09 January 2010

Lessons in Dog Sitting

I know a woman named Tracy. Actually, I know three. The Tracy in question graduated from the The University of Alabama. She studied accounting and French and has a Toy Poodle named Jacques. When the the University of Alabama went to the BCS Championship this year, Tracy's crimson roots tingled and she had to go to Pasadena to watch the game. Her primary dog-sitter was in Hong Kong visiting family. Her secondary dog-sitter was in India, also visiting family. Tracy needed a person in America to help.

That is how Jesse & I came to dog sit.

Tracy asked me if we could watch Jacques for two days. I asked Jesse and -- after intense questions (doesn't he have to poop), he agreed. Tracy brought Jacques over on a Wednesday night. She established an emergency bathroom for him. She took out his favorite toy and his treats. He ran around sniffing and testing his speed. And when his back was turned, Tracy left. No hugs, no words, no advice. She slipped out as if he wouldn't notice, never doubting he would. He went up to the door and looked. And then he looked at me as if to ask if I would kindly let him out to follow. I acted like I didn't understand, and scooped him on to the couch. He sat without protest, but kept his eyes on the door until a better distraction (named Jesse) appeared.

Jesse tried to get to Jacques' "tough" side with some doggie roughhousing. Results were mixed. While Jacques did not growl or attack, he did exert his male dominance over a stuffed animal. So we saw who was boss. Bedtime came & it took about five seconds for Mr. dogs-belong-outside-and-not-on-the-furniture to say "we can let him up (onto the bed) can't we?" Jesse went on to justify it to himself with "he just came from the groomer," and "you're okay with that right?" I was and it happened. Jacques slept in bed with us, and was cozy.

There's not much else to report. We walked him. We fed him. We cuddled him. We had a taste of having a pet (or a child I guess) and decided we're not ready for either. Bama won and Tracy came home. Jacques left with all of his teeth & paws and without any obvious signs of trauma. Success.