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August 01, 2013


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What about not a puppy?? I now have the first puppy ever, before every dog I have adopted was at least two years old, and admittedly this one is killing me (I now see why people use crates, and he is happy to have quiet time throughout the day, thank the good lord). I would probably not get a puppy again either!!!

Retired Syd

Barb: Yes, definitely a not-a-puppy for my next doggy. I can't remember how bad 2 year olds are but maybe even older. I've grown too accustomed to doing what I want when I want. I'm guessing I'll be dog-sitting for this one many times in the future, which will remind me what each age has in store. A good preview . . .


What a cutie! We adopted a 1 1/2 year old housebroken, crate trained dog from a rescue organization and 2 1/2 years later are still thrilled to have her companionship. She arrived with some fear issues related to abuse she had suffered but with training and love she has grown pretty confident and content. They grow out of the puppy stage quickly so you don't have to go too old to be beyond that.

Savvy Working Gal

Aww what a cutie. My husband used to train puppies - it was actually going to be his retirement job. That is until I was cooped up in the house with an untrained puppy during January here in Wisconsin. I couldn't take it any longer and neither could my house.

I'd let this one visit for awhile though - but not in the winter.


I thought for sure you'd done it until I read the first sentence! I am in the same boat you are. I love dogs, and on our trip we're meeting them constantly, but I'm not willing yet to be tied down.

Enjoy your puppy sitting gig. We enjoy doing same with our grandpuppy - my daughter's dog. I admit to allowing her to do things I never let my own dog do, like sleeping on our bed, and on my good sofa!

Retired Syd

Juhli: Ok, maybe to be on the safe side I'll draw the line at two years old. I suppose if I needed a new hobby, a puppy would be fine, but a shelter doggy is looking better and better.

SWG: Way better to have the puppy in summer--lots of outdoor frolicking to burn off that puppy energy. Who am I kidding, the energy never burns off!

Tamara: I thought travel was my stumbling block to getting a puppy, but now I remember even when you're not traveling you've got to devote so much time to them! You gotta be ready for that for sure. (And yes, since I only have her for a week, I'm not nearly as strict as I would be if she were mine. Great advantage!)

John G.

If you're not sure you want to commit to a dog long term retiree's should consider fostering a dog. Many rescue organizations have a foster program. The way it works is you have a dog in the program stay with you while they are up for adoption. In addition to caring for them, you learn about their characteristics, which helps match them with the right family. These are usually older dogs and are housebroken. And yes, sometimes you find the right dog for you and they become a member of your family permanently. In the Atlanta, GA area see www.atlantadogsquad.org


Syd, although she's as cute a Texas sheet cake, just as when your boss leaves her with you during travel, you'd be stuck finding a place for her whenever you and Doug travel. Spontaneous "get-aways" no more!

This was a great exercise for you since you were thinking about a dog. Well, now you can scratch that off the bucket list for all the reasons you mention.

I'll add another: take dog out, dog poops, you pick up with Wal-mart plastic grocery bag, dog returns home and hops on your couch to wipe fresh backside on your cushions.

Heaven! Not!!

fred doe

I hope when you call to her you do your best marlon brando impersonation:) I dog watch but at my neighbors homes. I feed,walk and play ball while I sit on their back deck and drink wine and beer (witch they leave in the fridge) while I'm away from my dear wife Patty for 2 hours a day (every bodies happy).

Retired Syd

John G: Interesting idea but I think I should wait until I'm really ready to commit. Chances are I'd wind up with a new dog on my first fostering gig!

Sven: Good points. The way I see it, the more dog-sitting gigs I do, the more people will owe me dog sitting when the time comes. Plus the doggy fix holds me over until I get my own.

Fred: Sounds like a win-win to me!

Kelly @ Try New Things

Year 1 was the hardest. I did not plan to have a dog and I do. So when he misbehaved in Year 1 I was sure that I wanted to give him to a good home. So I can see why this dog sitting is challenging.

And then I started to like him and now six years in ...I am totally smitten. He knows our rhythms and we know his. It is so peaceful now and I cannot believe that I ever wanted to give him up!

I thought I was not a dog person but...turns out I might be. He is so cute that when I go away, I have people volunteering to take him while I am gone. I cannot believe how far we have come...so don't make your decision based on a week with someone else's dog.

Retired Syd

Kelly: Well, I'm definitely a dog person. And I was already smitten with Stella after only a couple days. She's a terrific doggy. Having said all that, I'm still convinced I will never get a puppy. We had a Beagle for14 years that we got as a puppy, so this pet-sitting gig just reminded me what I already knew: puppies are a lot of work!

Next time around I'll adopt an older dog--a win-win for both me and the homeless pet.

This is about my 20th dog-sitting gig though, and I have to say it's pretty much the best of both worlds to just be aunt Syd!

harry l

heard a cold night whimpering outside. it was a nearly frozen chihuahua puppy. called police and posted with local agencies but no owner. it took us all of 10 minutes to absolutely fall in love. she is a fast learner and cute as can be. she snuggles, plays and poses in the most amusing ways. she has become the fun our lives were missing. we have two other small rescue dogs and she has become the glue between them. both dogs love her as she teases them with an occasional little yip. she steals their toys playfully but always returns them. love can overlook a lot of bad behavior but can also make you determined to do what is needed to make it work.

Retired Syd

harry: What a heart-warming story! Sounds like she found herself the perfect home.

harry l

hi retired syd. we also are retired. she didn't find a perfect home. she made it one.

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