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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I need help in making a decision. I will be away on a business trip from Sunday morning until Wednesday at around 7:00 p.m. I am trying to find the best place for my babies while I'm gone. Kallie has stayed at the vet's twice in two years and Catcher has never been away from me. (She's 2-1/2 years and he's 8 months.)

I had planned to leave them at the vet but when I went there today I was discouraged. The small cages are too confining and the large ones have a concrete floor and there are a lot of large dogs there. They showed me a double size cage that has a gated area at the back so Kallie and Catcher could be separated during meals and sleeping at night, which is good.

They have playtime available and I had already set it up for my groomer (who works there) to brush them and give them some lovin' every day. But I'd have to rush home to be sure to get them by 6:00 when they close or have a friend pick them up. And I'm afraid that all the big dogs will scare them, since they've never ever been around big dogs. They are so pampered that I have trouble seeing them on that cold concrete environment.

And the vet used to close at 10:00 pm but I just found out today that they now close at 6:00 so they would be alone for 13 hours.

So, today I called a pet sitter who is a friend of a colleague at work. She is a member of the National Assoc. of Professional Pet Sitters and is insured and bonded. She is not able to stay overnight, which would have been my first choice. She could come here 5 times a day and stay for an hour at a time. Her last visit would be at 9:00 p.m. and she'd leave here at 10:00 p.m. and not return until 7:00 am.

During that time both of my babies would be in their own large crates (30" x 21"). I worry that they'll be in their cages for such a long time during the night and that they'll freak out because I'm not here.

I am leaning strongly toward the pet sitter route, since at least they'll be here in their home environment and won't be around other dogs and will be in their own comfy cozy crates instead of on concrete.

Any advice or sharing of experience???
 

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In my opinion, I would opt for the pet sitter. I think that taking your pups out of their home might be too traumatic for them. If the sitter is willing to come over 5 times a day, that should be fine. I used to travel when I worked (I'm going on 12 years of maternity leave) and I had a cat. I would be gone for three days here, a week there, and sometimes I would have less than 24 hours notice. The pet sitter was great. Another option might be if your sitter would be willing to bring the dogs into their home while you're away. We used to do this when I was gone for more than a few days. I am sure they would be fine at the vet's, but I think that sheer numbers might influence my decision...one person watching a couple of dogs, instead of a staff of three watching twenty. If you do go with the vet, make sure that they separate the sick animals from the boarders. Some don't.
 

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I would also opt for the pet-sitter (but of course, I am near family, so my parents take care of my baby girl when I'm unable to).

Perhaps, if you are worried about them being in their crates so long, you could set up one of your rooms or even the bathroom or something and gate it off so that they have a larger area. Put their crates in there, open so that they can go in and out.

At first, I was worried that Abby would play or run around instead of sleeping, so I just kept her in her crate. After a few months I tried her in her play pen (just without the toys and food - only a little water, potty pad and her bed) and she was just fine. She didn't play too much and stayed quiet at night and slept... so perhaps that would work?

Of course, she now sleeps in my bed at night
, but when she stays at my parents I set the pen up and she stays in there (if my dad doesn't sneak her into bed! LOL)
 

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i worked in a kennel...please go with the petsitter! dogs get stressed, they dont eat, the get diarrhea...they are miserable. sure there are dogs that are fine...but its not worth the risk. after working in a kennel, i swore to my self i would never board my animals. our kennel could hold over 60 dogs...think about how much attention they got in a day.
 

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Originally posted by LadyMontava@Jan 10 2005, 07:33 PM
i worked in a kennel...please go with the petsitter!  dogs get stressed, they dont eat, the get diarrhea...they are miserable.  sure there are dogs that are fine...but its not worth the risk.  after working in a kennel, i swore to my self i would never board my animals.  our kennel could hold over 60 dogs...think about how much attention they got in a day. 

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Thanks to you all so much for your wonderful thoughts. I will go with the sitter!!
I'm feeling better and better about it. Right now the vet is not all that busy and there are probably 20 dogs there but every single one was huge! Yes, I was concerned about them remembering all the little things and when Kallie stayed there last year she was hoarse when she came home....... she probably barked the whole time.

I have been dreading this trip for months.... I just hate to leave them. But it is just a once-a-year buying trip for my job so go I must!

Well, I can't thank you all enough for your intelligent insight!
 

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I think you have made the best decision...pet sitter. I don't have any family except my son to watch my baby. My son is 20 and as much as I love him he couldn't take care of Lacey like she is used to. He thinks his mother is nuts as it is so I could just imagine the look on his face when I gave him all the instructions for Lacey's care. But you should hear all the instructions I get on taking care of his 6 month old daughter!! I told him if survived and so I think I could take care of my granddaugher!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Originally posted by MomtwoMaltmuffins@Jan 10 2005, 10:25 PM
Is there an advertising board at your vet's or even at other vets office where people can put their ad or business card.

I know the struggle, we always go through it as well when we go away and leave the kids behind.  It is too bad that the pet sitter would not allow the dogs to stay at her place, that would be the best. 

So far we have been fortunate that through the CKC kennel club here, we know some people and had a person, a student, who is excellent and will come and live in.  But now we have to start branching out for other other options since she is finished college this year and will be leaving town
  Also too we found a retired couple that ran a doggie dog care - it was heaven - Digby even got to sleep in their bed with them!!!  (this was before we had Casper).  I am hoping they will start up again  - but for now they have some family issues that need to be looked after.

I went around to all the vets office and looked at their bulletin boards to get names and references.    I know time is getting close for you, are you close to a university/college that offers an Animal Health Tech program or something similar, if a student is living in residence it is a nice opportunity for them to get out of res for a bit.

Good luck, and hope everything works out well for you.
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Marilyn, My vet's office doesn't have a bulletin board. One fo the receptionists does pet/house sitting but she is only 20-ish and rather immature and I wanted someone more mature, if they were going to live her for three days.

I do know of someone who keeps dogs at her home but my guys are so destructive .... they have to be watched every second.... and I felt they would be more disoriented in a strange home....and this person had other dogs. And I'm such a worrier, I'd be afraid someone would leave the front door open or something!

I really wanted a house sitter who would live her for the 3 days. I know someone wonderful who does this but she was already booked.

But the more I live with this decision, the more I think it'll be OK.... And the sitter can easily call my cell phone while she's here if she has any questions at all. I'm going to have their food in little baggies for each day.. treats the same way. And copious notes!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Originally posted by MomtwoMaltmuffins@Jan 10 2005, 11:26 PM
I think they will do fine, I just went back and read you original post.  At night time they sleep anyways and staying for an hour each time is great as not many pet sitters would come that often and stay that long each time.  Has she met Kallie and Catcher before?  They will charm her so much she might just decide I am going to stay

Dont let the age thing fool you.  The student we had house sitting, she is in her early 20's but very mature for her age.  Very responsible, not like my friggin niece of the same age who had her scum bag friend come over into our house while she was gone.  I am talking a real bad scene with this one, probably the person who came back and robbed us!!!  That type of person.  I was livid when I found out.

Another time, we could not get the lady we wanted, so her good friend who just moved her and was looking for work, she is in her 60's - oh brother it was a nightmare.  I phoned her twice in the week we were gone.  First time she informed me that one of our cats was out all night - if she was in front of me I would have strangled her - our cats do not go out at night - and being all white living on the edge of town - coyotes!!!  Then she did not pick up any doggie turds in the yard, Digby lost her bow the first day and she never put another one in, poor Digby walked around all week with hair all in her eyes.  Oh yeah drowned our plants.  Needless to say she aint coming back!!!!!
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Hi, yes the sitter has been here once before when I thought I was going to need one during the day while I was working in a nearby town and wouldn't be able to come home for lunch. She is probably in her early 40s. I know what you mean about age.... it really depends on the person. The young girl at the vet just wasn't that impressive ....... So, by next week this time, I'll be a day away from heading home!
 

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I think you made a great decision. They just HAVE to be better off at their own home than in a kennel! Meanwhile, see if you can start forming a friendship with a college student, or single person who is mature enough to house sit. Maybe by next trip you won't have to stress.

Now that the really important decision is made......so where are you going on this trip? Hope its someplace really fun! Have a great time.
Susan
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Originally posted by msmagnolia@Jan 11 2005, 12:24 AM
I think you made a great decision.  They just HAVE to be better off at their own home than in a kennel!  Meanwhile, see if you can start forming a friendship with a college student, or single person who is mature enough to house sit.  Maybe by next trip you won't have to stress.

Now that the really important decision is made......so where are you going on this trip?  Hope its someplace really fun!  Have a great time.
Susan
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Hi, thanks for the support! I'm heading to Atlanta .... at least I'm going someplace "good".... but it's a business trip so I'll be working all day. I hope to be able to catch the stores in the evening. There are two Bloomingdale's in Atlanta, plus all the other good ones... Saks, N-M, etc.... My sister and her family live in Atlanta so I'll get to see them, etc.
 

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I went through that with Lady when my daughter got married last year. I had never left in the 4 years I had her and was a wreck about it.

My first option was definately a pet sitter. One of the vet techs at my vet's actually lives in my neighborhood so it would have been perfect. But with Lady's diabetes and epilpesy, I ended up boarding her with my vet figuring she might not be as happy there, but at least she would be safe if any medical emergency arose. Fortunately, Dr. Suzy, our favorite vet, was on call that weekend.

Lady did beautifully. Suzy kept her in the treatment room for the weekend where it was nice and quiet and away from the big, barking dogs. She was there with a cat and a pair of Yorkies. That was it.

I even got brave enough to board her again a few months ago!

I think a pet sitter for K&C is still the best idea, but being kept in the treatment room away from the main dog population is something to ask your vet about if the need to board there ever comes up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Originally posted by LadysMom@Jan 11 2005, 08:57 AM
I went through that with Lady when my daughter got married last year. I had never left in the 4 years I had her and was a wreck about it.

My first option was definately a pet sitter. One of the vet techs at my vet's actually lives in my neighborhood so it would have been perfect. But with Lady's diabetes and epilpesy, I ended up boarding her with my vet figuring she might not be as happy there, but at least she would be safe if any medical emergency arose. Fortunately, Dr. Suzy, our favorite vet, was on call that weekend.

Lady did beautifully. Suzy kept her in the treatment room for the weekend where it was nice and quiet and away from the big, barking dogs. She was there with a cat and a pair of Yorkies. That was it.

I even got brave enough to board her again a few months ago!

I think a pet sitter for K&C is still the best idea, but being kept in the treatment room away from the main dog population is something to ask your vet about if the need to board there ever comes up.
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Hi, I used to board Rosebud, my dearly departed, in the treatment room but for some reason I just got bad vibes about leaving K/C at the vet this time. I don't know what it is about K/C vs. Rosebud that makes me less inclined to do that. Even last year when I left Kallie there I wasn't as conflicted about it. But now with two it complicates things. Especially, little Catcher who at 8 months is still very much a baby and I think it'd be harder on him than on Kallie.....  Well, the sitter is coming over tonight to discuss all the details... hopefully everything will work out as planned!! 
 

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Do you not know of anyone, or could the vet not recommend someone who could come and stay all night? Or would that bother you to have them there in the house like that? I know there are people that house-sit for families in my town all the time. It seems like surely/maybe you could find someone to both house and doggy sit.
 

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Originally posted by tlunn@Jan 11 2005, 10:59 AM
Do you not know of anyone, or could the vet not recommend someone who could come and stay all night? Or would that bother you to have them there in the house like that? I know there are people that house-sit for families in my town all the time. It seems like surely/maybe you could find someone to both house and doggy sit.
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That would have been my first choice. I really don't mind someone sleeping here but time is running out.... I leave Sunday. I have put this off.... I guess I couldn't bear thinking about it. And I thought the vet had a better facility for them....

So, if the sitter can come from 9-10:00 and then come back at 7:00 am it'll be OK.... She'll be here tonight to go over everything so hopefully we can make it work......
 

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If I just HAD to board my dogs I would at least feel better that the two would be together. Seems like it would be less scary that way. Glad you don't have to do that, but I can sure understand that for medically compromised dogs the vet option might be the best. My friend has a bichon with irritable bowel syndrome and the vet is the best solution for her because they can watch and treat him if he starts going downhill.

Lucky you to be going to Atlanta - one of my favorite shopping cities. If you get a chance, would you keep your eyes open for the large Juicy Couture pet carrier? I ordered one from NM for Sassy but they sent the little small one. The one that I have for Sadie is big and roomy but I don't think they make it anymore. If you happen to see a big one and post the store, I might be able to call them and get them to send it to me. They have a new one that is coming out on Feb. 14 but I can't find the size. I've preordered that one from NM. It is supposed to be terry or velour. I'm afraid to order from Ebay because they are selling knockoffs. Thanks in advance. Don't go out of your way, just look if you are in the purse department.

Your babies will be fine. Try not to worry and have a great trip!
Susan
 
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