Tonite we're leaving the boys behind for a quick day trip into the city and I've had to find a pet sitter to walk them while I'm away.
Even though I vetted the sitter thoroughly I'm still somewhat queasy with the notion of leaving the fabulous fuzzybutts with someone else if only for a brief time. There are only a handful of people in whose care I entrust them.
One of the projects I'm working on is sorting and organizing all of the thousands of photos, notes, and writings since Malcolm came into my life in trying to make tell this whole story and it just so happened I came across a Word document I wrote up in 2003 for my pet sitter in Boston. Re-reading it for the first time in some ten odd years later made me laugh and cry and it kinda scared the hell outta me.
But it's also helped me understand my own evolution a little better. Here were my instructions to her.
PET SITTER CHECKLIST & TASK SHEET
Taking them Outside
§ Enter from the backdoor
§ Pet Malcolm & Murphy & get them to settle down
§ Take Malcolm outside first. Use the green leash
§ Before you take Malcolm out, get Murphy to lie down far away from the door (like in middle of living room) so he won’t try to run out of the door. If need be, take the newspaper off the entertainment center & slap it on your hand firmly until he lies down.
§ CHANGE – USE GATE TO BLOCK OFF FRONT DOOR AREA & PUT UP RED BOX IN HALLWAY.
§ I’ll show you where Malcolm does his business (Both of them should only have to urinate so take back inside when they’re finished).
§ Once inside, get Malcolm to lie down
§ Get Murphy’s leader (the wider one – it’s adjusted to fit him perfectly. Remember, it fits snuggly behind his ears) from the basket on top of the entertainment center & put on. Attach leash to leader.
§ I’ll show you where Murphy does his business
§ Once finished taking them outside, check their water bowl. It should be ¾ full. If need be, rinse it out & fill.
§ While in kitchen, get 1 dog biscuit for each (Science Diet on countertop)
§ When feeding them, get them both to sit first. Make sure the treats are swallowed & cleared.
§ Do a physical exam of dogs (spot check & rub them for any pain, etc.)
§ Check temperature of room. Ideally, it should be around 75 but should NOT exceed 80. If so, check the wall A/C in the living room. CALL ME if it’s running at maximum but the temp’s over 80.
§ Check the room for anything left out that dogs can get into, such as glasses, hair items, pens, papers, etc. If so, put them in the basket on the entertainment center.
§ TV should be on with volume around 25
§ Make sure the shutters are drawn on window
§ Make sure there are no toys out in living room
§ Make sure front door of the house is unlocked but secure.
§ If you lower the gate, make sure it’s put up again @ correct height.
§ A copy of this checklist will be on kitchen countertop
§ Sign & date daily log also on countertop
§ Exit through the back of house & lock back door.
§ LAST THING – CALL ME ON MY CELL ONCE YOU’VE LEFT
Postscripts. My pet sitter in Boston, my first, was a true gem and I was fortunate to find her, and more importantly, that she tolerated me.
Recently, on the Summer of Murphy Tour, I gave a presentation at the Pet Sitters International Conference in Austin and it was great to spend time with so many passionate pet sitters who have to put up with the likes of people like me. Here's to all of you!