Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Sometimes it just isn't your day.........

Dog: German, Long Haired Pointer

Got a call yesterday that a family needed to leave town unexpectedly due to a death in the family. They really didn't want to kennel their 'Mocha' and wondered how this whole pet-sitting thing worked. I explained that I generally have a couple of visits for those who have never had people in their home (first rule of a pet-sitter...never go in blind-meaning at LEAST two visits). They weren't completely comfortable with an overnight sit, but wanted periodic visits throughout the day. I told him I completely understood and asked when they were leaving. He said 'tomorrow' (which was today).

I went last night to meet the little family. Brand new home, Maple Valley, two very well-behaved little boys and a very friendly couple. When I arrived, Mocha came slowly around the corner and looked at me and growled. I got down on her level (2nd rule in pet sitting) and spoke to her in a monotone, yet friendly voice. She continued to growl for another five minutes and then quit. She allowed me to pet her, placed her head on my leg and acted as if we were old friends by the time I left.

I arrived this afternoon around noon to allow her to pee. I called her name from outside the door ( entering on the bottom level of the home)and she came barking. I stepped in and took her water bowl (this was her area) and began to fill it, talking to her like nothing was different than any other day and she continued to growl and bark. a different way than last night. I could tell she was protecting her territory. I walked slowly and deliberately through the house and up the stairs talking to her the whole time. She kept her distance and was very nervous about me being in the home. I tried to ignore her and read the notes left for me and left a note as if nothing were wrong for the owners. I sat on the couch and turned on the T.V. She still would have no part of me and continued to growl. I went back downstairs to get her lead and she stayed at the top and would not come down. I knew she HAD to go outside.....I walked up the stairs and attempted to place the lead on her collar and she attacked me. She managed to clip my hand with her teeth, but I was half way expecting this so I moved immediately away from her. I never let her have me pinned in and purposely placed myself at the top of the stairs so that I would have a way out. I kept speaking to her and turned slowly to retreat down the stairs....she followed, growling and barking the whole way. I continued the same pace until I met the downstairs entrance. Filled her bowl completely full of water and food and left!!!!

I called her owner but he was on a flight to Boston. I felt bad and decided to give this another attempt two hours later. This time I got the key in the door and she was right on the other side. I opened the door and she was very serious this time! I said 'Okay, Mocha...its all yours!" and left!

The owner called me back. I asked if there was someone that Mocha trusted and knew in the area. He said he had a buddy who knows Mocha. His buddy and I will meet later so that he can help Mocha out.

Mocha did nothing wrong. She was protecting her territory...we needed more time to bond!


XYZinn said...

I'm so glad it wasn't more serious. You should wear a protective suit to all your "big dog" visits! :)