Emergencies happen. They are unpredictable, hit out of nowhere and can rock your world.
This happened to a friend last week. Out of the blue, her husband was hospitalized. Their world revolved around test after test after test. It happened swiftly and suddenly. There was no going home or being home for their dog. They needed their focus to be 100% on what was happening in the hospital.
When someone needs me, I don't hesitate. I stepped forward to take care of their dog. Her mother was in town staying at the house in the evenings so I only had to worry about the daytime hours.
Their dog is six years old. They've had him for three years. He has severe separation anxiety. When you arrive to get him, you spend ten minutes with him jumping on you, pawing you and just completely freaked out. Pick of his leash and he grabs it out of your hand. He doesn't know the commands "drop" or "release" so it becomes a tug-of-war. It was absolutely exhausting.
I would drop the leash the minute he took it in his mouth. I would turn my back on him when he would jump and paw at me. By the end of the week, I had him down to less than a minute of freakout. He would bark loudly at me while I was hooking his leash, but there was no more grabbing of it. Quick learner.
Open the front door and he is out like a bullet. I tore a muscle in my chest that made it hard to breathe. And I sprained my wrist. He pulls to the point of choking himself. Everywhere.
These problems are both fixable. The first one I managed easily. The second one took more work and he's still not there yet. His owners are home and have other things to think about besides training so any work done with him last week will be erased this week.
When you ask someone to watch your dog, you want it to be easy. You want it to be a joy. Though I love their dog dearly, this was an incredibly hard week on me. I was left exhausted from the effort of watching, walking and taking care of this dog. Had he been trained as well as Lily, it wouldn't have been a big deal at all. You don't want people to hesitate to take care of your dog. You don't want to have to search around for someone who will help when you need to be thinking of other things.
For the sake of others, and the peace of your own mind, it's good to train your dog. What you don't mind putting up with, doesn't mean others will be okay with. This is your dog and you love that dearly. But other people don't have the same relationship with your dog. What you find endearing in jumping and pawing, others don't find as cute.
Have you ever had to take care of a friend or relative's dog that isn't as well trained or behaved as your own?