I've owned several dogs in my lifetime (I currently have 4 cats), and I'm very interested in their psychology. Giving them consistent commands, consistently, is the key to getting them to listen to people; I believe that ALL dogs are inherently good, and they just want to be loved, so I"m willing to look after all breeds. I've had extensive experience working with rescue dogs; I helped organize and run the dog adoption program for the New Albany, IN animal shelter.
. I live alone in a modest but orderly 3BR/2 BA home. Except for carpet in the master bedroom, it's tile throughout.. My cats are all out on the lanai, so unexpected run-ins with them isn't an issue (plus, they're good with dogs anyway).
Safety is my number one priority. My backyard is completely fenced with chain-link, and I have all dogs leashed unless they're inside the fence or inside the house. I will not open the fence gate if a dog is in the backyard unless I"m absolutely positive he won't have time to make it to the gate before I'm able to get it closed again. I'm also careful about introducing dogs to each other; I'm pretty good about reading their body language to tell whether or not they're going to fight so I can separate them and/or keep a closer eye on them. So far, the only problem I've had is with a larger dog (70 lbs.) going after small dogs like they were squirrels or rabbits, and that was a dog that I hadn't done a meet and greet with. Lesson learned!
I will care for up to 5 or 6 dogs at a time. That may sound like a lot, but I started out looking after 3 at a time, and I've worked my way up; I feel totally comfortable with that many. I prefer to only have 2 large dogs at the same time, to minimize aggression issues between large dogs who don't know each other. No matter how many pups I have, they all get individualized attention; I might be cuddling on the couch with a couple of small pooches and throwing a ball for a larger pup at the same time. I also supervise all feedings so that the larger pups aren't stealing food from the smaller ones.
A typical day would be waking up at 6:30 a.m., getting breakfast for the four kitties and then ourselves, and going for a nice long walk. My neighborhood is very quiet, and I live 5 streets over from the busiest road, so there's not much traffic. Walking the pooches gives me as much enjoyment as it does them. I'll be spending a lot of time on-line attempting to sell various items, so that will allow for some relaxation in my office.. Lunch is at 12:00, and then we can for another walk and take a nap. If the weather is warm enough, we can even go for a swim in my father-in-law's in-ground pool across the street.. If your dog enjoys riding in the car, then he'll be going with me on errands. (I really miss that part about having my own dog!) Dinner is at 6:00, and we can burn it off by playing frisbee in my fenced backyard,. After dark we can cuddle up on the couch together to watch TV and get the brush out for a relaxing grooming. Bedtime is at 11:00, and there's plenty of room for both of us in my queen bed.
The most rewarding part of this job is seeing the pups play together. By hosting pooches from different families, I feel that the dogs have a lot more fun
because they can play and interact with each other. All of the pictures I've got of dogs playing together are of dogs from different families. I encourage my guests to play with each other as much as possible. I want them to have as much fun or more fun with me than they have at home; after all, this IS DogVACAY!
Loving a dog is very rewarding for me' I like to talk them and cuddle them to make them feel like part of the family. Your best friend will have a great time with me and my kitties while you"re away.
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