Sunday, June 9, 2013

Vacation Dilemma

With apologies to Shakespeare and Hamlet for trivializing Hamlet's life or death dilemma, I present the following original verse:
To vacation, or not to vacation-
that is the question addressed in this post.
Whether 'tis better to stay home with the
pets and know they are being well cared for,
or to take chances with sitters for them.
Or do we dare kennel them and worry
how they will handle their time in the joint?
Should we plan a pet-friendly trip somewhere?
Perhaps 'tis best we never leave our homes
and just become known as the crazy pet
people who cannot go away.

I am an English teacher. I find it cathartic to emote via iambic pentameter.  hahahaha

The hubs and I are going away for two days. TWO WHOLE DAYS. And that means we have to find someone to dogsit Wiley. Wiley's total aversion to a crate, plus his terrible attachment issues and fear of strangers, precludes kenneling him. I also don't think he's ready to go on any trips, because if he did we could never leave him, not even for an instant, in a strange place. So we are trying out a new sitter.  We have successfully left him with a sitter before for two days, but she is unavailable. 

Enter Meredith. Mer once sat with Wiley right after we got him, when I had to go away for the day. She did a stellar job, and I feel she is more than up to the physical task of caring for Wiley. She may be a bit mentally fatigued when she's finished though. 

All of these pictures show Wiley's reaction to her on various visits to our house. He is always trying to get himself into a position where he can kiss her face.  

Mer has plenty of dog experiences of her own. Here she is with her precious Nala.

We've shared Nala in a few Photo Share posts. She is very sweet; I've met her. She is loving and well-behaved. Here she is looking at Pop-tarts the same way I always look at Pop-tarts.

She is also compliant with being dressed up, like a true lady.

  I feel Meredith will do a good job. On the other hand, I have a dog-sitting experience to share with you that exemplifies why some dog owners never go away.

 Leroy's dad, Luke, went away on a fishing trip this past week and left Leroy in the care of his girlfriend Kim, whom Leroy adores.  It did not go well. It did not go well at all. 

Kim is a nurse, and after the first long day of being at work while Leroy was at his house, this is more or less what she came home to:

Ok, that's actually what the window looked like by the middle of the week. I don't want you to think I'm exaggerating. Oh yeah, and HOLY CRAP LEROY! WHAT THE HECK!?!

He's always had separation anxiety. He has destroyed various parts of Luke's house, with the worst destruction occurring last year during Luke's annual fishing trip. Leroy ate through the dry wall surrounding the door and nearly made it to the outside wall of the house.  

Before you ask, yes Leroy is well-exercised. He is also medicated. Kim spoils him with an extraordinary amount of love and affection. And if you're wondering why Luke continues to go away when he knows he'll come home to this, read this explanation of the trip.

So Kimberly took me up on my offering of help. 

Now, side-note, I have to show you these cute pictures of the puppy who lives next to Luke and Leroy. He was out one day when I stopped by. His name is Lincoln.

 <---He was talking to me in this picture. He wanted me to throw the ball he's playing with in the picture on the right.

Anyway, getting back to the problem, I went to visit Leroy during the day when Kim had work. I walked him. I played with him. I hung out for hours. I took a nap on the couch.  I cleaned up with him while having a nice long talk.  While I was sweeping up some of his window shavings, he joined me but pretended to not notice what I was doing:

  He spent a considerable portion of time looking around attentively, honestly probably searching for Luke. 

Guess what? He still destroyed the house after I left.   And I would get so mad at him when I walked in the house to a mess, but then he would give this look:

Who can be mad at a dog that looks like a Sesame Street muppet? By the way if you glance closely at the cabinet in the background you can see some of the damage he's done there.

I have mentioned he loves Kim, right? Here's a picture she took right at the beginning of the week, when she was still hopeful. 

And when he was with her, just like when I was there, he was a perfect little angel.

A perfect little angel dreaming of when he would be reunited with Luke, and how many windows and countertops he could destroy between now and then.

So, getting back to Wiley, we shall see how it goes. I know the amount of time he spends trying to force himself on Meredith's face for a kiss is not necessarily indicative of how he'll be while we're gone.

I will not be posting a new blog entry at all while I'm away. I will continue to promote this post, and I hope if you like it, and you've experienced some of the issues described here, you'll pass it along and share it. If you miss me and Wiley too much you can just come here and reread this. ;-) 

We hope to be back to blogging on Wednesday, with our next Oral Fixation Photo Share. It's not too late to get your pictures in to me. Email me at  And say a prayer for a nice, calm, relaxing time for Wiley (and me) if you would.

PS: Here's a ridiculously cute picture I took of Leroy on one of our walks.

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