Monday, August 10, 2009


I'm a relatively new pet owner. Prior to Marshall, the last dog I had was in the mid-90s: a feisty little Yorkie dog named Buster. I only had Buster for a year or so before I lost him in the split with my then-boyfriend (classic case: he needed the dog...the dog needed me...I let him win). There wasn't really time for Buster to make any doggie-friends.

Marshall, on the other hand, already has his first dogbuddy. In addition to the menagerie of dogs he's getting to know in his obedience class, he's also bonding with Ellen's dog Duke. Duke is a hefty yellow lab type... with a giant head and a happy tail and a body mass that makes Marshall's 67lbs look like a gawky teenager mid-growth spurt. He's pretty mellow (until the leash comes out!) and accustomed to having other dogs around. When Ellen asked if Duke could come stay with us for the week, I was happy to say yes! (It didn't occur to me until much later that I've never petsat I only knew conceptually what I'd be facing!)

Well, we've reached the end of day #1 of doggie sleepover camp and I'm happy to report that we're off to an awesome start. No one has peed inappropriately...most the wrestling has been in good fun (jealousy of toys, notwithstanding) arm is still in socket from the walks...everybody picked a dinner and ate it...and if the level of wrestling is any indication, I think both dogs will sleep soundly tonight.

It's been funny to see Marshall go from being the Only Dog to the LIttle Brother. He's struggling (sometimes loudly) with sharing his toys...and doesn't quite understand when Duke wants to just crash out. I'm happy, however, that he's letting Duke take the lead sometimes. He's still a little more protective and wary than I'd prefer, but he's doing pretty well for his first foray into having another dog in the house. And, best of all, they're both doing a decent job of minding me. They're sitting at crosswalks...and separating and chilling out when the good-natured wrestling has turned a bit angry.

MissShirley and I have noted over the years how awesome it is when you get two or more little people together because the Moms can sit back with a glass of wine and just referee while they entertain themselves. Turns out it's mostly like that with dogs too. I'm not uncorking my merlot just yet...but I'm feeling good about the petsitting possibilities.

1 comment:

Helen said...

I'm so glad Marshall is playing well with others! It sounds like he's really making progress.