This week I’ve been dog sitting for a friend. The dear four-legged senior fella who I’ve been taking care of is a very sweet black lab. I actually grew up with a black lab, and after he passed away my parents got another one, so I’m used to being around big dogs. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll have seen me post pics of a dog in my office some days. That’s the fella I’ve been watching.
After living alone and without a dog for so long, it was interesting moving back into taking care of a dog again. I was so worried the entire week that I would forget to do something, that I wouldn’t take him out for his walk, there wouldn’t be enough water in his dish, or that he would jump too high or trip on a walk and hurt himself.
But, everything went alright. It was wonderful to stay with him and honestly having him around has been sort of a mini mental vacation for me. He’s a retired therapy dog, and he knows when people are stressed and will go and cuddle them. The first time we met, I was in the middle of apartment hunting and so he would spend most of the days he was at the office underneath my desk. While I’m not apartment hunting level stressed, I’ve been incredibly anxious lately. Taking care of this dog is probably the best thing I could have done. Not only did I have a complete break from my normal routine, but I’ve had to focus on something that isn’t myself.
There have been some hiccups, of course. One night the dog woke me up a little before 3:30 AM and was very concerned that there was absolutely nothing outside the 10th-floor window. I thought maybe he had to go to the bathroom so we went outside and he promptly sat down and gave me a look as if to ask “WTF are we doing out here?”. I sure am glad the street was empty because I shouted, “OMG GO TO THE BATHROOM” as lovingly as I could muster. He sneezed, got up, and started heading back towards the apartment building. I couldn’t really sleep after that, so it ended up being a long day. Another time on our morning walk, another dog came up to him and then without warning jumped on him and started barking like crazy. I was able to pull the other dog off, and bit my tongue when it’s owner brushed the whole thing off. No one got hurt, which is what’s important, and when we got home I gave him some treats and a cuddle.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. Today I have a full schedule of work and laundry so I can jump back into my normal routine.