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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doggie Dilemas!

I'm going away overnight, and I wanted to leave Buster home and use a pet sitter, thinking he might be less stressed in a familiar environment than he would be at a kennel.

Buster is a big boy. He's 80 pounds, has a thick, powerful neck and shoulders, and still shoots up to the over excitement level of a puppy. Because I'm around him all day, I don't think about it.

When the dog walker came yesterday to meet with me and get Buster used to her, he did his crazy dance and jumped all over her. I think he smelled her dog, who he knows. It was a last minute appointment, so I hadn't yet put his collar on, which made it difficult to grab hold of him.

When she shouted him off, he completely ignored her. For some reason, I expected the dog walker to have better control over my puppy than I have. He barked at her twice during her visit, something I've never heard him do before. By the time she left, I didn't have confidence that she could control him. She has her own 100 pound dog and she's a trainer, so I just assumed...

I know that I worry at the first opportunity. It's like crack with me. Evil, stressed-filled crack (not that the other kind of crack is a good thing). Will he behave better if I'm not around?

Then she pointed out that if emergency personnel had to get into the house for a fire or something, they would take one look at his pit bull-like face and put him down in order to gain access. If he saw large men in unwieldy uniforms trying to enter the house, he would freak. I wouldn't expect a fireman to tell the difference between fear and aggression. Those guys have enough on their minds.

So maybe leaving him home isn't a good idea. Growing up, I wouldn't have thought twice about leaving the dog alone and letting someone come in and take care of him. Most of my neighbors are afraid of dogs, so they aren't options, and I don't have relatives living close by.

I certainly wish I had the talent of my latest protagonist, a pet psychic. I could see what thoughts are in his big head and be comforted or confirmed in my suspicions.

What would you do?

1 comment:

  1. Because I don't know Buster, I can't say what I would do. My first response is to say trust the trainer and don't worry so much. How much time will she be spending with him? If she is not uncomfortable with him at this point, and feels like she can handle him, I'd probably go with it. (You didn't mention how she felt when she left.)

    I, too, am a worrier. Especially about dogs, so I understand your hesitation.

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