, 3 dogs, 2 or 3 cats in the house. 3 parakeets, a cockatoo, two buck deer for pets and a raccoon." And probably a partridge in a pear tree.

She not only cares for horses; she trains 'em, gives riding lesson and trims hooves. A busy life, but she can't imagine doing anything else. "I'm one of the lucky ones who gets to make money at a job that I love." Everyone should be so lucky.

Her fees vary depending on how many animals she has to care for. Nothing's too big or too small, everything from horses to hamsters. Give Barnmaids a call at 918-698-6243.