My husband and I have recently taken up dog sitting. Not for profit but for love and, to be completely honest, with hope of reciprocation. When you become a dog parent, you start to do these crazy favors so that when the time comes, your friends will feel obligated to the same level of crazy. Or perhaps, if they have a well behaved dog and you do not, an even greater level of crazy!
My dog is not particularly well behaved. This morning, I watched from the window as my dog went racing down the backyard into the water, splashing and barking wildly toward a family of geese. The adult geese honked and hissed and flapped their wings until one lifted up from the water on attack. Winston ran back up the bank and turned quick on his heels to dive in again. The animals repeated this cycle until my husband was able to distract our bad dog with the promise of a game of catch. Winston left one game to begin another while the family of geese swam out of what they had interpreted to be the single greatest threat to their lives.
If only that were an isolated story!
There was the time I walked up to the scene of my husband swinging roadkill from his hand while talking to our picture perfect neighbors because Winston was picking away it in between circling the family and barking. Or the time that Winston spent a half an hour just outside of reach, darting from one side of the driveway to the other, when we were late for dinner plans. Or his general inability to stay in our yard. Or stay down when he sees someone who is excited to see him. Or, most recently, when his jealousy with sharing “dad” with our friends’ one and a half year old son caused some alarm.
We have a bad dog.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed with gratitude that we’re jumping at the chance to watch your dog, keep it in the back of your head that we’ll be expecting the same in return when the time is right!