It is a simple reality that we only have these pups for a short time. I tend to think of it as having a puppy on loan. True turn-in is super hard, but can also be hard to give them up for just one night! One of the best things we can do for our pups, and sometimes our sanity, is to ship off our fur ball to a different puppy raiser, even when you don’t need a sitter. It is a good idea to trade for a week or so (“or so” is how long you can tolerate it), to give them new experiences.
Puppy raisers come from all walks of life so it generally isn’t difficult to find a raiser in our area who can give our pups a new experience. I work in a busy urban capital city, I often take pups who are being raised by a retired puppy raiser or a raiser who works from home. Puppy raisers who don’t have any other pets love to find a puppy raiser who has a “mean” cat to trade with. Dave and I don’t have children so we always rely on the raisers with kids to take our pups for a week or so. We have lots of puppy raisers in our area who are teachers and they are great to trade with.
Sometimes puppy raisers need a puppy sitter. Contrary to common belief we don’t take our puppies everywhere. Sometimes we leave them at home because we need a break, sometimes we leave them at home so they can learn to self-sooth, and sometimes it is because the event isn’t puppy appropriate. I had just that situation this week, a friend who has been under the weather needed some help and the last thing that included was a psycho puppy running loose in her typically dog friendly home. In less that 30 minutes Cate had a two-night stay booked at Casa Ortiz. It is a four star resort that comes equipped with two of the cutest kids around. Double bonus! Not only a new handler, but new experiences.
As I have already mentioned how much I love what social media has done for puppy raising, the smart phone and texting is equally is cool. With in a couple of hours after dropping Cate Monster off, we were getting photos and updates about how she was doing. I want to be clear I absolutely trust and would never worry about her sitter. It is just nice to get updates because Cate is a 4 month old puppy – and well reliable is not a term typically associated with puppies. No one wants to get their puppy back and hear that they while they were away they ate great-grandma’s scarf, mauled the cat, and peed on the persian rug.
Over the next two days Cate got to play with two wonderful kids and one slightly grumpy chocolate lab, ride the light rail (and get her 37 lb self carried across the parking lot on an 108 degree day), sleep in a new house and kennel, visit grandma and grandpa, and most importantly play dress up. Dressing up isn’t really all that important – but tolerating dress-up is.
The funny thing is that while we are sitting here worrying about our pup (hoping that they are on their best behavior), and missing them – the pup aren’t missing us a bit. They are doing what ever it is puppies do and are living in the moment. When we left her at Casa Ortiz she was like “see-ya wouldn’t want to be-ya.” I didn’t want to leave her – how I am going to live with out two nights of monster jam snuggles? I will admit, though, that it was super great to sleep in for two days straight without being a slave to the puppy tummy alarm clock.
When I finally wrestled her back from her sitter (read heart soaring because they loved her so much and couldn’t get over her most awesome recall at such a young age) lets just say I was way-way more excited to see her than her us. She came storming in like she owns the place (she sort of does), and immediately proceeded to look for her mama. Yep in this house the Grandma is not the top dog, the Mama is. Apparently in the dog world Mama dogs are more fun than the Grandmas. Whatever, it is clear that my Queen of the Universe days are over.