Sunday, 6 August 2017

Dog sitting

I love dogs. I grew up with a wonderful (fat) beagle and a basset, her best friend from down the street. But I learned a long time ago I don't have a lifestyle for a dog (I barely have a lifestyle for a cat that doesn't like me) so don't have a dog of my own.

I tell people "I love dogs, but don't have one, so I just have to pet other people's puppies". Karen will tell you I cross streets to say hi to puppies.

This past weekend, I got to babysit a puppy. It's a bit hard to call Cholo a puppy; he's ~10 (?) and weighs at least 80 lbs. He's a bit of a gentle giant; he's a retired avalanche rescue dog, so really well trained and just a big and strong teddy bear.

He loves walks. He gets 4 a day, so I was up at the crack of dawn daily and out late every night. At least one of his walks is at least an hour long, so I got long wanders in the forest around my house.

Cholo checks out the creek 
Happy puppy 
Cholo poses on the hillside
On Friday, I learned that Grizzly Bear 164 was just west of my house, right where I was planning on walking Cholo that afternoon. Then a lady who power walks the neighbourhood every day told me she had seen 2 bears that day; 164 and a black bear. Cholo is an experienced outdoor mountain dog, and I was told if a bear is nearby, he would just sit down and stop walking. That happened twice on Friday and twice again on our Saturday walks.

Inside, Cholo is the most polite dog you'll ever meet. When I cooked, he was either laying in the middle of the kitchen (a bit of a tripping hazard, but he's big enough to notice)...
Yes, he crosses his legs when he lays down
...or just on the side of it.
Out of the way
I was told that he would bug me to go for evening walks around 7:30 each night; the photo above was Thursday at 7:30. Not quite the "pest" I was led to believe. He never really bothered us when it was his dinner time or when he wanted to go out.

Cholo likes being at your feet with you wherever you are, but he really likes being up on the bed or chesterfield with you, though he "asks" first and never just jumps up.
Asking me to let him join me for breakfast in bed
He most definitely likes to cuddle, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't think he's as big as he is.
Happy next to me 
Now happy next to Karen
I was pretty tired on Saturday afternoon. I rarely nap but I sure felt like one, so lay down on the couch -- and got a nap helper.
Two problems: he weighs 80 lbs. And he fidgets.
We had a lot of fun with Cholo this weekend, but never did see any bears.

On the other hand, my cat hated it. Cholo really doesn't care about cats, and basically paid no attention to Jello. Cholo never tried to eat Jello's food (though he did drink the cats water from time to time). But Jello barely slept, basically stopped eating, and spent three days in hiding (and probably abject terror, for whatever his reasons), running away whenever Cholo was near. Now Cholo is gone, Jello's not speaking to us (and he's catching up on his sleep).