Adventures in Pet sitting

We took care of our son’s West Highland Terrier while he and his family took a trip to Alabama to see his wife’s new niece. There was too much kennel cough in the doggy motels in Brookings, so little Baxter had to stay with us in ND.

Baxter is 5 years old, and just getting out of his puppy stage. Terriers are puppies for a long time. He is a very well trained (for a terrier) and on a very regular schedule for eating and eliminating. He loves to play fetch and tug. He is accustomed to being in a crate at night. He is a good traveler.

The visit went well. He didn’t bite the neighbor children. He didn’t get into fights with other dogs. He didn’t get loose or lost. He didn’t chew anything up. We spoiled him by leaving him out of his crate when we weren’t at home, and let him sleep under our bed sometimes.

With a terrier there are untold calamities that can occur. None occurred. We find ourselves missing his tearing around the house and demanding walks and to play with his chew toys.

Tell about your experiences with pet sitting or baby sitting. Any calamities?

21 thoughts on “Adventures in Pet sitting”

  1. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I have not done a lot of pet sitting for other people, but I do often hire people to care for our pets, so this is from that perspective.

    In 2011 our late Rat Terrier, Coco, died of old age at 14 years. Our friends with 2 children would always dog-sit for Coco because then they could experience a dog without owning a dog. It worked well for everyone. The dog was happy. The family was happy. We all just assumed that the next dog would be on the same plan.

    So we tried the dog sitting arrangement for a short afternoon after the next dog arrived. My friend did an errand with the kids, so when no one else was home the new and very docile dog bit the dad. 6 stitches later the dog was reported to animal control. We still have this dog and she never again has come even close to biting anyone. A few years later this man abandoned the entire family. I still wonder what the dog sensed about this man that the rest of us could not perceive, but now and then I scratch her ears and say, “Good Dog. Good Dog.”

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Ben, two things. Three things! At least. First, I finally identified you as a Ben. The xdf tells me which Ben. The x is for extra? Extra delicious /dangerous /definitive famous Ben.
        I worked with a guy who didn’t like animals, Dave Whittaker, to name and shame. Some dog (maybe mine) was fussing over him one day, bothering him, and he said “they always go for the ones that don’t like them, don’t they? ” Only time I’ve heard it said, except by me. They do seem to me not to differentiate. I’ve seen dogs and cats many times, trying to get the attention of someone who doesn’t want it. And having said all that, I realise for the first time, that maybe the animal does understand, but is saying, “come on, I’m not so bad, let’s get past all this.” Just saying I recognise the possibility all of a sudden.
        I’m slowly getting the hang of busting into someone else’s blog. I didn’t know what a blog was, though my sister has one I’ve never seen, for her poetry. Everyone on here seems to be both a practical person and a thinker. I can be practical at times, at any rate. Maybe I need to be, to avoid the WordPress guy throwing me off the train, or dumping hot ash on me from the boiler.
        Well anyways, I get the hang of it enough to think it was my story you liked, the one about Sarah. I’ll be mortified now if you say it wasn’t. Maybe you pretend it was to save upsetting me. How will I know? But anyway, just in case, well shucks. Sarah raised some strong calves and was a tremendous, hilarious character. I gave up trying to get a bit of milk for myself after some battles that made us both wild with rage. God she was funny. But the whole thing didn’t work out, business wise…… I had her fifteen years though, along with Jane and Jessie.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have mostly repressed the memory of dog sitting for a friend who used to walk the Minnehaha Off-Leash park when I did. She left Bailey with me, a sweet brown mutt. Bailey located some mouse poison I had put down in the basement and licked it all up. I went on a heavy guilt trip from which fellow baboons eventually helped get me recover. Bailey turned out to be fine.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Baxter, as a Westie, has skin allergies and gets hot spots if he has anything with wheat or other grains. That includes licking up bread crumbs from the floor. He was ok at our house despite our not sweeping all the time in the kitchen. He also gets irritation on his paws, but we don’t put chemicals on our lawn, so his paws were good, too.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I assume the baby sitting is for someone other than my own kids.
    If so, I have very little experience in being a baby sitter. I was a baby sittee.


  4. We’ve had our neighbors come and take care of the chickens and dogs. They seem to enjoy it; the barn and chickens remind her of her grandparents. The dogs just need food and some treats; they don’t need to stay with them. And they used to have a chinchilla that we’d go feed. Pretty easy and no issues.

    Back when I had cows, it was a bigger deal to get someone to come and milk the cows. But I had one neighbor who would do it. Milking isn’t to be taken lightly; if anyone ever asks you to do that, be sure you know what you’re getting into!
    I’d do chores for him too, but he only had rabbits and sheep so it wasn’t really a fair return.

    A couple of times we tried taking one dog to a kennel. It came highly recommended, but the dog sure never seemed to enjoy it, and then we came back once and his pillow was wet and he was miserable. Clearly, he hadn’t been out of his pen in quite some time if he peed in his pillow. We never took him back.

    When I first met Kelly, back in the mid ’80’s, she would house sit for people. One person had a little 3 legged dog. That dog was just evil. It didn’t like anyone.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I proudly call myself a farm boy, and come from dairy farming country. But I never would milk cows. I could bring them in from the field. I could wash their udders, I could get milk out of them by hand, just to show I could. I could put the machine on, and take it off. But I was not going to get into that life, where you had to do all those things, a nd keep doing them till you’d milked a whole herd of them. Twice a day, for ever. I was on the farm to have fun.
        My new friends, John and Sue, were getting started with a Jersey herd, on a little farm with a shippon(old fashioned milking shed). John was milking one day, and I had cause to go over into a little shed across the yard, and there was a crazy little animal in there chained by the neck, still with horns. Everything gets dehorned now, to my regret. What’s the odd accident? She tried to get as far away from me as she could, and jerked and bucked and stared at me as if I was the dangerous one. She entertained me her whole life, as it turned out. I went back and said to John, what was THAT? She was a fully grown, pint sized, Jersey/Dexter cross cow, actually about to have her first calf. The prettiest cow I’ve seen, to this day, though I’m biased. The Dexter is the smallest breed there is, and Sarah was somehow even smaller than the few Dexters I’ve seen.
        She had her calf, an Aberdeen Angus cross, who grew to be much bigger than her. I called her Jane, after my sister. John started trying to milk her. She was mad, I tell you. She didn’t want to be milked. That’s not unknown. But things got so wild that John stopped being John for a moment.,and punched her. So now that his hand was broken, Colin across the road did the milking for a week. But he did have a full-time job. So when I happened along, and heard the story, I said, I’ll milk them. I did it for two weeks, until John’s hand was better. It’s still the only time I’ve done the job. John and Sue didn’t have a lot of money, I knew that. They were going to try and sell Sarah, as they had a pure Jersey herd. They wanted two hundred pounds for her, and twenty for Jane, as she was about to be named. Because, guess what, my bill worked out to two hundred and twenty pounds, amazing, exactly the amount I needed to suddenly become a farmer on my own account. That’s where the story starts with my crazy gang. I wasn’t about to become more popular.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Our son is 9 years older than our daughter and was enlisted to babysit her on occasion. She seemed to get injured more when he watched her, as he didn’t set too many limits and she was always falling out of trees and off of jungle gyms.


      1. But I keep trying anyway

        My adhd was called something else when I was a kid and I was able to make it part of my song and dance as an “adult”
        Used to drive me crazy to take the dogs to the kennel when we went out of town for two or three dogs it was stupid expensive but when my mom or sister got asked to look after them it did not go well

        Babysitting watching ari is a wonderful experience
        I’m not telling the stories though..

        Liked by 3 people

      2. But I keep trying anyway

        My adhd was called something else when I was a kid and I was able to make it part of my song and dance as an “adult”
        Used to drive me crazy to take the dogs to the kennel when we went out of town for two or three dogs it was stupid expensive but when my mom or sister got asked to look after them it did not go well

        Babysitting watching ari is a wonderful experience
        I’m not telling the stories though..

        Liked by 2 people

      3. On the basis of “people who know a lot aren’t afraid to ask questions,” what is ADHD? And where can I get it?


  6. I’m retired in Spain, but my wife is only fifty two(doesn’t look it), and we have a twelve year old son. So extra money doesn’t go amiss. I stay in a few people’s houses, when their isn’t a virus around, and look after their dogs, maybe a cat or two, one couple has turtles. If they’ve got things need doing in the garden, I can make a few euros more, but that doesn’t happen much. Really I have no incidents to report, things go pretty smoothly. But I feel uneasy in someone’s house. I’m only there because they need me there.They don’t want me there. I shouldn’t worry, I know. When Jane and I finally got married, Nick and Paul stayed in the house while we visited 706 Union Avenue, Graceland, and other memorable places. We didn’t feel we had interlopers in our house. But then, Nick and Paul are friends. And people are just glad to know you’re keeping things safe. But I also worry that Jane’s got too much to do at home. We have 11 cats, 12 dogs and a boy. They compete with Jane to make more mess than she and I do. She goes to work. I don’t like to think of her being tired. My regulars dried up, Liz and Pete moved back to Australia, Stephen tragically and suddenly died. A new family I did a week or two for, missed Newcastle and went home. Then the lockdown happened, and I thought, I won’t start again, I’ll work odd days with my garden machinery and be home every day to help Jane. Now I have a new couple that will pay me good money to look after twelve dogs and a macaw whenever they go away. I said no but Jane said yes. I suppose she can put up with the mess to get me out of her hair.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome stephen
      I’ve seen you on here but I am on an odd schedule and not reading or contributing as I would like
      ADHD is attention deficit hyperactive disorder I believe and if you don’t have it you don’t want to get it
      It’s a newly overdiaginosed thing people labor kids with to give them a box to fit in for learning disorder mania

      When I was a kid it was simply that kid who daydreamed or was rambunctious and the teacher was often dealing with

      Today they give them speed and it makes them not be so bouncy
      I have two kids at least with it and I am anti meds but one kid swears by them and say they help a lot
      12 dogs deserves lots of pay and your wife wanting you out of her hair makes it a double bonus
      Enjoy having you as the new guy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thsks for the welcome, Tim. ADHD, okay, I think I’ll try not to catch that. Kidding, I’m more likely to get ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which we took it on ourselves to diagnose our son with. And he really did fit, but has improved rapidly the last year or two, although we failed to carry out the measures to combat it. He’s a lovely, sweet boy, but still comes home from school with stories of injustice, that probably have important parts missing.
        Like, what did you do to make your teacher/Pablo/Lidia saythat? Nothing,he says. We don’t rise to it. His argumentative side is more like my brother than me. Suspicious.
        Another little problem I have about dogsitting is that, I consider that people are having to lay out a lot of money to go on a trip. Then they come back and have to have another huge amount ready in their hands, to give to me. It’s great to get it, but it can affect whether people can afford to go away in the first place. Tends to make me reluctant to charge too much. But I’m tied up 24 hours, and can’t earn money anywhere else. Those twelve dogs would cost an astronomical amount to leave in kennels, an inferior arrangement all round. And with me in the house, if burglars come, at least I can offer them coffee or a drink. Ask them not to damage anything. I’m talking myself back into it.

        Liked by 1 person

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