The Joy Of Dog-Sitting Instructions

Leaving comes with so many little things. The little errands for little deodorants. The smallish trips for tiny toothpaste and mini mouthwash — if you buy that stuff. The shrinky-dink dry shampoo is non-negotiable, though.

But the one thing that isn’t little? The explanation that accompanies the dog-sitting ask. 

Nothing needs more explaining than the dog ask, does it? Related to travel, anyway? At least not for us — our travel dates are cut and dry. Our destination is just a few words, with a solid period at the end of a sentence.

But dog instructions — they have so many pleasantries, so many conditions, so. many. options. 

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They get this many scoops of food. The food is in the container, the one with the crack in it, tucked in the pantry — the pantry in the hall, not the one in the kitchen. 

And then letting them in and out. In is easy, because they’re dying to get back inside since we’ve been gone for-absolutely-ever, even if it’s only been 20 minutes. In is simple.

The out? It takes explaining. 

Just tell the girls to go out. If they don’t, ask them. Maybe change your voice to sound excited, that might work. 

dog 1

If not, go outside and ring the doorbell. Maybe they’ll come running then. Try a couple times — with different rings. Maybe even find a random package to hold — or a truck to park out front — that’ll totally get them coming.

Oh, wait. If they don’t want to tear you apart for daring to deliver a fake package, jingle your keys. They’ll think they’re going for a walk. Just do that.

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And, if that doesn’t work… go into the drawer with all the big kitchen utensils and get the pizza cutter. Without fail, the dog that always hides will come running. She’ll want to chase the light from it — believing she is saving all humanity from the invasion of dangerous reflections that only shine when that round blade is exposed. 


I swear. It works every time.

But. If. It. Doesn’t.

Go back into the pantry. Get the aluminum foil. Just by grabbing the box, they’ll probably come running. One because she’s obsessed, the other because she has totally frickin’ had it with the first dog’s unending obsession with the rolled foil. Rip off a piece. A longish one. And, like, shake it a little — calling her name as you do, and casually dance your way outside. She’ll totally follow. 

For real. She will. And if not, just ask them if they want to go for a walk. Or a ride.

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Their willful stubbornness will betray them, because that primal joy is undeniable.  You’re just going to have to walk them to the backyard, somehow.

For that, you’re on your own. Oh, and thanks! BRB!