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by Mefeedia


21 January 2006

We found ourselves on the horns of a dilemma.   We have been very fortunate over the nearly 40 years that we have owned animals.   Somehow there has always been someone in the neighborhood who could feed them when we were away.  They were neighbor kids and when neighbor kids grew up, Ned was in his own place, living nearby and he could come in and feed the dogs.  When Ned moved to Sacramento, his friend Jessica was around and then when Jessica moved to So. California and I asked some of the SPCA people if they had recommendations for dog sitters, Ashley stepped in and not only fed the dogs, she took Sheila home with her so I didn't have to worry about her barking.

Suddenly we are faced with the realization that we no longer have a dog sitter.  Ashley is working out of the area for several days a week, we know nobody in the neighborhood and we have a few short trips coming up in the foreseeable future, so the question is:  what do we do about Sheila?

Kimba is never really a problem.  She sleeps all day, she uses a dog door, and when we go away, I set up a self-feeding system where she can eat when she's hungry (that doesn't work for all the time because she overeats, but for 2 or 3 days, it works OK).  Leave her water and food and a warm bed and she doesn't even know we're gone.  That's what we did when we were away for a night or two in the years when all our other dogs had died and we were left with just Kimba.

Sheila, however, is a completely different thing.  Not only would I not leave her to "self feed" but there is that barking thing.  When I'm home, I bring her in if she starts barking, but obviously if she's home alone, that wouldn't happen.  We would come home to angry neighbor calls.

I put out the call to the SPCA again, asking if anybody had any leads on dog sitters.  Someone wrote to tell me about a kennel she used for her dogs.  I put in a call to that kennel, but couldn't get through, and while I was waiting for the phone not to be busy, I spied another ad for a kennel which is on the way to Napa, where we will be going on our first overnight outing.

I called that kennel and talked with a young woman who sounded very nice, who described a setting that sounded Elysian for Sheila, which offered 15 minutes one-on-one time for Sheila twice a day for an additional $10, and which just sounded perfect.  The price was even less than I anticipated.

And so Ms. Sheila has herself a reservation at a day spa for two days in the coming weeks.

She needs a vaccination that isn't required by law, but which is required by this kennel, so she will have that today, because the vet recommends getting it down far enough ahead of time so that she doesn't risk being sick when she actually goes to the kennel.  She'll also have her nails trimmed, since I don't feel comfortable doing them (though I have started feeling comfortable doing Kimba's).

After hearing the description of the kennel, I'm worried that she won't want to come home when we pick her up.  But one thing seems to be clear--that she'll have herself a good time.  At least I hope it all turns out to be as much fun for her as it sounds.  And if this all works out, we won't have to worry about dog care again, I hope.

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I was going through some old videotapes yesterday, wondering what the quality would be like if I filmed videotapes playing on the screen (as the video of my father jamming with the kids).

I came across a video taken of Kimba when we first got her.  Walt tells me that we got her in 1990-1, and most of the video on this tape is 1987, so I'm not sure how Kimba got on this tape, but I'm sure she's not 19 years old, so I believe him.  Anyway, I was surprised to watch young Kimba and see how cute and endearing she was.  Why did I dislike her so much all these years?  Well, at least I'm trying to make it up to her in her waning days.   She's given me nothing but years of devoted service even when I never appreciated it.  I'm trying to be nicer to her now.

Funny journal entry (especially if you're a parent)


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Yeah, Latte is gone, but I loved this picture of her popping bubble wrap
(and yes, I did take it away from her right after I took the photo!)


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