-Taking care of your pets

I’ve experienced something recently that alerted me to the fact that we really need to take care of our pets when an emergency arises.

One of our local hospitals called me recently about a patient that was admitted the day before.  He was very concerned about his precious canine companion at home.  She was all alone after he was suddenly whisked away by EMSA.  He had the hospital staff trying to find someone to go check on her.  I told the hospital staff member that I would be more than happy to do this.  I arrive and talk to the gentleman, who is elderly and lives alone with no family to help out.  He is also disabled and experiencing dementia, but he did remember vividly that he has a canine companion.

I obtain the key from him and go to check on his furry friend.  He had told me that she was a pit bull, so I was extra cautious as I had never met this girl.  I found out quickly that my being cautious was overrated.  She was a very friendly 8 month old puppy and not full pit bull either.  She was extraordinarily lonely and has caused much puppy destruction, some of it current and a lot being older.  It was dark and I tried flipping light switches, but soon figured out that the power had been cut-off.  For this first visit with her, I took care of her basic necessities, spent a little time with her and then left.  It was too dark to see much else.

I went the next morning to tend to this lonely girl and saw a sad state of affairs with the home.  I talked to the man’s neighbor and he’s been living alone for quite some.  He refuses home health care and refuses the few relatives he has.  He’s untrusting of strangers and rightly so.  He’s been ripped-off by lawn men and others.  I find it heartwarming that he’s very trusting of strangers when it comes to the care of his dog.  I cared for his precious canine buddy for 3 days, most being pro-bono (he only paid me for two visits and some extra for dog food).

My thoughts on the matter were:

1) why does this man have such a young exuberant puppy?
2) puppy can’t stay here in this house alone as she’s a danger to herself.
3) what can I do about this situation?
4) is it even a possibility that this man can return to his home and be with his canine companion?

I turned my attention to #2 and #3 first.  Puppy needed to be moved into a boarding facility or a temporary home.  I thought about bringing her to my home, but my husband nixed that idea.  I finally decided to contact another local pet sitter that works with an all-breed rescue group (unfortunately, my rescue group is breed specific).  She told me she was on her way to this same home where the puppy is at.  The elderly man had forgotten that he had already requested my services and had the hospital staff contact another pet sitter 2 days later!  Fate must have occurred at that moment for me to call her and for her to be servicing the exact same client!

I met her at the home and we chatted about the situation.  She removed the puppy to take to a boarding facility at her rescue group’s rates.   Puppy is now safe and no longer alone.  She discovered additional information from the man that answers #1 and #4 questions for me.  He got the puppy from his lawn man.  The same man that the elderly patient says stole his money.  She was also able to talk to the hospital social worker, who very seriously doubts the man will be able to return home.  So, in about 14 days or so, I will most likely be making posts about a sweet girl available for adoption.  She’s already tugged on my heart strings and really want to find a wonderful, loving home for her.

I think this situation really drove home a valid point for me.  Everyone needs to have a plan in place for their pets should you and/or your family be unable to care for your voiceless family members.  My plan is in place, is yours?