It’s unfair that exactly the people who could use a pet are too often the people who can’t always take care of them.
Yesterday I received a phone call from a neighbor. She called to ask if I could recommend a dog sitter – one who could stay in her home for a week or so. I know from past experience how difficult it is to find someone for this.
This neighbor’s dog died this year, but she’s considering getting another one and wants to make sure she has all her ducks in a row before she commits. Her husband died four years ago, and now she misses having a pet to greet her and keep her company.
The problem is, she may leave to visit a friend in the winter, thus the advance search for a sitter. Her health sounds a bit sketchy, too, in addition to her being 75.
How would she walk a dog when her back goes out? It was hard to know what to advise.
Then last night I had an epiphany.
People should adopt dogs together. Two people who live separately could share a dog, trading off every other week like visitation rights. Voila – built in sitter, fallback for those health emergencies. One owner could walk the dog in the morning, the other in the evening, and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to share vet expenses with?
|Our much-missed Mamie. Best dog ever.|
My friends adopted a dog for that very reason- They lived in separate neighborhoods. it worked out just fine and the dog felt secure. The only problem was vet bills and differences of opinion on how to treat the dog, training became an issue as well.ReplyDelete
So interesting! And here I thought I'd come up with something new.Delete
I really like your epiphany. Great solution. And yes, our companion animals leave a HUGE hole in our hearts.ReplyDelete
Would it be good for the dog though? Our pets have always needed stability so am not sure I could do that to any animal.ReplyDelete
Good point, that might be tricky.Delete
Cats can be left for awhile (not too long) but dogs need looking after. Even when you’re around, dogs need more form you. To me, dogs are high reward but high maintenance.ReplyDelete
Yes, after umpteen years with cats and then acquiring a dog, I found that to be true.Delete
I've known just two, of the hundreds I've known (literally, worked with them) who could tolerate a shared home situation. One was mine, who happily spent years with me, then, life changes, with a close friend he knew well. Then back and forth, shared. Happy whichever house he found himself in.ReplyDelete
The other is the neighbor's part time dog, sometimes next door, sometimes with former wife, sometimes with daughter, adapts to them all. Neither dog was ever kenneled or with strangers. For dogs that's important.
As Linda Sue says, training and vet bills plus treatment might be an issue and factoring in different styles of home life, the dog might become confused if one owner does a lot of talking & playing, while the other just leaves the dog to itself. There's a lots of kinks that would need to be worked out, not the least of which is what type and size of dog? They would have to agree on food and how much as well. it might work if the neighbours were sisters and lived next door to each other.ReplyDelete
I think it's a great idea if you have two close friends who need companionship of the furry kind. I hope to hear more from others about how it's worked out for them.ReplyDelete
Hmmmm...it's an interesting idea, but it seems (as with shared custody of a child) there would be fraught moments!ReplyDelete