Doggie Daycare

Last Saturday, I received a text message from my realtor friend. D and I were in close contact five years ago when we bought our house, but since then, she herself moved, had two kids, adopted a dog, and got preggers with her third child. After she had her two boys, we kinda just fell out of touch. As I mentioned in an earlier post, she frequently hosted big parties and sometimes invited me over for family/kiddie time, but it just didn’t feel like the right “season” for our friendship. Whatever.

So her text last week basically told me she was due the next day with her third child, and her dog sitter had bailed due to a medical issue in her family. Could I take her 85-lb, 3 y/o lab for a week or two while she gave birth and had time to bond with the family? First of all, to be honest, I have a slight bad taste in my mouth bc in the three years that they have had the dog, they have tried at least twice to give him away. Annoying. I mean, everyone knows labs are a crazy amount of work. Sure, there’s the whole glorified Old Yeller scenario: how cute would it be to have a puppy and my child grow up together, blah, blah, blah. Yeah, maybe I feel like them adopting him in the first place was a bit irresponsible. Like, have a better understanding of what you’re getting yourself into regarding parenting (multiple kids) and pet adoption. But whatever. Not everything can be fully anticipated. That’s life. So long story short, I replied that John just returned (two days prior) from a month away dealing with elder care issues, and we were already dogsitting his sister’s dog. We could possibly do Wednesday after that dog went home and then see. I had a dog sitter recommendation for her, but minutes later, I felt like that wasn’t a viable option due to my sitter having three dogs of her own plus living in a 500 sf apartment.

So for some illogical, emotional reason, I thought back to last fall when Martin was having all his kidney and bladder issues, and I had to ask like ten people about dog sitting for our trip to Taiwan. It was so stressful worrying about finding him a place. So I said to D that we could have the three dogs meet that afternoon and then see. So they came over, the non-Martin dogs were a bit growly. We all walked over to the park to get them acclimated, and the lab was HYPERSPAZ. Panting so loudly I couldn’t even hear the conversation, and just super energetic. Like thinking back to Remy and Martin’s younger years, I can’t even remember seeing a dog with so much energy and strength. Thirty minutes later, despite realizing that he’s going to be a ton of work, J and I agreed to take him. Then they schlepped in all his shit: a huge bag of dog food, a monster tote of supplies and toys, and then a 4 x 2 crate (formerly Martin’s airline crate). All plopped in my small family room. And yes, I had just deep cleaned my house that morning– mopped, vacuumed, everything. Fucking A. It’s one of those moments where you kinda don’t want to do something, but you do it bc you feel it needs to be done. Afterwards, there’s a tinge of regret. But whatever. We agreed and that’s that.

Now it’s one week later. B is a very sweet dog. John’s sister’s dog went home on Wednesday, and we’re down to two again. B and Martin are fine together. With J now on leave of absence from work, having B is helpful for giving us routine: up early to walk them and play fetch, etc. He slobbers and drools all over our wood floors when he drinks, and he sheds like crazy, but he’s really growing on me. He is eager to please, and the panting is subsiding somewhat. Maybe he is feeling more settled now. But the thing that really bugs me is, he’s been with us for a week. Not ONCE have we heard from the family. No text checking in 24 hrs later to see if the THREE dogs were doing ok together. No text asking if B is ok, if WE are ok, if the arrangement is still acceptable for us. I mean, no, we don’t have kids, but hell, there is a LOT going on in our lives right now. The elder care shit, even if we aren’t there in MD, is a huge mental worry. J not working, though financially feasible, is still something we are trying to figure out. We have decided to sell our house in Virginia bc the property management company SUCKS. I had to get our current roof here in MV repaired, and the work didn’t resolve the issue. Meanwhile, work is busy. I had a dream last night that my father died. I mean, there’s a lot emotionally and mentally that is going on. And all this time, while there is no inquiry with her dog, on FB, there are all these posts about winning recognition awards, the baby being late, the baby finally coming, and then the baby is here (but please, no visitors), photo shoot day, etc. WTF, people? Congrats on your baby. I get that parenthood is intense, but please, spare me the entitlement:

Thanks for calls and messages. I cannot get to them just yet. Lots of after pains for mommy… But baby is doing well. Please no visitors yet… Road to recovery has no shortcuts. Feel free to drop off a meal or pick up boys, especially B, to spend a couple of hours in the park. We cannot wait to share our new bundle of joy and her story with you all soon. Please keep sending your healing energy and prayers…

I can’t help but feel disappointed. Maybe I would give some more slack if these words were for close friends only, but for all? It’s a bit much, and frankly, pretty self-centered. In the end, I got sucked in. I responded to a perceived urgency. It’s my own damn fault. And to be clear, the scenario wasn’t the same as J and me leaving the country and needing dog care. The baby wasn’t even born yet! Whatever. I’m not going to use B like some pawn that gets shuttled back and forth from sitter to sitter. He’s already an anxious dog.

Oh well. My Peruvian posse is visiting for Memorial Day: four adults and one baby plus J, Martin, and me. It’s gonna be a full house on the houseboat. We’ll have B until then, and then he’ll have to go back. Hopefully, ten days will be sufficient for baby bonding and re-acclimation.

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