Making Dogs Her Life

“I think you missed your calling,” a career counselor told Melissa Hampton Perlman in 2009. She laughs remembering her initial reaction: “I have a calling? How can you tell over the phone?”

That conversation revealed Melissa could turn her hobby—taking care of friends’ and neighbors’ pets and homes while they were away—into a business. “I had never thought about it that way before!” says Melissa, who was raised on a farm in Missouri and had been working in facilities management. “I do love pets. Animals have always been a huge part of my life.”

Now she’s doing what she loves, loving what she does, and getting lots of furry love back.

Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Tails (PPPT), which she founded and operates, offers at-home services including dog walks and pet visits (for play time and affection as well as feeding, watering and administering any necessary medications), training and behavioral modification sessions, pet sleepovers, and pet transportation anywhere in metro Johns Creek.

PPPT appeals to pet owners who want their pets to remain comfortably at home while they are away. “People want what’s best for their pets and to know that whoever is in their house is someone they can trust,” says Melissa, who as sole proprietor is hands-on for all aspects of her business. She ensures that each client receives personalized service.

Melissa is a member of Pet Sitters International, the world’s largest educational association for professional pet sitters, as well as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters and the Georgia Network of Professional Pet Sitters. PPPT is bonded, insured, licensed and registered plus vet recommended and pet approved.

“Often the term ‘pet sitter’ is used incorrectly, referring to anyone—from a family friend to the neighborhood teenager asked to walk a dog—as a ‘pet sitter,’” explains Melissa. “It is important that pet owners understand that pet sitting is a professional career and professional pet-sitting services like PPPT offer peace of mind that other pet-care options cannot.”

On a typical day Melissa is up early, starting pet visits at 6 a.m. “Visits are scheduled every 45 minutes to an hour,” she says, often until 9 p.m. “Training sessions and lunch walks occur midday, followed by happy hour and dinner visits and finally bedtime checks or overnight sleepovers.” Each visit always includes bios, washed and replenished water and food bowls (as appropriate), and what she calls “the best part:” capturing a pet picture and sending it along with a detailed text to a pet parent who is at work or traveling. “A picture is worth a thousand words or sentiments,” says Melissa.

Keeping pets at home provides an environment where they feel safe and secure. “It reduces the risk of a safety concern,” says Melissa, who has been trained in pet first aid. “There’s no chance of mixing up food or medications with another animal. Plus, I can give your home a lived-in look since I can bring the mail in or take the garbage out.” She will also take action if anything is amiss, whether it’s a gas or propane aroma or a pet behaving out of the ordinary.

Relationships are the key. “There is something special about being able to look at a dog or cat and tell what a trigger is,” says Melissa. “I get to know them. It’s not just a simple run over and let them go to the bathroom or clean a litter box. When I’m at your house it’s all about your pet and that relationship.”

For a free in-home consultation (a.k.a. scratch and sniff interview), contact:

Pawsitively Purrfect Pet Tails, Melissa Hampton Perlman, 770.789.2077,