We’ve been taking care of a friend’s dog, an adorable flat coat retrieve, 18 months old. I don’t know what it is about us that people over the years keep wanting us to take care of their pets. Oh, yeah, I know what it is. We usually say yes. And we almost always regret it. I might add, that with few exceptions, the favour is not returned for one reason or another.
The first day I left him alone in the basement I was gone a couple of hours. The result was that he chewed up some of the play mat, strewed the garbage all over, chewed up one of the kid’s nerf basketball and scratched up the padded tile floor. Picture an explosion or orange and yellow foam bits, laundry plastic and chocolate bar wrappers.) I did not take a picture of that. So hubby set up a camera system (via his tablet/my laptop) to see if he could
yell correct the dog but he couldn’t get the sound right. Finally, at my suggestion, he grudgingly went to get his kennel and had to drive 30 minutes there and back.
This is what happened the next day I went out for a couple of hours. Actually, the front gate(though it was locked) was pulled forward into the crate. What you can’t see is the pools of drool. Obviously the dog has a major case of separation anxiety. I left my dog, Juno, downstairs with him in the vain hope that he would see her sleeping, remain calm and would do the same. So, on Wednesday, we put in an old rug to cover the bottom. That ended up soaked and chewed. The crate was next to the sofa and he pulled the slipcover through the bars and chewed a hole in it. More pools of slobber. So not only does hubby have to take the dogs out for an hour after work, but he also cleans up the mess that is left over. (Ah, no the bars of the kennel already looked like that.) Thursday, with the crate pulled away from the sofa, the crate just looked like this.
You can see the slobber next to the cage. At first, hubby was frustrated and angry with the dog, but eventually he figured out the calm, non punative way was best. (Though he’s been through this before with our own dog, remember Juno the Destroyer? He
finally listened to me has to figure it out on his own.) It’s apparent that the dog has limited training and his needy, separation anxiety ways have not been addressed by his owner. The dog has major anxiety when left alone and even when I’m home with him, he barely sleeps and when I move, he jumps up. He continues to try to get back up on the furniture even when you repeatedly tell him to get down and he’ll even try to SNEAK back up next to you. He’ll even sleep on your foot to keep track of you. In a way, this means he thinks he’s leader of the pack and you can’t go anywhere without him. (This is what his owner does. Leaves him to wreck havoc or takes him wherever he goes. Except this week apparently.) It’s a little like trying to move around with a black, silky 70 lb pillow who constantly licks following you. Good news is that the Precious adores him of course. He always asks where he is or more commonly screams “Monkey, go sit down!” cause that’s all we do.
He leaves tomorrow night. We’ll miss you Monkey. Well, sort of.