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Old 12-15-2012, 12:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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So, my advice would be to join the local "pet" community and make yourself known! Even volunteering at the local shelter or rescue can get you into contact with other pet lovers, many of whom do pet-sitting or boarding on the side.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That's a good idea Freestep! I'm kind of swamped with paper work here in Fl. (Grannies estate+my father's stuff) but once i get home i'll definitely look into some of your suggestions.
I know time is an issue. What do you do for a living? Is there any way you could help out the pet community through your work? Or if you are skilled in ways that could help a nonprofit... through something hands-on like handywork or construction, office help, legal help, or something you could do from home like web design, phone calls, etc. Even volunteering a couple hours a week to walk, socialize, and play with shelter dogs is much appreciated by everyone. Just put yourself out there, ask what you can you do to help within your time/monetary budget. Make sure they see your face and your puppy's cute face too. Who knows, you might make some new friends, or even find someone to end your bachelorhood!

Oh, and I just wanted to add something. This might be really trivial, but you will no doubt come into contact with people whose politics don't agree with yours. In the interest of keeping things politically neutral, I might think about introducing your puppy as "Brock" rather than "Barack", in case you meet up with some staunch anti-Obama folks. I know it's slightly silly, but some people will have an automatic reaction to anything against their personal politics.

Last edited by Freestep; 12-15-2012 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This is something I've thought about a lot, because I work a fairly dangerous job and have had a few injuries that put me out of commission for awhile. First, I agree that mostly dogs will settle down and do fine if you're able to meet their basic survival needs (food, water, bathroom breaks). Fortunately the only time I've had to care for dogs by myself when injured (as opposed to with a partner/roommate/friends and family) was when I broke my foot and couldn't walk much for 2 months. I had 2 young, fit working heelers at the time (so very high-energy and smart dogs), and they did fine. Mostly they just lazed around the house with me. The only problem we ran into was when I would hobble out of the house and leave them alone, because they would go a little nuts and get into trash, the food pantry, etc. which they don't do when they get enough exercise. I couldn't really hold that against them though, and just figured ways to manage it.

Some things that helped get us through was a lot of mental stimulation. I didn't know about puzzle and treat-dispensing toys at the time, but I've heard really good things about those to help keep your dog from getting bored. I taught my dogs a lot of tricks that didn't require me to move much, like play dead, shake, roll over, fetching certain objects by name, etc. It helped keep us all from getting bored.

Otherwise, Freestep's advice is really good. Hiring a dog walker/pet sitter is also a good option. I spent a year pet sitting professionally during college and we had a couple of long-term clients who were too ill to do much with their dogs, and we'd go in daily and walk the dog, scoop the yard, even feed and water one of them. We'd also take them to the vet's and groomer's if necessary. It allowed the ill/injured person to have the companionship of the dog, and for us it was pretty much the same as pet sitting when someone is out of town, except we got to chat with the owner most days.

For a very serious, longer-term illness where there is no way for you to keep the dog at home (say, you're hospitalized for a few months), many shelters and rescues also offer short-term emergency fosters. They'll place the dog in an approved foster home but it won't be up for adoption, and will be returned to you when you're able to care for it again. I don't know if these are common everywhere, but I've seen a few. Breed rescues will also often work to accommodate a situation like that, even if they don't have a formal program in place to do so. It's in everyone's best interest to provide temporary foster for the dog until the owner is back to health, rather than having the dog wind up in a bad situation and the rescue having to claim them, try to adopt them out, etc.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Freestep View Post
Who knows, you might make some new friends, or even find someone to end your bachelorhood!
Wouldn't that be something! =)

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Oh, and I just wanted to add something. This might be really trivial, but you will no doubt come into contact with people whose politics don't agree with yours. In the interest of keeping things politically neutral, I might think about introducing your puppy as "Brock" rather than "Barack", in case you meet up with some staunch anti-Obama folks. I know it's slightly silly, but some people will have an automatic reaction to anything against their personal politics.
That would mean I'd need a separate tag just for "these" people.. honestly I would simply screen "those" people out...or tell them a lie like " I think it's a name better suited for a dog...that's why I named him Barack"

I doubt a true "dog person" would take out their politics on my boy, he doesn't know politics, that's a human thing. On a funny note his favorite toys are named Romney and McCain rofl.

Oh and about using my job experience to benefit I've done sales/Customer service for about 15 years... so basically anything involving talking over the phone...I'm sure I can put that to use! =)
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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That would mean I'd need a separate tag just for "these" people.. honestly I would simply screen "those" people out...or tell them a lie like " I think it's a name better suited for a dog...that's why I named him Barack"
Oh, that's a good one! Hehe.

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I doubt a true "dog person" would take out their politics on my boy, he doesn't know politics, that's a human thing.
I don't think they'd take out their politics on your dog, but they might hold it against YOU--some folks just go by first impressions and if they're extreme in the opposite direction, they might hold a grudge. Even if you're an activist, it's best to stay as apolitical as possible within the pet community, as it's comprised of ALL different types. Believe me! You'd think all pet lovers would have a similar world view, but they don't!

My clients sometimes spout their political views to me, whether I agree with them or not. Since I maintain a staunchly neutral position in my professional life, everyone assumes I must agree with them... and so I get to hear it all. And sometimes I am horrified by the things that come out of peoples' mouths and have a hard time maintaining my composure.

But I have to say, I've never regretted keeping my mouth shut, and maintaining a neutral and businesslike position when dealing with the public. I just try to keep conversations on topic of things we can agree on.
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:19 PM   #16 (permalink)
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For the record I'm not sick, or sickly, but I've been wondering about this, and haven't found a relevant threat. I'll also add in that I'm a 35 year old (36 on the 9th of Jan) bachelor, and can't depend on anyone else to care for my pup in my current situation, which will be changing in a few months, when I go back home to NYC. I'm in Florida now b/c my grandmother passed away a few months ago, so i'm resolving her estate and my father who is diagnosed with dementia needs to be properly situated before I can go back home. I don't want to get into any more detail than that regarding my family situation.

For now, let's say I do get a bad cold or an injury and I'm just not able to do anything beyond feeding and letting Barack out to use the potty.

1. Would he "sense" that I'm not well? If yes what effect would it have on him?
2. Would he go nuts? Or behave accordingly?
3. What steps should I take to ensure he's ok, until I get better?

I may think of other questions, but for now this is what I'm wondering most, as if the situation arises I'd like to be prepared.

Thanks in advance.
Right now I'm having a problem with my knee...I fell at work a couple years ago and every now and then I gets lots of pain and its hard to walk. All three of my dogs are good when I feel bad. They walk slower, cuddle with me, and are in general calmer. When my mom passed 6 months ago, during that time and a few months before I did a lot of running back and forth. Dogs also handled that well. Sometimes I would see them for 5 minutes before I was off to my mom's after working all day. I think they can sense all kinds of situations.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:37 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Oh, that's a good one! Hehe.
Yea funny enough my neighbors here in a Fl. are staunch republicans and they liked that answer... like I said I'm a 15 year customer service vet I'm decent at reading people over the phone, let alone in person. I actually train rookies in deescalation techniques over the phone

@llombardo

I was shot in the foot in 98 (accident), and every now and then my foot starts killing me, so I know what you mean by not being able to run sometimes. Oddly enough it's never the foot that I was hit in that hurts, it's always the other one. I assume it's due to all the compensating I did on my "good" foot during my recovery. On the few days that I feel my foot acting up, I play alot of indoor fetch games and whip out the laser pointer and let him chase that for a good run lol. I'm glad my feet don't hurt to often as this boy likes his sprint to the door at the end of our walks! =)
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:49 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I aplogize for not having read everyone's response, so if I repeat something that's already been said, forgive me.

I'm lucky that I have a husband (and in desperate situations) family, cousins, brothers,a sister-in-law, that would be more than willing to help should I need them. Of course we have livestock, along with the dogs, so our situation is different.

But, I can tell you, I've had a situation arise that made me stop and think about the mental well-being of my animals. Generally, I am wholly responsible for their care. It's not that my husband (or children) wouldn't willingly participate in their care, but the animals are my passion and I enjoy caring for them.
I got very sick a year or so ago. I have a form of recurring anemia, and my blood count had dropped significantly. I was sick for several days before going to the doctor who ordered a blood transfusion and then bed rest until I regained my strength. I spent two days in the hospital and during that time, we relied on my sister-in-law to care for the animals.

You wouldn't think two days away would be enough to cause such emotional trauma, but "my" dog, Greta didn't fare well. All the other animals seemed to go about their regular lives. Greta however, refused to eat, refused to leave the porch, wouldn't relieve herself, and acted extremely depressed. After I came back home, her depression did improve slightly, but she insisted on keeping a constant vigil at my bedside. She's stare at me, lick at me and whine.
I finally asked my husband to bring her food and water into the bedroom, where she'd take a bite, return to me, then take another bite, return to me. But she still refused to leave the room. My husband's attempts to force her out, led to her growling and snapping at him. Finally we resorted to my husband carrying me outside, and sitting me on the porch, so she'd leave the house. She'd go into the yard, just off the steps, do her business and right back to my side. This was a daily routine until I regained enough strength to walk out myself.
As I became stronger, her vigil lessened... she definitely could sense my being ill, and as I became stronger and healthier, she knew.

Lucikly, I've not had any major issues since then. I am careful to take my supplements and eat iron rich foods and am doing well.
But if I forget to take my medicine a couple days, or my iron starts getting low, she lets me know.
But it does make me wonder how she would fare, should something catastrophic happen. You think often about how it would affect your human family, but your pets often get over looked. That opened my eyes, for sure. My husband I decided that should something happen to me (which is not a pleasant conversation to have, but one that is necessary) that she will be put to rest. Neither of us could stand the thought of her suffering, and grieving herself to death.


There are people who aren't as lucky as I am. But there are pet sitters, dog walkers, kennels, who offer services to those who need them. If it's make you feel better, there's no reason why you couldn't call and discuss the "what if's" with them, to make sure they'd be able to accomodate you and your pup, "just in case."
Having a game plan is a necessity, when you have animals. I'm lucky that my sister-in-law, cousin and I have game plans in place should any of us need help.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I also want to add, that we have and do take weekend trips on occasion, leaving the animals in the care of my sister-in-law or cousin. Greta's never before, or since, acted as she did when I was so sick. So, she most definitely knows the difference between my leaving for vacation and leaving because I'm sick.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You wouldn't think two days away would be enough to cause such emotional trauma, but "my" dog, Greta didn't fare well. All the other animals seemed to go about their regular lives. Greta however, refused to eat, refused to leave the porch, wouldn't relieve herself, and acted extremely depressed. After I came back home, her depression did improve slightly, but she insisted on keeping a constant vigil at my bedside. She's stare at me, lick at me and whine.
I finally asked my husband to bring her food and water into the bedroom, where she'd take a bite, return to me, then take another bite, return to me. But she still refused to leave the room. My husband's attempts to force her out, led to her growling and snapping at him. Finally we resorted to my husband carrying me outside, and sitting me on the porch, so she'd leave the house. She'd go into the yard, just off the steps, do her business and right back to my side. This was a daily routine until I regained enough strength to walk out myself.
As I became stronger, her vigil lessened... she definitely could sense my being ill, and as I became stronger and healthier, she knew.

Lucikly, I've not had any major issues since then. I am careful to take my supplements and eat iron rich foods and am doing well.
But if I forget to take my medicine a couple days, or my iron starts getting low, she lets me know.
But it does make me wonder how she would fare, should something catastrophic happen. You think often about how it would affect your human family, but your pets often get over looked. That opened my eyes, for sure. My husband I decided that should something happen to me (which is not a pleasant conversation to have, but one that is necessary) that she will be put to rest. Neither of us could stand the thought of her suffering, and grieving herself to death.
Wow thank you for sharing that. This emphasizes partly what my concerns are, i mean anyone could simply take my boy out for a walk, feed him or whatever, but his emotional state is a large concern. I've never heard stories like these before, I'd hate to think that my boy wouldn't want to go on without me, even in the interim while I'm getting better... it's a lot to think about again I thank you for sharing, you've given me more to think about.
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