Thursday, May 9, 2013

Adventures in Petsitting

The closest thing I got to a clear picture of all four dogs
Simmie meeting Albus
This past weekend I was petsitting three dogs and two cats. So, all told, I was caring for six animals including Ebon. Most of those animals were owned by members of my family: Willow, Siggy, Albus, and Ginny. I also watched the neighbor's dog, Simmie, short for Seminole if I'm remembering right. Simmie is a golden retriever who's about two years old. He's quite the puppy still.

In many ways, Simmie reminds me of Ebon as a young fella. The major difference? Simmie is WAY calmer.  Ebon was far more energetic at the same age. The difference is rather remarkable. I suppose that's what you get, though, when you compare a dog that was bred to work and one that was bred to be either a pet or a show dog. This is honestly the first time I've spent enough time with a non-field-bred retriever to notice the difference. Ebon's energy level now at age eight is about equal to Simmie's, he just controls it a lot better.

The remains of my laptop cable
The weekend was interesting, complete with a few minor disasters. The first was someone chewing my laptop cable into dozens of pieces. In all likelihood, it was one of "the blonds": Willow or Simmie. I'm getting a new one, but it was a frustrating surprise.

Siggy being anxious
It also rained almost the entire weekend, which caused a lot of drama with the greyhounds. As I've mentioned several times before on the blog, Siggy has serious issues with thunder and heavy winds. When it's noisy outside there is no way to possibly get him to move from whatever corner he curls up in. He'll even refrain from eating, and in fact I couldn't get him to eat for an entire day. Then once the rain was gone he was understandably starving. Willow isn't bothered by the noise, but refuses to walk on wet grass. That combined with Siggy's want to walk as little as possible made walking the dogs quite...interesting. The retrievers, of course, were more than happy to walk as long as I wanted them to.

Simmie and his butt fluff. He happy dances just like Ebon: toy in mouth, wriggling on back
The retrievers
Then, there's Ebon. He's such an easy dog most of the time, partly because I know his quirks so well now, but that doesn't mean he's perfect by any means. I let him run around off lead a couple of times while I walked the others since his recall's pretty darn sound and he's not one to run across the street if I ask him not to. It also made dealing with four dogs easier. However, at some point when I didn't have my eyes on him he ate something. When he threw it up it looked like a plastic food wrapper of some sort. It wouldn't be the first time some sort of trash found its way into the yard for whatever reason. I also think whatever he ate is responsible for the diarrhea that he started having at the same time. He spent a day without food before I put him on a bland diet. He's not showing any signs that there's any more stuff bothering his gut, but I'm continuing to watch him just in case he's trying to pass any leftovers. Now, though, after several days, he should have expelled anything that may have been left. He's transitioning back to kibble now.

Willow roaching. Unlike Siggy, she sleeps on her back fairly regularly. You can see her bald belly from her spay
Of course, there was no drama with the cats. Cats are so easy. Ironically, one of the main reason I was petsitting is that Albus, the grumpy twelve-year-old tom, can't be left alone due to concerns regarding his urinary health. He's had two urinary blockages so far, which can result in dangerous spikes in blood toxicity and possible death if not quickly treated. Ginny, now eleven, is still healthy as can be. Being born feral, I think she has better genes than Mr. Bad Teeth and Bladder Issues. A feral cat with poor genetics would probably die fairly young.

1 comment:

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