His name is Bliz. He went home yesterday, but had spent eight days with my husband, me, and our menagerie of animals. I never let him meet my rats; I didn’t trust him around my rats. He got to see the ferrets, but he wasn’t allowed to directly interact with them; I didn’t trust him. He’s a Schnauzer and I know their history, prior to being in the Working dog class they were in the terrier class. I know about terriers too.
He’s a big baby; doted on at home. Perhaps not even let outside all that often because for the first couple days he would whine at the back door when I’d put the dogs out to go potty. Sometimes he would run and try to hide and we’d have to bodily carry him outside.
Eventually he learned that being outside wasn’t a bad thing. On nice days the dogs were outside most of the day. He seemed to enjoy himself.
Haley and Molly didn’t seem to mind him much. About half-way through the week Molly started playing with him. Haley only acknowledged him when she needed to, like when they were both on the love seat with me and she used him as a pillow. Other than that, he really didn’t exist to her.
His whining drove us nuts and we’re not used to dogs that have to be in our laps, so it was an adjustment for us humans. We had to get used to him and he had to get used to the routine at our house. By Wednesday, he didn’t annoy us as much. By Thursday we actually liked him. By Friday he was part of the family. By Saturday we were somewhat buddies.
His mom and human sister returned for him on Saturday. They missed him. They wondered if he missed them. I told them that he had a rough first few days because he was in a strange environment, but he quickly adapted. While I talked, he tried to terrorize the ferrets. I called him, snapped my fingers, and pointed to the floor at my feet. He came and laid down at my feet. He’d learned in just a few days what snapping of the fingers and pointing meant. Smart dog.
His mom noticed that he’d lost some weight. Between smaller portion sizes and outdoor exercise I suppose he had lost a couple pounds. I didn’t notice. He looked the same to me.
I carried him out to her car. He hopped right in. She thanked me; gave me a hug. Then she, her daughter, and her dog-son drove away. I returned to the house. It felt a little different without Bliz’s presence. I was relieved and a bit sad. Relieved because he was a needy dog; sad because I had worked with him and got him used to the way we did things.
I released my girls from the playpen they were in and tried to put him out of my mind. He wasn’t my responsibility anymore, or at least until the next time we dog-sit him.
To a certain extent am anxious to see him again. In his home environment this time so I can see how they do things. I offered some pointers in how to get him to stop marking other people’s homes and getting him a solid, rather than soft-sided crate. I want to see if he does better after staying at my house for a week.
I know that a week doesn’t give enough time for change and I know it is up to his parents to keep up with his discipline and routine, but I hope that the next time I see him he’ll be a polite little boy with perfect potty manners and that loves to go outside.
What? I can dream can’t I?
Until next time…that is not a good place to relieve yourself.