Monday, November 25, 2013

Dog Sitting

She's quite cute, isn't she. Don't be deceived.

While my parents were away we looked after their little dog, named Little Dog. She is a rescue dog that they've had for over a decade now. Before going to them, she undoubtedly had suffered some abuse. For those first weeks after they got her she cowered in the corner and wanted nothing to do with Dad. She has gotten over most of her issues, but even now, all these years later, she doesn't really like being touched or petted on her hind end, though she withstands it.

In my parents' home, she is the alpha dog. She patrols their yard and barks at whatever comes too close to the house whether a bird, coyote or fox. She also trots about with Dad wherever he goes: the barn, the field, or the shed. Inside the house she gets a fair bit of food, both by begging at the table and by being underfoot constantly in the kitchen. She's fast if something drops. Her life is pretty good.

Needless to say, we cramped her style here.

Although she is the number one dog here, she has to work at asserting her control over our docile and quiet dog. She's got to sleep on all his spots, try to keep ahead of him on a walk, and rush to be first to the food. That's a lot of work for a dog used to being number one by default.

Sadly, she also tried to assert her dominance over us - by leaving a big puddle in the middle of our bed. Twice. But maybe puddle is the wrong word. Is it still a puddle when it soaks through to and into the thick mattress pad?

She also felt mighty constrained by our fenced yard. I know this because she escaped. Twice. Fortunately we found her prancing around the neighbourhood both times. After a bit of work we became confident our yard was secure. Although, I continued to see her carefully exploring one specific area, no doubt looking for a bit of extra space from which to escape again. 

She did get to go out and about on walks most every day. However, she is confused by the concept of a leash. How dare we constrain her so. Life as a city dog is not all it's cracked up to be. 

She also thinks she is starving since there is no human food crossing her lips. She finally gave in and started eating the carrot ends I leave in the dog dish. Hard done by indeed. 

But in all honesty I all enjoyed her being here. The kids liked having her around. I liked having her around. And I think even our dog didn't mind so much. Although now that Little Dog has returned to my parents, I can't say that I've noticed our dog missing her.

Now that our yard is secure, the leash is tolerated, and I can block access to our bedroom when we aren't in it, I would look after her again any time. 

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