My father had surgery this week. He was in the hospital overnight and needed someone to watch his animals. He has six dogs and three cats, all of them rescue pets or strays. To the average person, visiting his home can be an overwhelming experience. For family, this is completely normal.
My stepmother, who passed away this past September, was an animal lover as well. She was responsible for bringing more than half of the animals into their home. These animals bring joy and happiness into my dad’s life. Without them, I do not believe he would have survived his wife’s death.
Before she passed away, my dad drove his wife to Connecticut to visit her grandchildren. It took a lot of talking to convince my dad that I could handle his animals. For the most part, it went pretty well. The only time I have found it distressing was when I underestimated the speed of dogs who want out of the yard. I unfortunately let the dogs get the upper hand. I got the gate stuck on my shoe as I was closing it and before I knew it, there was a pack of dogs charging in my direction. The dogs literally bowled me over.
All but one of the dogs will stay close to home. The husky, the biggest and fastest, was the last dog in the stampede. As he tried to leap across me, I wrapped my arms around his neck and grabbed my wrist. That wasn’t enough, so I threw my legs around his hips. He was so strong and so determined, he dragged me like a rag doll. Eventually, the husky won the wrestling match and broke free.
As I laid in the gravel looking up at the sky, I laughed out loud. My dad hadn’t even gotten down the mountain yet and I had to call him back to help me retrieve his dogs; not a good way to instill confidence in my pet sitting abilities. It took six people and three cars to retrieve his prized possession. I will not underestimate them again.
I find the best part of pet sitting is coming home to their enormous greeting. If there were neighbors, I am sure they would wonder about all the commotion. With six different sounding barks, it sounds like a canine opera. To foreigners, it could be annoying, but I enjoy the excitement. Thankfully, this tour of duty went off without a hitch.