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Old 01-18-2013, 05:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Leaving Titan for 7 months.. advice..

OK, so here it goes.... I am deploying for 7 months. Since having Titan, the most I have left him for was 3 months... and that was with my roommate and her dog, his routine was barely at all interrupted with the exception of me not being there. We knew the people for a very long time and Titan was VERY familiar with them. Well.. now I am leaving for 7 months and he is staying with someone he has never met before in a place he has never been... So naturally as a worried mama.. I am looking for advice..

So far I plan on getting them to meet ahead of time, I also would like Titan to actually stay with them a few days prior to me leaving so that if they do have problems or questions they can call me before I leave. I also am leaving them with written "instructions" so to speak, just what his routines are, what his commands are, do's and don't's, and when to give him all his flea and tick stuff. Anything else I should be thinking of so this can be a smoother transition for him.. and anything that might help me not worry? Lol.. Anything at all would be awesome if you have this kind of experience.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sure you've already covered this, but make sure the new care takers are well aware you get your dog back after the 7 months. I left my cat with strangers for 6 months and when I got back they had gotten so attached to him it felt like I was breaking up a happy family. The daughter locked herself in the bathroom and started wailing when I came to take him home. I felt so bad, even though he was MY cat.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah I have definitely discussed this with them. They are actually really good friends whom I I work with and my work center is well aware of them watching Titan for me. They joke about keeping him but I have no worries... Titan's a charmer so they will fall in love though

Sorry about your cat situation.. that would be a hard one especially with a kid being attached, I would have reacted the same way I think.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Be safe and keep your mind on the mission so you come back! I deployed for 9 months and left Heidi. I'm within six months of retiring so I won't have to do that to Abby!

If you have time, an overnight visit or two might not be a bad idea. I really didn't have time since it was sort of short notice.

I left pretty specific instructions for vet visits if necessary, but I had everything else taken care of early so it would only be for emergencies...fortunately, none happened. Make sure they would have money to get Titan to the vet if necessary. I left them a fair amount of money for food and vet visits if necessary.

Make sure your vet knows someone else might bring him in necessary.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Having someone take excellent care of your dog is the most important thing,but I would also mention to them how important getting him to follow the rules is too. You will probably have to touch up his training when you get back,but hopefully they won't let him get too out of hand. That's the only problem I've come into with people who watch my dogs. They let them get away with a little too much,but it doesn't take me long to tune them back up.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah they do have money if anything happens and I have their account info and will being wiring them money monthly.

I also have worries about his training... They say that they will continue with it and keep him obedient. which I hope they are really serious about. I left him with a friend for 2 months once on a short notice TDY and he basically kept him in a separate room the whole time except for going outside to potty. THAT was awful and we are no longer friends. Every time I called him he said that Titan was doing awesome. Then I came to pick him up... story for another day. Lol.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How about leaving him with something that has your scent on it? For example sleep with a small blanket for a while, or in a t shirt that you can leave with him. It might make his transition easier if he has a "reminder" of you.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That's a great idea! I have heard people doing that but I completely forgot about that! thanks for the reminder! I think I'll sleep with a towel or small blanket for a week before, then put it in his kennel for him.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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When I watch someone else's dog, I want to know what is normal for the dog? How many times a day does he poop and when. What is the normal consistency of the poop for this dog. Is the dog prone to upset stomachs and if so is anything given - medicine or special diet? I want all the veterinarians' contact information. I want to know if the dog is allowed any human food, or treats other than the dogfood provided. I want to know exact amounts of food given to the dog.

I have to change the routine to fit my own routine - example: Visiting dog eats the same time my dog eats. Gets play time with my dog and individual playtime. I like to know what commands the dog knows and what words or signals are used. I like to know where the dog prefers to sleep, if he needs a crate, or can be trusted alone in the house.

You cannot give too much information. Definitely try to visit ahead of time, so Titan is comfortable and knows you are coming back. Have your directions typed up ahead of time, so if the sitters have questions, they can ask, before you leave.

Titan will be fine. Dogs are very adaptable. He will be ecstatic to see you, after the 7 months, but he will settle in fine, while you are gone.

Stay safe. Take good care of you. Trust the people who are taking care of Titan. If they are dog people, they will do fine. If training gets rusty, you can fix it when you get back.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My only response is this:

We are very good friends and I live with your best friend. You know we train every day and that we would have loved to have Titan come stay with us. You still chose to have someone else do it? Huh! Now I know where we stand

P.S. Don't try and blame it on the fact we live on the oposite sides of the country.
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