Wednesday, July 11, 2012


We agreed to dog-sit a friend's pup when he went away for a long weekend. I thought it would be a great time to let the kids experience a dog and to remind us how much we don't want one in the FS. Our friend assured us the dog was, if anything, overly submissive and had plenty of experience with kids. Hm.

The intro was as good as could be. The kids bounced off the walls and ran and screamed a lot but she was shielded from them and being petted by me so her freaking out was muted. She drank some water and wandered the house a bit. Eventually she settled down when we invited her onto the couch (she's definitely used to the good life!).

Unfortunately for the experience, she never really got calm. She only peed once a day even though we took her out more often than she's used to. Having her around brought back the visceral reactions of having had Kirby - every time she approached a new dog, I tensed. That probably didn't help her or the other dog view each other as new friends, although she did well enough.

Also, on our first night, Zoltan accidentally stumbled over her and she snapped at him. She growled many times when he got near. Saturday morning I got the idea of letting the kids feed her bits of bacon to reinforce that they are friends. It helped a bit but not enough.

I was amazed and impressed with Zoltan - he did a spectacular job of being gentle with her when he actually got close. I'm sad that he said he wasn't being gentle with her, I believe he didn't think he was because of her reaction. Alex fared much better, even when she tripped over Chancey the next day (just as Zoltan had) the dog had no reaction. Of course, Alex was, in general, quieter and slower than Z and not tearing around on a riding toy.

In the end, I am glad to have had the experience. It solidifies many things that have been nebulous: 1. No dogs while we're in this job, and quite frankly maybe not ever. It's just a PITA and for now my kids provide all the companionship I can handle, and then some.  2. Any dog we do get will be a puppy so its neuroses are unique to our lives and we're not worried about what s/he lived through before we got him/her.

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