My small doggies and yours can pal around for playtime, meals, field trips, naps, treats, and more!
I have been an easy-going rescue dog owner since college, I've also fostered a 65 lb dog for 10 months, and a feisty kitten for 4 months. While I currently live with only dogs, in the past I have had up to 5 cats in the house in addition to 2 dogs, and I also maintained a 20 gallon aquarium for several years. I have nursed dogs through surgeries, stroke recovery, poisonings, and cancer.
I work primarily from my home, which is conveniently located near the State Fairgrounds, Bullhead Park, and the VAMC. The Albuquerque Sunport is only 3 miles west of my home. Charming 1951 house has hardwood and linoleum floors, with many washable throw rugs for traction and comfort. There are two small steps into the house, and 2 steps into the backyard, but no stairs.
My profile indicates that I only accept dogs 20 lbs and under in my home. However, I enjoy caring for larger Guest dogs; this includes visiting them at home, walking, and transportation. I have experience with several larger breeds, including spitz mixes, lab mixes, Australian Shepherds, and a Newfoundland. Cat sitting is also something I enjoy very much.
Doggie needs dictate early mornings (going out to backyard and breakfast). We hang out inside in the sunny spots for awhile, then go outside for a walk or maybe some backyard maintenance. Then it gets quiet for a couple hours inside since I have home office work to do most days. Around lunchtime, I often bake dog cookies when I have DogVacay Guests. Furry babies crowd around the kitchen doorway with noses sniffing the fragrant air. After my lunchtime they get a cookie or mini carrots. Afternoons I either have rehearsals or appointments, give classical music lessons, or practice. Students coming over for lessons usually visit with the dogs a few minutes before the lesson starts, then the dogs wander off to nap. Most evenings I am home and we take another short walk before dinner. After dinner is always indoor play time for my resident Doggie Pals and their Guests! Then everyone hangs out while I do quiet things like reading, sewing, and maybe more home office work. All doggies go potty last thing, then sleep on my bed or another place of their choosing.
Guests should bring their furry babies' regular food, special snacks if they prefer, food/water bowls, a favorite blanket or T-shirt that smells like home for snuggle time, and a crate or bed if they normally use one. DogVacay suggests you leave the favorite toys at home since they can become community property, which sometimes results in a less than pleasant stay! Plenty of toys are provided for everyone.
I refer to dog cookbooks and online recipes for appropriate snacks and meal supplements, unless you specify no treats or human food. I split the daily portions into breakfast and dinner so they get fed twice a day, usually around 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. If needed, I can create separate feeding areas using doorway gates.
Lap time, snuggling, and ear/belly rubs are provided throughout the day and evening, pretty much whenever I sit down. Overnight boarders are allowed on the bed along with my dogs if they want to jump up. There is a cedar chest in front of the living room picture window where the dogs can sit to keep tabs on the neighborhood, and I leave my doors open when weather permits, so they can see out. My pictures show many of these activities.
Weather permitting, guests and neighbor dogs walking by can visit when I am in the front yard. Half of the yard is grassy. Dogs are supervised 100% of the time in front, and their leashes are attached to a tree, since there is no fence. The backyard has a large concrete patio area, three large shade trees, a few bushes, some areas of wood chips from stump grinding, and mostly dirt for the rest. There is a dog-free 10' X 30' fenced-in garden area, and a small locked tool shed. The whole back yard is about 60' by 60' with a concrete patio of 24' by 30.' Guests will get plenty of play time or sunbathing in the backyard. Ball throwing, puppy pounce, keep away, kick ball, rope tug, bird & squirrel chasing (really!) contribute to the vacay. Small turtles, squirrels, prairie dogs, roadrunners, and lizards also show up from time to time.
For any daytime errands which can be done using drive-through windows, the dogs usually ride along. My car can transport up to 5 small dogs. I have extra seat belt harnesses available. On the way home, we sometimes stop in a neighborhood park and walk around or through it a few times. Evenings we often go on a 15-20 minute walk. If one dog must be transported to the groomer, vet, etc., the remaining dogs will be left at home so none are ever left unattended in the car.
I appreciate getting a list of specific words you use as commands for your doggie, because it makes our time together easier. If I am taking care of a Guest puppy still in training, I will continue your training already in progress, but I am not a professional trainer. Your pup probably won't come home knowing 20 new tricks!!
(Warm Weather Bonus!) There is an activity pool (not an actual swimming pool) that is always covered or empty when not being used. It is a Little Tykes Turtle Sandbox with lid that I fill with water for them to play in (or drink!). Pool time also includes floating toys and a gentle towel dry when they come back inside.
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