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Karen B. London
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Back-Up Dog Care
Handling sudden needs
The adorable but mischievous Pearl

Most of us have regular routines regarding who cares for our dogs when we are out of town, whether it’s a kennel, neighbors, friends, or relatives who step in to keep our pups happy and safe. Most of us have also been caught in a bind when plans fell through and we needed to make back-up plans, usually in an awful hurry. For example, I received this e-mail from a friend of mine whose dog care plans had fallen through the day before he was headed out of town. If you’ve ever been in a similar situation then you will be able to hear the desperation behind this simple request between friends.

>“How much do you love us? No, really? How much? ;-) We're out a dog sitter this weekend. Our neighbor can commit to watching Brick, our good girl, but is elderly and she can't commit to watching Pearl. Is there ANY chance you could watch little Pearlie girl? Clearly, she's all puppy, but she has a good heart and I still have some shekels in my pocket. Could we bring her out to your place tomorrow afternoon through Sunday? Let me know. . . And, if you say no, that's ok. I know you love us.”

I have previously written about this family’s adorable dog Pearl, describing how she ran into a neighbor’s house and unrolled most of a roll of toilet paper and ran about the neighborhood being chased and having a grand old time. She is a love of a dog, but a bit mischievous.

Normally, we would have said yes to hosting Pearl for a few days, but in this case, we had to say no to the opportunity. We were in the middle of having the floors redone in two rooms of our house—a situation that was incompatible with dog sitting any dog, and especially such a young and energetic one. Luckily, Pearl’s family did find a responsible friend to take care of her, but it was stressful for them until they figured out a back-up plan.

Do you have a back up for when your usual dog watching system doesn’t work for whatever reason?

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Shirley Zindler | September 30 2012 |

I often take friends dogs when they need to be away. I even took in a friends sweet, well-behaved dog for 5 weeks on an emergency basis when their house flooded and they were stuck in a hotel. One of the best things people can do is make sure their dogs are crate trained and have some house manners. Even puppies are doable when they are crate trained so your house doesnt get turned upside down when you cant watch them.

Submitted by odettemayers | October 7 2012 |

Taking good care of our pet is a responsibility and as a human we should treat them right according to their pet law whether we bought them or from your neighbor. Being parent to them is a task and we should follow that. Thanks for this post you have shared to us.

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