Last week I was asked to dog sit again for my sister when she and her husband went on a vacation. Like a good dog aunt I did, but I was paid of course because I’m not a saint. This was my second time dog sitting their Australian Shepherd Bailey and it went a lot better than last time, but it was still no walk in the park.
Last time I was told to let her sleep in the bed with me and if it became a problem I could put her in the crate at night. We lasted one and a half nights because on night two she would not stop barking at the door and when I took her outside she didn’t even use the bathroom. This time, we lasted the whole five nights together with me only getting slightly annoyed with her a few times and only having to take her outside at 1 a.m. once. I was also awakened by a loud thud when she fell off the bed one night.
The problem this time was not my fault or Bailey’s fault entirely. Something different about this time was the new neighbors. These new neighbors had only been in that house for about a week and they let their two dogs run loose. Bailey does not get along with other dogs therefore we had a problem. My sister has a fenced-in backyard and since I was sick and tired of being dragged all over the yard when she is on the leash, I had been letting her just go outside without a leash to use the bathroom.
Well on day three, the neighbor’s dogs were super close to the fence and Bailey went berserk. She ran from one end of the fence to the other at full speed hitting every tree limb, branch, and even an actual tree in her way barking at these two dogs. I was afraid she might get under the fence somehow or even jump it so I tried to get her to stop and attempted to chase her down and grab her. It was like I didn’t even exist. I was yelling at her, but her only focus was the stupid dogs next door.
I tried to chase her down, but she is very quick. I yelled and yelled with no success. I grabbed a giant tree limb and waved it at her and got her attention for a brief second before she started running again. I was considering throwing my shoes at her when she got close enough and was distracted. I grabbed her by the collar and dragged her in the house.
I was so mad at her, but she is an out-of-shape, inside dog that had just sprinted nonstop for about five minutes straight and she sounded horrible. She was panting and walking and collapsing. My anger turned to worry and then she milked my worry and got belly rubs out of it. My plan was to ignore her when we got in as punishment, but she freaked me out and I just wanted her to keep breathing.
Thankfully she was fine, but she lost her freedom privileges. We had a good week together, but I will certainly not be getting a dog anytime soon.
Standard reporter Bethany Porter can be reached at 473-2191.