Dogsitting at John and Jackie’s

Tom and I spent the last week dogsitting at John and Jackie’s house.  One of the fun things about having a leisurely summer has been getting to say yes to things that we normally can’t do.  When we are volunteering in the National Parks, we are gone so much.  Being around more means more time with friends and people we love.

John and Jackie have two soft-coated Wheaten Terriers named Sully and Kira.  Sully is the older brother and Kira is the playful, younger sister.  When Sully was a puppy he broke his leg.  Because of this he sometimes has some problems with arthritis.  And, in the last year, he developed a kidney problem that requires medication and means he has less energy.

John and Jackie used to board the dogs when they went away.  With Sully’s health problems, they are reluctant to do that.  When John decided to take a week off work so he and Jackie could go to Charleston, South Carolina, they asked us if we were able to do some dogsitting.  I was glad that Tom and I could say yes to this opportunity.

Chilling with the Sully and Kiera

When we are dogsitting, we stay at John and Jackie’s house.  It is easier for us to adjust to the dog’s schedule by staying there.  John and Jackie have big sofas that the dogs can sleep on.  They also let the dogs stay in their bed at night.  When Tom and I stay at their house, we can let the dogs keep their usual routine.  I stay in the master bedroom and let the dogs sleep on the bed.  Tom sleeps in the guest bedroom.

Me in bed with the dogs

With Sully’s lower energy level, the dogs were pretty chill the week that we watched them.  They usually sleep all morning, eat lunch, go out, sleep all afternoon, eat supper, and then go for a walk in the evening.  With the heat, we only had one day that we persuaded Sully to go for a walk of any length.  He walks a little in the early morning and late at night, but stubbornly refuses to move beyond the driveway if he doesn’t feel like walking.  Because he isn’t bouncing off the walls inside, we just shrug our shoulders and return to the house.

Kira would walk most anytime, but she has grown concerned for Sully and doesn’t like to walk if he won’t go.  Kira uses up her energy inside by trying to get close to me.  If I am reading or working on the computer, I often find her head on my lap or staring into my face.  She would insist that I pet her 24/7 if I was so inclined, so I have to be firm with telling her “off.”  She will usually leave me alone for a little while, and then sneak her way back under my hand when I am distracted.

Why aren’t you petting me?

Kira is also afraid of thunderstorms.  She shakes and drools and wants to sit on my lap.  We had one big thunderstorm on Tuesday night and I had to put towels all over the couch, my legs, and my arms to keep from being drenched.  I had a dream on Wednesday morning that it was raining inside, and it turned out that Kiera was sitting beside me on the bed, drooling on my face because it was raining outside.  No thunder or lightning, just rain.

Sully and Kira are sweet dogs and, for the most part, very well trained.  We were happy to hang out with them and adapt to their schedule while John and Jackie enjoyed their vacation.  Tom and I are not ready to add dogsitting to our resume, but are pleased we can help out John and Jackie in this way.  It lets me get my dog fix without the responsibility of having a dog of my own.