HTT: How To Dog-Sitting

We got to dog sit for my dad this weekend, and I say "got to" because we actually requested the privilege.

We wanted to dog sit.

Although . . . the three of us had very different reasons to do so.

My son, the nine-year-old know-it-all do-it-all be-it-all, really really wants a dog.

He doesn't really know why, or what for, it just seems like having a dog is the kind of thing he should want. Also, not so secretly, he wants something in his room that will scare off the ghost in the bathroom mirror.

That's the new scary thing.

The ghost in the bathroom mirror.

Dogs are pretty reliable when it comes to fearless protection from bathroom mirror ghosts.

So he was excited to get the opportunity to show how good he would be with a dog. Prove he could be responsible and such. It's actually a very reasonable plan.

My wife too wants a dog.

Not because of the bathroom mirror ghost, but for a whole slough of reasons. The clacking of toenails on the hardwood floor. The wagging tale, the perked up ears when strangers knock on the door, the energy, the feeling of having a familly pet, the look of unconditional love.

That's probably the biggie.

The look of unconditional love.

That and she secretly hopes a dog will melt my cold cold heart.

Because I . . . absolutely . . . unconditionally . . . do not want a dog.

Nor do I want my cold cold heart melted.

But  I especailly don't want a dog.

Not that I have anything against them . . . in particular. Big ones scare me. Little yappy ones annoy me. They're very expensive, time consuming, poo and pee on things, they require their own shampoo, don't know how to use a fork, without opposable thumbs they have to experience the world with their faces, I'd mention that they leave hair everywhere, but so does my wife, and they don't laugh at my jokes.

They just look at you.

And wait for food.

So my reasons for wanting to dog-sit were simple. I wanted to show the other members of my tribe that dogs require things of you and the stuff they do isn't all that interesting after about an hour.

27 hours with some one else's dog would scratch that particular itch with no commitment or side effects.

Told you . . . cold cold heart.

Anyway, I thought for today's How to Tuesday I'd share a little bit about what I learned through the whole experience.

The first is a bit of a caveat. The dog in question . . . sweet adorable Lila . . . is a seven year-old boxer . . . well trained . . . doesn't yap jump or chew on things that are not hers . . . super energetic when it's play time, a big breathing meatloaf when it's not . . . she exemplifies the dog as family member. She'd sit a the table if she knew how to use a fork.

Now . . . every dog owner will tell you that their dog is part of the familly. But they're almost always lying. Unless they grew up in a family where face licking and leg humping were daily occurances. If you have to put a member of your family in the back yard when people come over . . . then it's not family . . . its a pet.

You don't see a lot of apartment listings that say "No Smoking and No 5th Graders"

But Lila's not that dog. Lila's people.

So if you are thinking of dog sitting, for whatever reason, make that first one an easy one.

Second is the level of concern dog owners have about non-dog owners taking the leash for a day or two.

Like . . . when I told my brother that I was going to be a dad . . .  that I was going to be responsible for the life of an entire human being for the next twenty years . . . he was like "Congratulations!"

When he found out I was going to watch a dog for 27 hours, he was like "I hope you know what you're doing . . . if it gets rough . . . call me."

Third, the instructions really aren't that tough. What to feed it and when.

We were warned against table scraps because doggy farts can be thoroughly unpleasant.

There was some concern about the heat in regards to taking Lila for a walk, but we all agreed that the rule of thumb would be when I break a sweat it's time for us all to go in. Easy . . . seeing as how I break a sweat from here to my car.

There was a lot of concern about bedtime. Where, when, with whom? But in the end, I just dragged her mattress/pillow/thingy over to the edge of my son's bed (remember the whole mirror ghost thing) and the dog followed me in, plopped down, and went to sleep.

And that was pretty much the whole weekend.

A little trepidation that we were gonna some how screw things up, a little "okay . . . that was easy" followed by a "what next?"

Which brings me to my final thought about the whole dog-sitting thing:

I never realized how boring I must be.

Poor thing waited on pins a needles for something exciting to happen and it never did.

I would move just slightly and she would jump to her feet, tail wagging, tongue ready to lick just about anything . . . and I was just leaning up to get remote.

So yeah. My life is not exciting enough for a dog.

And in the end, my son realized he'd much rather go swimming with friends than walk a dog. And my wife realized a dog may be all those other wonderful things . . . but it's a whole nother level of worry and concern and she's got enough on her plate just reminding me to shower daily.

As for my cold cod heart?

Softened . . . like gourmet ice cream.

But not melted.

I'll watch a dog, assuming it doesn't mind being really bored, but I'm not dog people.

Not yet.

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