Pros and cons of dog sitting

Spoken and unspoken rules about dog sitting

Marble is the new boss at dog sitter’s home. Treena Mielke Photo

There’s a new boss at our house.

The new boss arrived Sunday and, without much fanfare, just kind of took over the place.

First of all, he sniffed everything out, trotting here, there and everywhere and finally nosing around by the bottom cupboards where his dog dish should be.

I hadn’t quite got around to putting it out, but I was quick to perform the task when he gave me a beseeching look with his imploring brown eyes. True, I could hardly see his eyes, there was so much fur covering them, but still I got the idea.

And he and I both knew, he didn’t want to actually eat the dog food, he just wanted his dish to be full in case he did.

The dog, a chubby little lap dog, with an off white fur coat, that is made even less white when he flips over and rubs himself in whatever patch of dirt he can find, does not belong to me.

He has another family whom love and adore him, but, for this week only, he has been dropped off at grandma and grandpa’s home. He came, complete with a list of instructions.

*Don’t leave Marble in a hot car even if you are only running in to the store for one item.

*Make sure he can’t get out of the back yard when you put him out so he can perform his outdoor bathroom duties.”

*Don’t give him human food

*Take him for walks daily

I raise an eyebrow skeptically when I read the list.

In my day, dogs knew their place, I tell Marble the dog. Mostly, they stayed outside. They were allowed only to come indoors when it was too cold for man or beast to not seek shelter.

Marble listens to me and wags his tail and looks expectantly at his leash.

I have discovered taking the dog for a walk is better than reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, “The Power of Now.”

Really, that dog could have written the book.

When we leave I look at the clock. I figure I have 15 minutes to go for this walk before I head off to work. But, apparently, Marble doesn’t have a built in clock and if he did, he would have no intention of following it.

He wants to sniff every blade of grass. He wants to urinate beside every tree and everything that even looks like a tree. And then when he’s not sniffing or urinating, he wants to flip over on a patch of dirt and wiggle his little body until he is filthy. He seems to find this activity quite exhilarating.

In my best, ‘I’m actually the boss,’ kind of voice, I tell the dog we have to get going. I explain I have to get to work.

The dog totally ignores me and goes on sniffing and wiggling and urinating. He is blissfully happy.

I could overlook the tardiness on the morning walks, but I have discovered one thing even worse. Each night when I stretch out on the couch to watch my favourite TV show, Marble is there beside me. He has, in fact, taken over the couch.

And there I lay, crunched up on the tiny little bit of couch he has allotted me, while he is stretched out, all four paws straight out in front of him, taking up as much room as possible.

I swear that dog doesn’t know his place at all.

The family that adore and love him will be coming home, Sunday. And we will pack up his dog dish and his leash and whatever other possessions he has brought, and send him home. And my home will be back to being petless!

But, I have to say that for some reason I truly do believe there is truth in that statement ‘a dog is a man’s best friend.’

And, for some reason that goes beyond human comprehension, I know one thing for sure.

I will miss him!