Pretty soon we'll be going away for a few days to get married. Everything has been booked, the dress is in and it's merely a waiting game to go now. In all the wedding planning, I can honestly say that my biggest stress has been leaving my Daisy behind. Very soon after we decided on a short destination wedding, I immediately looked up our options on what we should do with our little girl. I knew right away that a kennel would not suit her. Her personality is just too nervous for that situation and I don't want to stress her out anymore than she will be with us away. I then looked into pet/house sitters, and found someone local that could essentially live in our house for the duration of our time away. We had a consultation with her and she seemed good. She was experienced with little dogs, and worked at a doggy daycare during the day... it sounded like a good fit. She sent all the contract papers over, and I held on to them, planning to sign closer to the date.
Fast forward a few months later, and I was talking to a friend at work. For her wedding in the fall, she's sending her dog to a kennel close by for the weekend. Her dog loves everyone and everything, so she knows she'll do fine. She told me how she phoned a few places and drilled the managers... what was their security like, who has access to the dogs, what is their fire safety, do they have sprinklers? After hearing this, I realized that I should have asked way more questions. I mean, seriously, what was I thinking? This is my baby!
Thank goodness I had this epiphany, because no sooner did I look up this pet sitter again, I found a really bad review on her. I knew in my heart I could never leave my girl with her after seeing this review. It could have been an irate person exaggerating, but it included vomit on the floor, a door left unlocked, and the gate not latched properly, so when the owners were back home and let the dog out, it got away and they had to search for it. Luckily they found it. Nonetheless, one of my worst fears.
I told my friend about this discovery, and she willingly offered to take her - why hadn't I thought of this before? Her dog is smaller, and she regularly fosters dogs for a rescue group, so she's experienced with different personalities. She has her house set up well for multiple dogs... She keeps them separate in two different parts of the house during the day (which I said will have to be the case for Daisy), has a secure fenced yard, and a similar daily routine to us. She's also particular like me, never leaving the dogs outside unsupervised, and giving the option of sleeping in the bed. Along with the fact that I know and trust her, it was a done deal!
Now we bring Daisy over there once a week to get used to them, the house and the other dog. Naturally, she's nervous of the other dog, but at least it won't be completely unfamiliar when we leave her there. When we took her there last, we walked both our dogs, along with her current foster - a sweet mellow Pekinese mix whom she may end up keeping. Daisy did great! She walked alongside them, and even sniffed them from safely behind. It calmed all of them down so that they weren't just staring at each other all hyped up in the living room. It was a big moment for her!