OMG! Grand dog sitting is stressful. My daughter and son-in-law needed to attend an out-of-state funeral and we were recruited to keep the ten-week-old Goldendoodle, Phoenix, this weekend. Oh, and the grandsons.
The weekend before the grand dog sitting assignment, was full of promise. The University of Texas Exes always break bread together on Texas Independence Day (March 2) and Fayette County (where I live) had a fabulous event planned. Lunch at Round Top Festival Institute with guest speaker James Dick. James is a world renown pianist, distinguished UT alum, and fabulous man. He runs the institute that trains young musicians from around the world.
GRAND DOG SITTING RULES
When the funeral came up, I thought, no problem. I’ll take the grandsons (11 and 15) to the banquet. Oops, I forgot…new grand dog. “Can’t I take it with us to the ranch and then leave her in the dog crate while we go to the banquet?” I asked.
“No. She needs to go out every 30 minutes while potty training. Furthermore, she needs to stay in our yard. She cannot be walked because she hasn’t had her parvo shot yet (too young) and parvo is rampant in our neighborhood. Also, she’s figured out how to crawl under our fence, so when she goes out to do her business in the back yard, she must be on the leash.”
We arrived to find a lengthy list for care of the dog. The grandson list was short in comparison. Settling in and facing a long weekend, I began to look for nearby activities for the boys and I to do. I found, on Saturday, a family event at the MKT Distillery celebrating Texas Independence Day and a Texas Exes band. And, on Sunday, at the Wildcatter Saloon, family bingo, winners paid in crawfish! One of my favorites! My mouth watered, bringing back memories of living in New Orleans in the early 1980s, attending leisurely crawfish boils, the bugs so spicy the skin under my fingernails burned. Oh, and the taste of cool beer quenching that slow burn in my mouth.
I’m in. Then it hit me. I can’t take the boys anywhere for more than an hour. My husband can’t take the dog outside because of his disability and someone must be there. GRRR.
Thank goodness the boys are good with the dog, taking responsibility for bathroom breaks. The younger one slept in his parents’ bedroom, doing night duty for Ms. Phoenix.
GRAND DOG SITTING DANGERS
Unfortunately, the dog is a biter! She broke my skin and my husband’s, twice. And, to cure her of this habit, we have a non-violent protocol we must follow—no hitting on the nose.
- Give the command “stop.”
- Distract with something, a toy, say.
This is hard to do when walking into the kitchen, Phoenix jumping and nipping at my hand. The younger grandson bandaged me up, so hopefully the dog won’t reopen old wounds.
Thank God my other grand dog, Lizzie, is easy to care for. She comes to my house and goes outside by herself to do her business. When at her house, I do need to walk her once a day as well as feeding and letting her in and out occasionally, but that’s all.
I can’t wait until Phoenix gets older….But she’s really cute when she’s sleeping.
Do you get talked into dog sitting? What has your experience been?