Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Pet Parent Jealousy or Hurt Feelings

We all like to believe our pets have eyes only for us. Its a hit to the ego when we first witness our pet's first fling and that fling is not with us.
Transporting pets we witness pet parent jealousy first hand. The first time I can remember witnessing a pet parent nose become skewed we were relocating an Akita named Rex. As we were going over our usual paperwork we notice the dog was missing. Since we typically get ambushed at the front door by the dogs. It was noticeable the dog was missing. 
The client proceeds to tell us Rex doesn't like anyone else. "We were going to have issues with Rex doing what we wanted. Probably will have trouble getting him onto the van." 
Jill and I exchange glances. I'm thinking oh great we have a mean dog getting on. Humm, I'll let Jill handle Rex. Jill in her normal casual nonchalant manner turns around, "So, where is Rex." 
"Oh, he is in the bedroom upstairs." I'll have to go get him for you". The client says.
I continue with the paperwork, load the other pets and their belongings. Jill in the meantime grabs a leash and heads up to the bedroom. Three minutes later she come strolling out the door with this beautiful bounding Akita, who appears to be wearing of all things a smile. Rex is just bouncing beside Jill out the door, down the driveway and poof into the van. I stood there with my mouth hanging open. I was expecting a growly, snarly, skittish hulk of a dog trying to back out of his collar. Nope, bouncy boy leaped into the van and right into the kennel, with this dorky grin on his face. 
Kind of like. Wahooo! Where we going? He kept that same attitude the entire trip. He was on some great adventure, and we were his tour guides. 
Right about then the pet parent  walks out and says, "I'll go get Rex, are you ready for him. This will take some time." Urrr, well he is already in the van, Jill says. For a split second absolute shock crossed the pet parents face, also what appeared to be jealousy.
To our client's mixture of utter dismay and elation Rex had a blast on his trip. Arriving happy in AZ a few days later.
Its hard to remember every pet that rides with us. But some really stand out. On another trip, I was picking up seven pets out of West Virginia and taking them to southern California, the desert. As usual we get the cats loaded first, and work our way onto the dogs that think that bus outside is for them. Oh that's right it is for them.
 Last but not least is one shepherd mix, Shelby, giving me the stink eye. Not a chance in hell she was getting on that vehicle. If those others want to go for a ride, well bully for them. More half an hour later, daylight burning, I still have to get out of these mountains before dark, the owner and I finally get her into the van and settled into her crate. Off we go, into the winding, bending, hills of West Virginia, Even I wanted to puke after getting off those mountains.
As with any trip we have this twenty four hour window of flight time with any dog, especially one that is pissed we took them away from their known digs. When its time for potty breaks I like to start with the dog that has been on the longest and rotate from there. Since they all got on at the same time on this trip, well I started with the dog that was the happiest to see me.
Rotation almost complete I get around to Shelby, its time for her potty walk. Nope, not going anywhere near me or out that van door. Not wanting to stress Shelby out I gently closed the door and off we continued. Over the first twenty four hour period Ms. Shelby decided a potty break might be in order, as long as I didn't expect anything else from her. Fair enough, taking our time and giving her space she warmed up to us. Treats helped thaw that edge. Four days into our journey we had reach the outskirts of CA where there is only scrub brush and thorns.
Potty breaks here are always a challenge. Knowing where to walk the dogs and where to avoid because of prickly burrs.  It was a learning process those first few years. We would walk dogs and all of a sudden they would start limping. We had to stop and feel around their paws to get the burrs out. After which we would pick the dog up and carry them back to the van. Not too bad if the dog weights twenty five pounds. Its the fifty and above dogs that about broke our backs.
By this point of the trip even though Shelby was not impressed with the scenery she still allowed me to check her over and carry her to the van.
Over the years we have found small oasis on the west coast to walk dogs.
This was going to be Shelby's new back yard, and front yard, don't forget the side yard. Yep, all desert. Arriving mid afternoon to a small ranch, unloading was quick and easy, as usual. Having had the pet parent sign off and a few quick tails of our adventure we made our way back around to the van to go. I opened the side door to secure loose crate, up jumps Shelby. Well that was a change from our first experience. The pet parent looks please her dog has come around in such a short period of time and is showing such loyalty to us.
A few minute of laughing and joking about her wanting to stay on the van we all start to shoo Shelby out of the van, its time to go. Shelby on the other hand reverts back to her previously life and growls. Not a chance in hell is she getting out of the van. What started out as cute and charming quickly becomes awkward for both us and the pet parent. By this point in time Shelby has ensconced herself into the front seat. Both of the front doors are open and she Shelby is bearing all teeth. Nope not moving. Took us almost twenty minutes trying to get Shelby out of the van. It was clear the pet parent was a bit mussed over her dog dissing her so openly.
Now it was time for my nose to get twisted out of joint. You all know my dog Kiki. If you don't know here look around on our website or facebook, you will meet her. Kiki has been my side kick since we got her, about six years ago.
She will go bounding up and say hi to anyone. But she only has eyes for me. Should I say had eyes for me.
A yearly tradition has been for us to take a van load of pets to Florida. Our snowbird pets, that leave right after Christmas. We have spent the last few years in Florida for New Years. Nothing more awesome then spending the New Year in eighty degree weather instead of being up to our nose in freezing temps.
We hired a new pet sitter recently, after some serious issues with the last sitter. The new sitter came the day before we are set to pull out to get the general rundown.
"Well, isn't she getting a bit porky." The pet sitter says. "We will have to run some of that fat off of her, won't we."
The angels came down from heaven and sang in Kiki's ears, "WE ARE GOING TO PLAY ALL WEEK." NO ONE TO STOP ME. WEEE"  This is a dog that makes it her lifes mission to play. Life is grand if one can play.
 Never mind the "fat" comment. Kiki needed to drop a few pounds to keep her hips in shape.
The evening we pull out the pet sitter shows up to spend the night. Poof, off Kiki goes into another's arms. Kiki was sitting on the pet sitters lap looking at me like "Its ok with you, isn't it mom?"
Not that I think she really cared.
We walked out the door and there she was sitting beside the sitter, looking at me with a look that said,  See yah mom, I"m gonna play all week." Not bothering her I was heading out without her.
As we are heading down the road Jill says to me. "Whats wrong with you? You got your nose out of joint, the way Kiki tossed you over."
I was absolutely devastated she preferred the sitter over me. She was having a fling with another person. That chewed in my craw all week. It finally dawned on me how people feel when their pets go off with someone else. Its even worse when they go off with their tails wagging and they forget to look back.
One thing is for sure. Dogs will gladly have their fling. But their true love is always their pet parent.

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