Quite unintentionally, my husband and I have become the dog sitters of choice amongst our friends. I just fine with this because it’s a barter system whereupon we get cat and chicken sitting for when we travel. Yes, I said chicken, but that’s a story for another day (or maybe another blog).
Because of a constantly rotating cast of characters I’ve noticed some interesting habits and behavioral traits in different dogs. On a side note, I’ve also noticed that I have what are probably the Worlds’ Most Tolerant cats. I thought I should capitalize that phrase, it’s the very least I can do seeing as they can very often be found eating their little kitty dinners on top of the table, or even the refrigerator. And even the sanctity of the table dining area was recently violated (see the photo above).
As dog owners, you may be blissfully unaware of the seamlessness that is your daily pack life and make no mistake, if you’re the kind of dog owner I know you are, you do live in a pack. Every day thousands of activities go on in your household with the precision of an expert ballet company or orchestra, you just might not be all that aware of it; breakfast for pets, breakfast for humans, outdoor time, quiet time, kids to school, dogs in car, dogs out of car and so on, ad infinitum. You and your pack waltz through life pretty smoothly, until a new cog in the wheel appears; enter the visiting pooch. Some owners supply their own dog crates and dog crate accessories, fancy pet beds, and even toys. Some just show up with a dog; no leash, no food. Feeding time can get interesting, especially for the dogs used to being only dogs. In our pack. we have a pretty controlled atmosphere at feeding time; everyone has to sit and wait to be told to eat, and for some dogs that’s a complete mystery, especially for the poor Labs who are more likely to be rather excited about food. On the other end of the spectrum and referring back to the World’s Most Tolerant cats, the visiting herding dogs will usually attach themselves to a cat as a sort of an entourage. HBO should really consider this as a pilot, it’s pretty amusing to watch and oddly enough, on the very rare occasion that a Border Collie’s O.C.D. slips up, the cat will actually turn around to look for “their” dog as if to say “hello, we’re walking now, keep up”.
No matter who visits, low or high maintenance, it’s always interesting around here and when we wave goodbye, it’s always with a calm sense of our pack returning to normal once again. Sigh….