I vary the activities according to the dogs needs, but always try to introduce fun experiences so they're never bored or homesick.
Excerpts from babysitting Spencer..
I figure if I manage to make it through a day without any injuries or catastrophes, it's been a good day. Since it was a day off, after the usual fiasco of trying to stay on the treadmill for a solid 30 minutes (bombed out again)I was off to amuse and entertain Spencer. We stopped at the Lakeville shop first to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting groomers and their clients. An order from Petedge arrived while we were there....Spence was in heaven. A BIG box was opened in his presence with toy after toy being pulled out...some by the groomers, some by Spencer. He immediately had to test each and every toy......no one had the heart to tell poor Spencer that the toys were NOT for him.
After reluctantly giving up these new prizes, we were off to the pet store to take care of my guilt of removing these treasures one by one from Spencer's mouth. We walked into Pet's Plus with the intention of buying ONE toy and maybe a chewy. Spencer must have thought he was in heaven! Row after row of treats and toys! At his level, no less! Every bin had to be investigated, every toy squeaked. His tail never went down until he jumped on the bunny cage and scared the carrots out of a dozen rabbits......which scared him....he backed up and stared for a few minutes until he evidently decided he had more bins to explore.....Bunnies had lost his interest. Well, after taking away all those great prizes at the Lakeville shop, I couldn't do it to him again......I was sure there would be therapy in his future if I was mean enough to do that to him twice in one day. So needless to say, as Spence happily pulled great treasures out of bins, I guiltily added them to my basket. We went to the counter to pay. He looked at me, I looked at him....and I said "Don't even think about it".....I stopped him midway up. The 2 clerks rang up his pot of gold, remarking "you must be a very spoiled boy".....
They have no idea.....
I should have known it would not be a boring day since it started with me on the treadmill, as usual, clad in nightgown and running shoes, when Spencer ran past me with my boot in his mouth......did I mention he won't go out the doggy door without me? That behavior evidently only applies to an empty mouth now. I jump off the treadmill and run out after him to retrieve my boot before it's hidden until spring thaw.....doesn't running around my backyard in the snow wearing attire meant for sleeping sound a tad familiar?
I wrestled the boot away after he ran back into the house to avoid giving up this great prize. Back on the treadmill to try to recapture the momentum......back off as Spencer pulls my slippers off the table (I may hang the slippers from the ceiling)....back on again to try for a pitiful 10 minutes uninterrupted. Off finally to do my leg stretchs that involve putting a leg up on the barstool and bending to stretch. Apparently, this is seen as an invitation to play tug of war with my nightgown...the next scene is with me on the floor.
I decided to get even with the little darlin' by giving him his bath.....and more grooming.....and nails.....justice was mine.
We came home after his grooming to have playtime....I brought out the squirrel house which he absolutely loved so much, I decided he should have the bee house too! I step into the dog room to find it....somewhere on the shelf in the closet...I'm in there, maybe 3 minutes, come out with the new toys, and am greeted by Spencer surrounded by 2 squirrels with no tails......hmmmmmmmm.....I didn't hear the doggie door so they MUST be in the house. I searched, panic building, and searched and searched....searched outside.... nothing... GREAT! I now am in full blown panic, swearing off EVER baby-sitting again. I call the vet with visions off blockage, surgery and death.....decided to try peroxide to get him to vomit (by now, I'm ready to vomit myself) .....I give him the peroxide....he runs out the doggie door with me running behind and promptly pukes out 2 squirrel tails.
Stay tuned for Chapter 2