I’m a full time housesitter and look after people’s pets when they’re away. I usually only look after cats but I’ve looked after dogs in the past and sometimes I think about looking after dogs again, especially when they look so cute and cuddly in their profile pics.
This is how I begin my thoughts on dog-sitting.
Idyllic dog-sitting fantasy: Running free through a flower meadow with a well behaved, relaxed dog running alongside, smiling up at me. They play and bounce around happily with another dog friend. The sun shines down on the delightful scene of love and joy. I laugh. Doggie comes when I ask. I trust doggie implicitly. Doggie sleeps soundly at night waiting patiently for me to wake up and greets me with loving cuddles, sweet licks and tail wags.
Then I remember…
The reality: I’m being pulled along a suburban street by a strong, highly stressed dog who barks at everything. In the woods, doggie will bolt if they smell deer and be found hours later by another dog walker, exhausted, wandering, covered in bracken. Doggie, suddenly becomes hyper freaked out and chews instantaneously through their lead. I’m miles from the car. I have to shout louder than I’ve ever shouted before for them to stop as nothing else works. My holler can be heard echoing across the hills and valleys on this peaceful day (for everyone else). Doggie finds a rabbit hole and has to be pulled out by their back legs, snapping and growling (pure comedy seen for an observer) in case they disappear down the tunnel for days. I laugh hysterically because that’s how I behave in emergency situations (can be awkward if you need to run fast giggling your pants off). At home doggie has a habit of ‘wazzing off’ on their favourite toy. Or, I’ll be greeted with a poo on the kitchen floor each morning after they’ve barked me awake at 5am.
Extreme of course, all experienced by me (except the bolting bit because after I heard that story by the owners, that dog was kept on a lead the entire walk 😉). Always a possible reality for the innocent, eager dog-sitter. I used to be one of those. 😃