Song: “Skyliner” by Charlie Barnet
Today was pretty fun. FA had an appointment in our part of town and DM was at work, so I got to do something I’ve never done before: dog sit!
I was a little nervous beforehand – our house is not what you’d call dog-proof, and I’m not even sure how to dog-proof some things, but J and I moved around and tidied up what we figured was some common sense stuff and I would be supervising the pup the entire time so we weren’t too worried.
FA stopped by with the dog and a brief hello, then hopped back in her car and zipped off to her appointment. I felt a little bad for the pup because she stood staring at the door her person had just left from.
But then I got out the treats and everything was fine. I showed her around the house and then we sat for a while in the living room. J and I bought a toy for her yesterday and when I gave it to her she didn’t quite get it until I made it squeak, then she was all over it and it lasted about 14 seconds before she’d already started pulling it apart and I took it away. Then we sat and talked for a little bit and she plopped down and leaned against me while I gave her scritches.
Then we went outside. I kept her on her long leash at first because while our yard is fenced, I’m not sure if it’s dog-escape-proof. Our yard isn’t large but we went over every last square millimeter of it, sniffing away at all kinds of stuff, only pausing in that to jump up and give chase to a squirrel.
Then I got her attention with a fake chew bone (it had peanut butter in it) and I spent time scritching her ears again while she played with that. By this point I was feeling more comfortable about taking off her leash because just crinkling the treat bag slightly would get her attention instantly and she’d trot back over to me and give me puppy dog eyes.
Who’s a good doggy? My goodness, who’s a good doggy?
Then – for reasons that escape me right now – I thought it would be a great idea to play chase-catch-wrestle, so there I went, running around the yard like a maniac, waving my arms and making whooping sounds. Any neighbours or people walking by probably think I’ve lost my mind – with the fence, they wouldn’t be able to see the dog – only my head and arms waving as I ran back and forth around the yard. She was good at keeping up, and I think she enjoyed it because her tail was wagging pretty good. Then I’d heave myself down to the ground and (gently) wrestle with her for a minute or two, but she mostly just rolled over to get belly rubs, for which I was happy to oblige.
Filled up a little container with water and she drank a bit, then we ran around the yard some more. And some more. And then some more. It was good fun, and I haven’t ran that much or that fast in a loooong time. FA and DM have been working on some commands, so I figured I’d see if we could try that, too. “High-five” ended up with me getting knocked on my butt by two paws in my face, but she’s getting pretty great at “sit”.
And what fun is looking after someone’s pet (or child, for that matter) if you can’t spoil it? I was splitting the treats in half but we still went through quite a few of them, but it was for a good reason – we practiced catching treats out of the air. She let the first couple of them bounce off her head but then she started to get the hang of it.
I’d had several plans for activities but they kind of all went out the window when she seemed to enjoy scampering around outside. And after what seemed like only half an hour, J and FA showed up at the same time and the three (four) of us had a good little chat outside. We showed off the tricks we worked on, ran around a little bit more, then FA and I took the pup on a short walk around the block before they got into their car and headed out.
It was fun! I’ve never done that before, but I’d be happy to do it again sometime. I’m going to be sore tomorrow but hey – a bit of exercise for an old fat guy isn’t a bad thing, right? I also really appreciated DM and FA trusting me with their dog, and J (as always) was fantastic with boosting my confidence and helping me prepare for a little furry guest.
There’s other stuff going on too, but it will have to wait for another post – I just looked at the time and I REALLY need to get to bed.