Our family has gone on vacation with a small circus including 1 Shih Tzu, 1 Angora rabbit and 2 hamsters. All those animals travel well and like the beach. I suspect our pleasure in having them with us might not be shared by some people, but vive la différence!
If you are left with another’s pets to care for whilst your globe trotting friends are away, don’t say “yes, sure, no problem” without getting some helpful info. If somethng goes wrong, you will be blamed. Even if a tornado lifts the house into the next state, it will be your fault. (And your private guilt will be eternal.)
What you need to know for each animal includes:
What is the usual food, the usual quantity and where is it?
When are the meds given and where are they? Do you need to wear a muzzle while giving the meds or not? (Yes, that’s how we meant it.)
Where is the leash and harness?- and never fail to walk a friend’s dog without both.
How much hands on time is expected of you- can you just feed and run (as in fish) or do you need to spend social time (as in dogs and cats)?
Who is the vet and what is the number and location?
What is the alternative vet?
How do you contact your traveling friend in the Mongolian Steppe?
When is your friend expected home and at what point should you send out a camel squad?
Say “no” if you really do not want to watch those pets. Animals know when they are liked. They make it very hard for people who do not honestly like them. Pet owners do not want their pets looked after by unwilling people who have to grit their teeth to be responsible. Only say “yes” if, for example, being a cat den mother for a week sounds like fun, or if you had considered yourself a surrogate parent for your friend’s pets anyway.
Finally, when pet sitting, nothing, absolutely nothing should keep you from your scheduled pet care visits. If you finally get invited into the meeting or asked out by the person of your dreams, if it means the pet charges will suffer, look Ms. or Mr. Opportunity in the eye and say, “Yes, but not tonight; I have a promised obligation to a friend.” Shows your character, doesn’t it?
Raja, who will be traveling soon, invites you not to miss our upcoming August posts about California’s Muir Woods, Napa Valley, and a special interview with the social networking organization Dogster, located in San Francisco.