Adventures In Dog Sitting: Meeting Mickey (Part 1)
For the past year or so, I’ve contemplated adding another dog to my little family. Right now, it’s just Oscar and I, and my puppy clock is ticking. At least three or four times a week, I’m cruising adopting sites, falling in love with every furry face I see. With each new listing I come across, the clock gets louder.
Why haven’t I taken the plunge yet? There are a few roadblocks. I’m at the office during the day, and my position as Editor of PetGuide.com takes me away from home a few times a year. There’s the added expense, of course, and finding the right fit for my lifestyle. But the biggest obstacle has to be the fact that Oscar is anti-social towards other dogs.
Oscar will do everything in his power to get away from other dogs. On leash or off, Oscar wants nothing to do with other pups. He’s not aggressive – in fact, he’s the total opposite. He’s always been timid around dogs. We’ve been to training, countless socialization classes, doggy daycare sessions and group dog walks, and nothing works. There are certain pooches he’s better around: usually those who are quiet and shy, small, or senior. And if the dog wants nothing to do with Oscar, that’s when he’ll make his move… sneaking up from behind for a quick butt sniff, until his target takes notice and Oscar quickly darts away. He’s the ultimate butt-sniff ninja!
At first, I resolved myself to the fact that it was going to be a SHOC household (Single Human, One Canine). But I can’t get this second dog idea out of my head. There was only one thing to do: bring another dog into the mix for a test run.
The opportunity presented itself in the form of a dog sitting favor. My friend and co-worker, Greg, was headed out of town on a business trip and needed someone to look after Mickey, his Mini Bulldog, for a few days. I jumped at the chance – here was the perfect chance to see how Oscar would perform in a real-life dog bonding environment.
Meet & Greet
I was optimistic of a furry friendship because Greg had mentioned his dog was a bit timid and didn’t bark – two character traits that Oscar values in a buddy. We arranged for a pre-meeting before the drop off so the dogs could introduce themselves and Mickey could have a good sniff around the house.
A few days before he left, Greg and Mickey came by. Mickey is a derpy little fella, all snorting and huffing. He wasn’t too sure what to make of me or Oscar, and he kept his distance… until I gave him a treat. Oscar hid in his crate for the better part of the visit, only coming out and siding up with me for safety on the couch while Mickey was exploring my bedroom.
Greg outlined a few of Mickey’s quirks and habits. In addition to his snorting, he’s also known for his snoring. If you rub his belly or butt, he’ll reward you with a happy smile. He’ll also rub himself down on the couch when you stop petting him. Watch out for his breath… it’ll make you gag. But don’t worry, he’s going to the dentist this weekend to get those doggy teeth cleaned and have a few of the loose ones pulled.
Oh, and by the way… he may pee on the floor. He doesn’t do it too often, but it could happen.
“No worries,” I said. “I’ve got hardwood – that’s what it’s there for.” (Please remember these famous last words, they’ll come back to bite me in the ass.)
When they departed, leaving a trail of white fur in their wake, I went over a few nagging doubts in my head:
- Will he eat all of Oscar’s food? (Spoiler Alert: yes)
- What of my beautiful furniture? (Another Spoiler Alert: He claimed some of it)
- There are so many wires… will he mistake them as chew toys (Happy Spoiler Alert: the house never burned down)
- Will he pee/poop and I won’t find it? (Final Spoiler Alert: Yes, yes and yes)
“Hey,” I told myself. “It’s only for four days and nights – and really, how bad could it be?” (*Cue ironically funny and dramatic music.)
I’ll be back with Part 2 in the series, and I’ll let the boys tell their side of the story as well. After all, I don’t want it to be one sided.
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
More by Amy Tokic