We have been blessed with the opportunity to take a real vacation — relatively locally but in a rich and wonderful part of the country.
I have always loved Pennsylvania, especially this area — the foothills of the Poconos. It would be a real joy to get to know these people personally, too. Online is lovely … but person-to-person can’t is the best.
The problem is dogs.
We have three. That we have three makes little difference because really, the problem is our two Scottish Terriers, both of whom are now 13 and beginning to show their years. They are small, so they don’t age as fast as bigger dogs, but Bonnie’s eyesight is diminishing and Gibbs is getting a bit deaf. He used to come running for treats as soon as he heard the lid lifted from the treat box. Now, he falls into a sleep so deep it takes several loud calls for him to first wake up and then to realize he’s being called and why.
Gibbs isn’t the problem. Neither is wacko Duke. Yelling a little louder is not a big deal and Duke has calmed down to a point where while he’s a bit too crazy to take visiting, he’s good around the house. And he’s clean. He has never made a mess in the house from the day we got him.
Bonnie and Gibbs are a different story. Because both of them were trained to go out whenever they wanted to via the doggy door, they don’t tell you when they need to go out. They simply go. They don’t give us any indication of what they want. They are self-trained — which is fine in this house but not so fine in other people’s houses.
We have been trying to find some ingenious way to get Bonnie’s eyes properly taken care of while we are away. Owen will always make sure they are fed, spend at least an hour or so with them to keep them for getting too lonesome … and manage to squeeze two visits a day into their lives (and do Bonnie’s eyes while he is there). This is quite a trick considering he works a lot of hours.
We had been thinking about just taking Bonnie with us. That way, we’d know her eyes were getting the care they need. But if we take her with us, she will have me or Garry up by dawn. She requires an early morning cookie and a trip outside. Then she’ll have me up a couple of hours later again.
She is nearly blind, we would have to keep her on a lead — which she does NOT like because unlike home, she can’t feel her way around the house. In her mind, she has never lived anywhere else. From 9 weeks to thirteen years is a complete life for a dog. She knows every inch of the house, where all the furniture is, even where the step stool she uses to get up on the sofa stands.
In another house, she would need to find everything for the first time. Since she has always felt that leashes were something for Other Dogs, she is unlikely to take kindly to being led around.
First I figured we would take her with us. Now I’m rethinking it. If we are going to get any rest and relaxation, taking her will make that impossible.
Not taking her is also worrisome.
I’ve been trying to figure out some ingenious way of making this work for her and us. I’m coming up empty.
The only place we could board her — assuming we could afford to do that at all — would be the veterinarian because her eyes need care. Owen will do the best he can, but he does work a full week and there’s only so much we can expect from him.
So here’s where I ask for ideas. No “dog walking” service in Uxbridge and Kaity is finally attending college — a commuter school — so she already has her hands full.
If Bonnie’s eyes were only cleaned and lubricated twice a day instead of three times a day for a week, would that be catastrophic? I know none of the dogs like when we are away, but much as I love them. sometimes we need to be elsewhere and this is one of those times.
Thoughts? Suggestions? I’m not sure there is a right answer, but if anyone has a creative thought, I’m listening!