Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I realized, just recently, that I have had at least one dog living with me for over 25 years! When I was a little girl, I always wanted an Old English Sheepdog, but my parents said that they were too big and too much work. So, when I left home to make my way in the world, one of the first things I acquired was my first OES, Patrick. We had 14 1/2 fun, goofy years. About 6 months before he passed, I went shopping at the local Petsmart and a shelter that rescued dogs from the pound was there with an array of cats and dogs hoping to be adopted. We had recently returned from Paris and, all around the city, I saw people walking a particular breed of dog that I couldn't identify. I also saw a few of these type dogs prancing down the "Rues" all alone and looking like they owned the city.
Well, imagine my shock when I discovered one of these dogs waiting to be adopted. So besides coming home with the dog food I went to buy, I also brought home a French Briard named Chloe. She was a great, very stubborn, beautiful princess. But I still missed my OES, so a few months later, I brought home a 7 week old OES puppy named Bailey. Chloe was in charge; whatever Chloe did, Bailey did. She actually taught him to relieve himself outside. To this day, he has never lifted his leg on a tree, just squats like the girls. If Chloe didn't feel like eating, Bailey wouldn't eat. He really looked up to her and she treated him like he was her annoying little brother.
Chloe left us on Christmas Eve 2005, so it's just been the B and us for the last 3 years. My boy is getting old; he's 12 !/2 right now and has major problems with his hips. We have mostly wood floors, with a few area rugs, and he can't get up on his own on the bare floors, so we have to give him a boostie. But besides that, he is still a happy-go-lucky sheepdog.
Now my dilemma. Whenever we've gone away, we have always boarded the dogs in a kennel. Friends and family were a bit intimidated by two big dogs. Last time Bailey was boarded (when we went to Spring Training last March), no one was around to help him up when he needed and he got in the habit of urinating while he was laying down. I was concerned that once he got home, he would continue that, but, thank God, he didn't.
But now, we're leaving for our cruise next week and I don't want to put him there again, So this past week, we've been interviewing professional pet sitters. I'm a bit reluctant to give my keys to a stranger and let them have total access to my house.
I didn't get to finish this post last night and, since then, my doggie sitting dilemma has been solved. Our 20 year old niece, Ryan, is going to stay with the boy for the week. She gets to stay here by herself and get a taste of independence and I can relax on my cruise, knowing Bailey is in good hands. A win-win situation.