Thursday, December 31, 2009

Vizsla dog sitting exchange

Owning Vizslas is not comparable to owning most dog breeds. I think you would get general agreement with this statement from almost all Vizsla owners.

The bond master and Vizsla establish makes it almost impossible to send our dogs to a "boarding kennel" if we want to take a vacation. Joanie and I have not taken a vacation without the dogs in well over two years. It was time to do something about it.

One solution many Vizsla owners use is a "dog sitting exchange" co-op. Last Sunday, we started our first exchange with a wonderful 5 -year-old male named Moose. His folks are up in Eastern Canada for the week and so Moose came to live with us.

Three weeks ago, Moose's owner came along with Joanie and me as we went for a three-mile off-leash walk with Bailey, Moose, and Chloe to see how they related with each other. They did well so we made our arrangements for this week.

I gathered Moose during the last Sunday's Vizsla Walk at Point Pinole.

Moose spent three hours with Bailey and Chloe with about seven other Vizsla in this "Dog Disneyland." When it was time to leave, it was treats for all three and then a "TRUCK" command to one dog after the next. After the "What the hell are you doing in our Jeep" look Moose got from Bailey and Chloe, there were a couple low growls, and then everyone settled in for the half-hour ride back home.

Once home and in the driveway, it was back walking, but this time it was on leash for another hour around our neighborhood and down to the local school yard.

By the time we got into the front yard, the dogs were tired. After letting them off their leashes in the front yard, they played for a bit before we headed into the house. Moose had been with Chloe and Bailey now for four and a half hours before we hit the door.

Bailey and Moose love nice, long bike rides. Moose is a good, strong dog and it's fun to see the two dogs try to outdo each other, pulling on the harnesses attached to my bike. After 5 or 6 miles they relax and just join along for the ride.

All the dogs sleep in crates at night and Moose, who had never done this, after seeing Chloe and Bailey dive into their crates and sleeping bags at 9pm when I hit the bed, thought nothing of it.

It has worked out very well.

Kind of fun having three dogs for a bit.

Oh, as I write this we have four dogs hanging out in the living room. Our daughter dropped Rowdy, our granddog, off tonight so that they can go out for New Year's.

We're bringing in the new year with a howl!

May your dogs live lives as good as our two have in 2009. Get out and enjoy nature with these "gifts from God." There might be more important things to do, but I can't think what they are.

Happy New Year!

Wish us luck. A week from Saturday, Bailey and I are back in the field trial circuit. This one is in California City, out in the desert of Southern California. More on that later.


Cindy Mommsen said...

So true, no vacations unless the dogs can go too. Good idea to do an exchange.

By the way, it looks as though the dogs are doing all the work on the bike ride, cuz you aren't pedaling.


Ruby & Sophie said...

Great blog and photos! Same for us, committing to 2 dogs meant changing our holidays, we've swapped our hols abroad and bought a touring caravan, my 2 come with us......... until the kids are old enough to dogsit :-)

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