The dog that ruined it for everyone
August 14, 2015
An “ode” to Guest Dog. I never thought there would come a day when I declared any dog unlikeable but never say never applies here.
I’ve watched pets for friends and acquaintances for years. It’s never been a problem and I’ve always enjoyed either helping a friend out or making a little extra cash. There were no drawbacks to that job, in my experience. More dog responsibilities meant more dog time! Yay! Until now. We just had a friend’s dog over for the longest week in our history of petsitting. There were regrets. So many regrets.
This dog is a familiar face. She’s usually a terrible companion, but harmlessly obnoxious. She’s not trained, has no manners, jumps on anyone and anything, and would lick even your tonsils given a hint of a chance.
This made her not the most eagerly anticipated guest but I was sure we’d be fine in the end. Boy did I ever call that wrong!
She arrived on our doorstep the first morning and commandeered Seamus’s rug, refusing to allow him to relax in his usual spot near my desk. Fine, he found another place to hang out. She spent the day scratching, and early that evening we realized why.
SHE HAD FLEAS. And she’d spent the whole day scratching herself and shedding flea dirt on our rug by my desk. Fantastic. (Ask FaM just how fantastic this is.)
I immediately hauled out a dose of Advantix flea treatment for her which starts working immediately but that only took care of the live ones as they bit her. Seamus is protected year round. That just left us to serve as the blood bars. And bloodsuckers LOVE me. Wunderbar.
By the time we settled LB down for the night and cleared up, it was 11 pm. There was no time to run around to the shops so we had to pull out the home remedies. We salted the rugs and set out detergent traps in hopes the fleas would die in them.
Two days later, we were still getting bitten. It was time for the big guns – the local shops didn’t have it so I special ordered Fleabusters on the recommendation of several friends. That was insult to injury: $36 and PiC had to spend hours that evening cleaning and treating our floors. The powder is incredibly fine and it was like we’d disturbed the ancient ghosts of tiny dust vengeance. We all retreated from the main rooms, so guest dog was relocated to the bathroom to spare her from the flea treatment and us from her shedding more flea dirt in the carpet. During her confinement, she decided to scratch the paint off the door. So now PiC has to sand down and repaint that door. We really didn’t have anything better to do this month.
To really crown her stay with us, she decided to sink to new lows. Midweek, I was checking her for fleas and flea dirt, bribing her with treats as usual, because she was still scratching incessantly and I was trying to figure out what needed to be done for her comfort. She cooperated for a minute and then took off sprinting for our bedroom and Seamus’s bed. That’s off limits at the best of times but for a flea carrier? Absolutely not! She’s notorious for rubbing herself all over furniture and there was no way I was going to strip down all the bedding and wash it all again in the middle of the night. I failed to intercept her but quickly went to shoo her out of the room, and would you believe she turned to chew on me like I was a corn cob?? Luckily I’ve had years of experience with dogs and was quick enough to avoid getting shredded but she was like a rabid badger so I couldn’t even civilly pick her up or escort her out. She had to be leashed and hauled out.
I had intended to give her a bath before she went home and give her a nice conditioner for her itching but she spent the next three days sidling over and baring her teeth. I shelved that plan.
I have never been so eager or thrilled to wash our hands of a guest dog. The fleas weren’t her fault but she was a pill and a half for everything else.
It’s going to be a very long time before we pet sit for anyone again, even if we do owe them a favor. I’ll make or buy them dinner instead.
I’d vaguely considered hosting on DogVacay as we had a really good experience with boarding Seamus with some great sitters but, after this, I don’t think we’re going to take a chance on that!