A little while ago I was sat in the playground at school talking to one of the mum’s I’ve got to know quite well. Her daughter was my younger son’s first love – at age 4! Her middle child is in the same grade at my elder son, & together we are class parents for that grade, so as you can imagine we spend a reasonable amount of time together during term time. She randomly asked me if we were going away for Spring Break, which we are not (why would I pay a substantial amount of money to vacation with the rest of BC?). She wanted to know who looks after Tess when we do go away because they got a puppy last summer who is now 8months old. We do use a dog sitter through a local company, but they weren’t available last year we were forced to look elsewhere. After a lot of worrying about what we would do with for her for 3 weeks, a friend eventually offered to take her for most of it. You know what’s coming don’t you…
Yes, the old mouth before brain thing struck again. Knowing what it was like trying to find someone, I seized the opportunity to develop a reciprocal arrangement with someone else, this was not crazy it was me thinking ahead. I ran the idea by the husband & before I knew it I’d agreed to take Java for the 2 weeks of Spring Break. Until today I’d forgotten just what an 8month old puppy can be like – MAD! I thought Tess was still quite bouncy, but today I realized just how much they calm down, she is almost 4 now.
Today I did a trial run of walking both dogs on my own. After dropping the boys at school I met my friend on the next block, where she offloaded her substantial, but sweet, Weimaraner onto me. Poor Tess, who has walked with Java & my friend before, didn’t know what on earth was going on. She sat behind my seat watching this thing bounce around the car – I did put her in the third row of seats of my Odyssey but the monkey leap over them! I could almost hear Tessy saying to her ‘just chill will you, save your energy for the park’.
I unload at the other end, which was an ordeal given that Java is significantly stronger than Tess. I show Java I have some treats & finally I let them off & away she went, bounding around, nose to the ground, all legs & ears. Tess kept looking at me as if to say ‘have you gone mad?’ & to be fair to her she walked right by my side (she was wearing her coat of shame so that might have been why), while Java ran off, came back, ran off, came back, ran off, came back. We were only half way into the hour-long loop I do, when I was amazed to find that she was looking for me, even Tess was mothering her & keeping her right. She came to me every time I called her, something Tessy could learn from actually. By the time we got back to the car both dogs were absolutely pooped!
I arrived at their house where I was greeted by the husband. He was amazed to see her so warn out – I think he was amazed to see her at all, & secretly hoping that she won’t want to come home after 2 weeks with me. After dropping her off I sent my friend a text to report that her baby had been safely deposited back home, tired & a bit grubby, & that it had gone well. She was extremely grateful, & will be more than happy to return the favour in future – my plan had worked!
Later at school I saw her husband picking up their kids. He wanted to report that thanks to me he had to listen to Java cry at the front door for 20 minutes after I left, he works from home so this was not helpful. Ahhhh bless, how lovely to feel so appreciated… by an adorable mutt!