Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Remi: Adventures in Dog Sitting

Poor Citronella plant!  Good thing it was dead already! 

For the longest time, I didn't consider myself a "dog person."  I was, and in some cases still am, much more comfortable with cats.  But things change, and those ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan giving you her best sad eyes, while her most depressing song plays in the back ground, get to all of us eventually.  When I adopted Gumbo, we had a rough few months.

I had never, in my adult life, had to take care of a dog.  Cats are easy!  They're self sufficient.  Just put out a bowl of food and water and a litter box, and they're good to go!  Dogs, not so much...

Eventually, Gumbo got the hang of things, and the move out to the Bayou, with doggy doors, and a big fenced-in yard, made life much easier.  I almost forgot how much work a puppy was!  Almost...

Remi is our friend Ethan's five month old Chocolate Lab.  And Remi needed a babysitter for a few days.  I happily jumped at the chance to keep her.

She and Gumbo already knew and liked each other, they play well together, and she doesn't let him bully her (like he has a tendency to do with smaller dogs). And, she's adorable!

But I quickly remembered how much of a handful 5 month old puppies are.  She tries very hard to be potty trained...let's just say that the grass-green rug at the opening of the doggy door really confuses her.  I mean, I can understand why!  Its green like grass!  Its fuzzy like grass!  If I were a dog, I might think I'm supposed to potty there too.

Poor Gumbo, I mean, bless his little doggy heart.  That puppy has worn him out.  Remi does not get tired.  She will run and play, and chase and swim, and run and play, and chase and swim, until the sun goes down.  And even then, she's not entirely sure she's ready to give up and go to sleep.

Gumbo has phases, we call them zoomies, where he will run 90-to-nothing for about 3 minutes, then he's done.  He wants to chew his bone and chill on the couch.  Remi's zoomies last for hours, days even.

And as tired as he must be, Gumbo is still such a good sport.  (I know this because, if he were really tired of it, he wouldn't insist on playing, when she's content chewing by herself or fetching with me.) But he instigates the play, and its so sweet, until he realizes that she has no intentions of letting him win.  Ever.

And his jealous side has definitely risen to the surface. He typically likes to chill on the couch by himself, or when Matt's home, in his lap.  He isn't really a "momma's boy."  But he has made it known that if anyone's cuddling with me, its going to be him, not Remi.

Our sleeping arrangements have been pretty comical.  Because Matt's gone, I decided it might be a good idea to put them both in the bed with me.  And again, my typically independent sleeper has decided I'm a more comfortable pillow for him than the actual pillow. Sunday night, he slept with his nose on my shoulder, parallel with me in the bed (basically, he was so close to me, he might as well have been under me).  But Remi didn't let that stop her from getting her cuddles.  She spooned Gumbo all night.  (It was really cute.)

And don't even get me started on the breakfast/dinner routine! Remi is hungry.  She's hungry all the time!  And she's fed very well.  But, Gumbo has never been a fast eater.  I'll put his food in the bowl, and sometimes he won't touch it for hours.  Remi has made it known that if he's not going to eat it, she certainly will.  Just her presence makes Gumbo gobble down his food, like I've never seen before.  I guess he knows it won't be there in a few hours if Remi has anything to say about it!

Remi's dad came to pick her up yesterday, and I'm actually pretty bummed about it.  She has been such a joy.  Even at bath time, when Gumbo is cowering in the corner of the shower, Remi was happy as a clam.  (Must be a lab thing.)

I'm really glad we had the opportunity to babysit Remi.  Matt and I have been thinking, very hard, about becoming a doggy foster parents.  But I wasn't quite sure if I could handle two dogs, especially a puppy. But Remi has shown me that its definitely worth it.  And as hard as it was to let Remi go home with her dad yesterday, I know giving up a foster will be even harder.  But, if it means one more dog out of a shelter, into a forever home, I think I can handle it.  Pictures of Remi's stay with us are below.

Begging for some pizza crust. 

A rare 30 minute nap. 

Gumbo was actually trying to sleep.
Remi thought that was a terrible idea.

Daddy made them lay down and chill out for a bit.

Remi lost a puppy tooth!

She's giving him hell.  He probably deserves it!

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