We went to Puerto Rico for a week. Our friend and professional dog-sitter, Jim, took care of the dogs for the first time since last April. He walks and feeds them twice a day, and the rest of the time they hang out in the house doing whatever dogs do when they are on their own—sleeping, barking at the mailman, sleeping. We started leaving the dogs home when we can’t take them with us instead of taking them to a friend’s house or kennel after our old dog Ubi got so stressed out at a doggy day care a friend took her to while we were away (this seemed like a good idea before we tried it) that she almost died. Literally. We came home to a quivering heap of fur and bones. Clearly, in her elder years, if she couldn’t be with us, Ubi just wanted to be at home, waiting for us.
I texted Jim a day or so after we left to make sure he had gotten into the house okay and he wrote back, “Everything is fine. Cholula is so mellow on the walk now!” Of course, this made my day. I know Cholula is generally doing great these days, so much better than last spring, but it’s hard to see it sometimes when it happens day by day, and it’s easy to focus on the negative—the time I pushed her past her capability and she charged a friend, the time she ran off (again) into the woods for 20 minutes before coming back.
But I had to wait until we got home to get the full story of Cholula and Pundit’s week without us. This was left for me by Jim on our kitchen table, one note per visit. Our family loved them so much I’m sharing them here, for your reading pleasure:
We had a wet walk. Pundit and Cholula kept looking at me as if to say, “Where are the hot dogs?” (Last spring I was still using hot dogs on walks to get Cholula’s energy away from other dogs). We saw another dog across the street. Cholula hardly noticed!
We took a leisurely walk. No issues.
Pundit and Cholula were on their best behavior with other dogs. I didn’t hear a peep out of either of them!
We had a very pleasant late evening walk. No poop.
Everybody was full of vigor this morning! Still no poop from Cholula.
Everybody ate. Everybody pooped! All was well!
We had another very pleasant morning walk. Cholula was a bit more riled up, but I didn’t have any problems.
Cholula came racing down to see me. Pundit jumped up out of the chair. Everybody was very, very excited! Pundit got some kind of bone on the walk and crunched it up before I could extract it.
Everybody was in need of a good scratch behind the ears and some love, so I gave it to them.
There were a lot of squirrels, cats, and other dogs about. Cholula got pretty excited, but I got her to calm down.
We had a damp and rainy morning walk. Cholula was still looking for that cat! All business was attended to.
We had a rainy walk.
We took a brisk morning walk. Everybody pooped. All was well!
I came bearing food! Cholula and Pundit were very, very excited!
And then we came home. And Cholula and Pundit were very, very excited! For a moment it was a toss up as to whether Cholula was more excited to see me or her rat holes in the back yard, which she hadn’t had access to all week—but then I won! Over the rat holes! Cholula pushed like crazy and raced like a demon up and down the yard jumping on me with full doggy joy while Pundit ran from one to the other of us barking like a maniac—and we were glad to be home.
If you live in DC and want Jim’s information for dog walking or sitting, let me know. He’s the best.