Friday, February 24, 2012


I interrupt the chronicling of my life's various jobs to say that my husband and I are dog-sitting this week.  My daughter and her boyfriend are on vacation; we offered to look after the dog.

He's a nice dog, about a year old, and very cute.  Skittish at first, he warmed up on day two and has been the soul of doggy affection since then. 

So far he has:
-terrorised and chased our two geriatric cats,
-peed on the carpet twice,
-visited the cat box buffet and smeared poop on the living room carpet,
-found a wooden puzzle and chewed several of the pieces (I'm not sure, but I think 2 pieces are missing...)
-torn the felt base off same puzzle,
-pulled my arm out of it's socket during the frequent accident-preventative walks we have taken,
-barked at the cats for being cats,
-awakened us in the night with barking at the cats (he can see them through the glass pocket-door we use to separate canine from feline),
-scratched at our bedroom door in the middle of the night,
-awakened me with clicky little footsteps, also in the middle of the night. Click click click click.... 
-found a mud puddle at the dog park and frolicked in it with gay abandon, leading the other dogs on a merry chase (and causing their owners to hate us instantly),
-pulled me off my chair at Starbucks outdoor patio, (chair as fulcrum - whoops!)
-pulled my husband off his feet on the slippery leaves in the park, (grown man comes home with wet bum)
-and repeatedly pooped at the furthest possible location from the nearest outdoor trash can causing me to carry a bag of poop for the longest possible interval.

He draws attention wherever we go, eliciting questions and squeals and baby talk:
Is it a boy or a girl - what kind of dog is it - isn't he cute - how big will he get - is he a basenji - Is he a husky - he looks like a fox - isn't he a pretty colour - how old is he - what does Shiba Inu mean - isn't he a widdy biddy cutie pidey widey - Ootchie kootchie koo. Etc.

We tried removing the cat litter box to higher ground, but one of the cats just decided to poop where the litter box USED to be, rather than adapt to the new location.  We put the litter box back and resolved to check it every 3 nano seconds in order to avert disaster.  Unfortunately I let down my guard for 1.5 nanoseconds coinciding with a recent deposit, and the dog found the fresh treasure and well, you know.
Toss, flop, rub, smear, roll, repeat.
It's a good thing I fell out of love with my mint green living room carpet long ago. Too bad I can't afford to rip it out quite yet.

On the other hand (the one on the arm not pulled out of it's socket), dogs are fun! We have experienced doggy love and affection and slobber.  We have received sticks and balls and anything else fetchable many times.  We have had 10 times more exercise than normal.  We have seen real live people walking real live dogs in our very own neighbourhood (that place we only formerly drove through.  Other people - who knew?).  We have explored the local parks and trails and greenspaces. We have had the satisfaction of knowing that beloved doggy is not stuck in a kennel for the week or shut in a crate for hours.

We have had the thrill of witnessing the barking dog chase the yowling cat between us and the wall, pulling the power cord out and nearly taking the laptop with it...

(That's my toe. Ow.)
It's been an interesting week.  And now it's snowing, just when I thought winter was over, and I have to take the dog for a walk.  I'll never take my cats for granted again.


DJan said...

He's just a kid in dog years. No wonder he's so full of energy. Just like a kid. And he is beautiful, really. Think of all the exercise you're getting, and you GET TO GIVE HIM BACK! :-)

Kathryn said...

I'm holding on to that thought DJan!

Christine said...

Sounds like he feels completely at home Kathryn, I bet you'll miss him when he goes back

Friko said...

How much are you getting paid for looking after this fiend? Also, will the insurance cover the damage he's done?

He is cute and loveable but what he needs more than anything is training. I think a word in the owners' ear might be appropriate. After all, there will be a next time, and you might have replaced the carpets by then.

Kathryn said...

Friko: 1. Nothing. 2. No. 3. Yes, more training is warranted.
4. My words may fall on deaf ears.
5. Not sure if there will be a next time
6. The carpet will be replaced with laminate...but not any time soon.
7. Arghhhh to all of it.

Deborah said...

Oh my oh my. It's a good thing he's so cute because otherwise he might be dead. I have, admittedly, put up with a few things due to other people's dogs, but I would definitely be ready to wring a few necks after a week like yours. A medal will be struck to acknowledge your relentless positivity about this experience.

Jocelyn said...

Every time I read people's pet posts, I'm left wiping my forehead and emitting a huge, "WHEW. Thank Lassie we don't have any pets."

I get enough problems and poop at my Weight Watchers meetings, you see.

(btw, your comment on my post has me giggling still)