Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I've been watching a friend's dog while she was out of town for a few days. He's a medium sized dog. I'm not sure what breed he is, though my friend has mentioned it before. I wasn't the first choice to watch her dog, but her usual dog sitter was unavailable. While my friend knows that I enjoy playing with dogs and taking care of them, she doesn't understand why I refuse to let her dog lick my face, even after I cited very valid reasons.

Look, I done told her that I've seen her dog eat poop and sniff other dogs' butts. I'm not letting her dog lick my face when I know where that dog's mouth has been! And I don't buy that dogs mouths are very clean excuse. That's good for the dog, but I'm not a dog. My immune system is not as robust.

She left me strict instructions about how often to feed her dog: Twice a day, with a scoop and a half of dog chow each time. The last time she left her dog in my care, she accused me of fattening up her dog, because I fed him 3 times a day. Hey, I couldn't just eat a meal in front of the dog staring at me with those large eyes, looking pitiful and hungry. So whenever I ate, the dog ate, too. And it's not like all I did was feed him. I took that dog for walks and played fetch with him for at least two hours in the evenings and an hour in the mornings to start my day. That dog loves me; he comes up to me, wagging his tail every time I visit. He probably enjoys my company. Or maybe he just knows that I'm more likely to give him scraps from my plate when I'm eating.

And as much fun as I have playing with the dog, I know that I can't have a pet right now, no matter what people say. I just really don't have the time and my work requires me to go places and work long hours. I think it's unfair and unkind to take on a pet when you can't commit to care for it wholeheartedly. Since it was my last day to take care of the dog, I decided to spend an extra hour playing with him, having him fetch that tennis ball and letting him run up and down the park. And when we got home, I gave him two full scoops of food instead of the scoop and a half. He's earned it. And while I'm a little sad to see him go home, it's going to be nice to be able to sleep in a little longer and eat my meals without feeling guilty about the dog looking at me with his sad, pleading eyes.


  1. Eeeeuuuwww. Can't stand the dog-licking-the-face-thing. Oh, wait. I'm a cat. The doggie would get a face full of claws in return!

  2. I think it's unfair and unkind to take on a pet when you can't commit to care for it wholeheartedly.

    I appreciate that you understand that and I wish more people would think before they adopt an animal.

    But it’s great that you can dog-sit once in a while to enjoy a dog’s company.

    And it sounds like the dog likes YOU too!

    Oh Hai, XL!

  3. What kind of person complains that their dog's put on a bit of weight? It's a dog, not an anorexic catwalk model :-S. Oh well.

    Besides, it's one of the pleasures of having a dog around that you feed them little bits of your own food. And that they gaze at you with soft brown eyes, pausing for a few seconds to scratch their ear furiously.

    Yes, I'm a great dog fan. And that includes having them curl up on the end of my bed...and affectionately lick out my ears.

  4. I love to dog and cat sit, I used to do that when I was younger and many of our neighbors had pets. One neighbor even had bins of food for squirrels and birds.

    The last time I did a dog sitting gig, it was for my brother last year. After work I would drive over to their place with some McDonald's and share my fries with their hyper dog.

  5. XL, I don't have any claws, so I resort to keeping out of reach when a dog starts making moves to lick my face! This dog never licks my face, though. I think he's learned not to. And thank goodness he doesn't like to sniff people's crotches like some other dogs I've seen. But he likes to lay down or sit down next to me and I don't mind petting him.

    MJ, Yeah, I cringe when I hear people wanting to get pets because they're so cute or exotic or cool looking. If you're going to get a pet, you better be prepared to care for it because it's a living thing that needs attention and love. They're not accessories; they're living beings.

    Every time I go visit my friend, her dog stays next to me and follows me around the place, wagging his tail. My friend says her dog likes me and is probably expecting me to give him treats from my plate. It's true. I feed him pieces of food during a meal.

    Kapi, Yeah, after I got that lecture, I was like, Um, I don't see what the big deal is. But my friend was adamant that her dog is likely to suffer hip dysplasia if he puts on extra weight. I've never seen a fat dog before, and I had to look up hip dysplasia.

    But it's her dog, a stray she found on side of the road, and she does take him to the vet regularly for check ups and care. She loves that dog. And while I enjoy her dog's company, I draw the line at face licking!

    Until I was an adult, it never occurred to me that animals can get illnesses, too. I once took care of a turtle who had a stroke, and could only swim in circles going left! And I had friend whose old, fat cat had to take insulin for diabetes!

    Tara, It is kind of fun to pet sit for other people sometimes, esp if it's a pet you don't have yourself. I like watching fish swimming about lazily in the aquarium. I've enjoyed taking care of a ferret and a sugar glider.

    Holy moly! What crazy person actually feeds the crazy squirrels? I can understand birds and butterflies but squirrels are nutcases! I had a friend try to hand feed one in the park, and I tried to warn her not to, but she didn't listen. Well, that squirrel bit her hand after eating the food she offered.

  6. That dog is walking all over you :-)
    If you want a well behaved and happy dog ,remeber they are pack animals and you have to be their pack leader .....Never ever EVER feed a dog from your plate , YOU always eat first then the dog after. If they are begging at the table send them out of the room and no messing . They will love you even more , Mr C's hounds of hell are Beasties little cuddly bunnies but only becuase they are under no illusions about who is top dog

  7. I totally agree with you about the responsibility required to have a pet, Eros, that's why I never had one before I met SP.

    I must admit to letting her lick my face, though. And she sleeps in our bed - more often than not taking up more room than either of us!
    However, we do follow the BEAST train of thought when it comes to begging.

  8. Beast, Ha! I try to follow Cesar Milan's Dog Whisperer tips, too when I'm around dogs. I think I've established who's alpha dog--I lead, the dog follows. Although, sometimes, I confess that when I'm eating potato chips and watching tv, every now and then, I'll toss a chip to the dog.

    IDV, Dogs are great companions if you have the time and resources to provide them with a good home. My friend's dog actually sleeps at the foot of her bed. But when he stays with me, he sleeps on the floor, next to the sofa where I'm usually passed out. She lets her dog lick her face; her dog doesn't lick my face--I think he's learned not to.

    My friend is pretty strict when it comes to letting her dog beg. He doesn't do it around her or anyone else. But with me, he likes to sit on the floor next to my chair, waiting and hoping for me to give him some morsels--which I do while my friend just shakes her head. He just looks at me with those sad eyes and waits patiently. Mostly, I wait till I'm done eating and have the plate at the kitchen sink before I give him something.

  9. I control my pets' food. No extra cups. But neither C nor I are particularly good at never giving the dog table scraps. I also don't mind her licking my face once in a while. No wonder your friend's dog loves you though if you walk her that much.

  10. Snooze, I usually enjoy the outdoors if the weather is good, so I stay out as long as possible. The dog is good company when I go outdoors and it's good for us both to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine for as long as possible.

  11. Ha ha ha!! I've also just been accused of fattening up the dog I was looking after... but I swear he had longer walks with me so deserved the extra... and I've reached my ideal weight, so I'm happy.

  12. Never ever EVER feed Miss Scarlet from your plate :-)

  13. Welcome back Scarlet B! Yeah, I don't think there's anything wrong with giving the dog extra food, esp if he's working extra hard and earned it. And I think it's nice to give the dog a special treat, esp. if you're the one taking care of him while the owner is gone.

    And Congratulations and meeting your goal! And right on time for summer, too! Yeah! You did it! Awesome!

    Beast, Ha! I'll be sure to share with her special treats and then go spend some time having fun at the park!

  14. Scarlet B, He's been a bad boy, hasn't he?