Monday, September 10, 2012

Babysitting a Geriatric Poodle

We are watching my friend's extremely old poodle while she and her husband are in Fiji for the week.

Spade is approximately 900 years old.  He's mostly deaf, mostly blind, partially incontinent and so needy that I think his fur is actually velcro.  He takes 100 medicines twice a day and two more once a day.  I'm not sure how he is still alive.


Spade is a good dog in general.  He is very devoted to Becca, my friend, and apparently females in general as he is suddenly glued to me.   Unfortunately, Becca and I train our dogs differently.   Spade is accustomed to sleeping in the bedroom with his owner, if not actually in the bed with her once her husband goes to sleep.

We don't let dogs sleep in the bed with us.

This led to the first fun moment of the night last night, when I put him in the bathroom for the evening, along with food and a loaner toy (and his blanket).  He proceeded to howl and bark for 20 minutes.  So in to the bedroom he had to come, since there is no place we could stick him that we wouldn't hear him.


Off came the collar, because every time he moved it was "jingle jingle jingle".   Diaper on (Yes, Spade wears diapers), in case he decided to lift a leg in the house (also not acceptable behavior).

Then came the crying to go out at 1am. He'd already peed in his diaper.   I hadn't managed to get to sleep at this point, so I was obviously annoyed at taking him out.

Fast forward a few minutes when I force him to come back in because he's just standing outside with his nose buried in the dirt doing nothing.  It takes him 15 minutes to settle back down, after wandering the room, rustling bags, etc.  Finally he curls back on his bed and goes to sleep.

5am in the morning, he decides he wants to go back outside.  Tim stomps him outside, because if Tim is awake, damnit, everyone else is going to be awake too.  Thanks Tim, I was finally working on getting some sleep.

Spade comes back it, it takes a few minutes to herd him back to the bedroom.  Then Tim forgot to put his diaper on.  The lights come back on, more stomping around the house, etc.  Finally, Spade is diapered and settles back down.

Alarm clock comes on at 7:40 am.  Just when I am finally sleeping hard.  I get up, get ready, take the dog out, he comes bouncing in thrilled to be up and even happier to receive his arthritis and heart medicines.  Then I shut him back in the bedroom because Tim is trying to sleep and I have to go to work.

He starts scratching at the door.  Also not acceptable behavior in our house.  As I left this morning, Tim was yelling at a deaf dog to "STOP IT".

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind dog sitting at all.  Becca is my bunny sitter when we are out of town.  I am just really hoping this first night was rough simply because he was being too nosy to properly go outside and use the bathroom.  He also needs to adjust to our schedules.  Becca and her husband stay up later than Tim and I do, so I'm sure that has thrown the potty breaks off a bit.

It does leave me wondering though....can I safely roofie a 15 lb, 900 year old dog?  Because I could really, really use a good night's sleep tonight.


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