January 20, 2015 – Some of today’s pet sits didn’t go as planned, which sometimes happens. Quite often we have a cancellation or a last minute addition that has us tweaking our schedule. But on occasion we truly step into an alternate reality. If you’re thinking about getting into the business…or just starting out…this is a wake-up call to keep prepared. And honestly…even this wasn’t a really bad day, just a little out of the usual.

Lesson to be learned up front: Keep a roll of paper towels in your car. Always have a garbage bag. Always have rubber gloves on hand. And check the dog’s collar fits properly before you go out.

During the Night at the Pet Sitters

We had a visitor for the night last night. She was an old pup, about 15, who will be staying with us for a few weeks coming up. We did a test visit last night. She is a sweetheart, but missed her mom and dad…until about 3:30 a.m. when she finally fell asleep. Unfortunately, that’s when we were finally able to fall asleep as well!

Then the Lunch Visits Began…

Remember the dog who ate my husband’s sandwich yesterday…bag and all? (I mention it at the bottom of the Bernese Mountain Dog article.) Well…it might be a coincidence, but our poor “wee” Newfoundlander had a case of the runs that started in the dining room earlier and continued on after I got him out for his walk. Look for a silver lining, though, right folks?…these clients have washable hardwood…which the dog managed to hit this time instead of their area rugs. (Like last time :))

My visit number two went just fine. It had warmed up to a balmy minus-15 or so, which was just lovely with two jackets on and a the sun shining brightly. Actually…it was a bit warm. We had a fun walk along a country road. I even heard a very loud woodpecker in the forest nearby.

My visit number three…oops. The dogs went running out the door (they have a farm and it’s okay to let them out front)…and I had another case of the runs to deal with. In this case, they’d held on until I got there but I did have some vomit to clean up and several pees. It just wasn’t a good day for me :). For some reason, everyone seemed to be eating what they shouldn’t yesterday or this morning!

It was a short lunch schedule for me today because my husband did the two other calls. I walked-home our little visitor from last night in the meantime. She was practically jumping for joy when I arrived back after my rounds…knowing full well I was taking her home. Gee…and here I thought we’d got along so well! Happily she came over and licked my hand several times when I was speaking with my client at their place. It looked like she loved me. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the cooked hamburger meat I’d sprinkled with those same fingers into a dish to put her medicine in earlier!

My husband had one little dog almost slip out of his collar today when the pupgot frightened by someone approaching to say hello. Fortunately he didn’t escape. They were on a windy road that serves as the subdivision’s main thoroughfare so the SUVs fly past at a ridiculous rate. Later he noticed the dog’s collar had been loosened…the worn marking was on a tighter hole.

Another lesson reaffirmed. Check the dog’s collar! You’ll be surprised by how many are too tight. (You should be able to get two fingers between the neck and the collar … perpendicular to the neck…not just slipped through as if you were pulling on it.) And on the flip side, many people leave the collars on loosely only to carry the tags. They’re less than useless to us because if the dog has no collar we’ll use a halter. If they have a collar, we often use it…so if it is suddenly only a bit looser, but enough to break free from, and we don’t notice it, that’s a huge danger. From now on we’ll use the halter for this pup too.

His second dog visit went along blissfully.

And Evening Arrived at Last…

Oh…but the day isn’t over. I was off to pick up the multi-dog family for a couple of days since we had no other boarders. They were excited and so was I. They’re sleeping all over the office where I’m typing right now. (I bought a couple of new mats last weekend and the little ones are fast asleep on them!)

And just when I thought I could put my feet up (after not sleeping last night, remember?)…the phone rang. My contractor pet sitter of the last three years had decided to resign. Bummer. She’s a doll and amazing with dogs and cats and a great person to chat with about the pets. But life changes and families need different things, and I’m happy she’s made the decision. To be a pet sitter, you need the time and patience…and enough love for the animals to know when you have to let go and let someone else do it. For the animals’ sake. We’ll miss her.

So that was our day. Not the one I’d envisioned when I turned the page yesterday morning for the week. But not a terrible one…looking at it in hindsight!

Until next time…have fun out there!

[Photo courtesy of Tracie Koziura - Dreamstime Stock Photos]