|But will my sitter be as loving as you?|
We would be in Seattle and Vancouver on a 10-day visit and we needed someone to take care of Gizmo at that time. That search involved more care than locating the first baby sitter for our children, with about as much research as went into buying a new car. (By the way, towards the end of my search for baby sitters, the qualifications had become only that they were not cannibals.)
A friend suggested a doggy ranch about 11 miles out of town. There, the dogs romped all day, lived in the house at night and were "each walked individually." But the ranch housed nearly 50 dogs, making that "individual" walk a bit of an inflation of the facts. Furthermore, the owner of the facility never asked for proof that our dog had his proper shots. Rejected.
Another dog-friendly person said she cared for smaller dogs in her house and asked us to bring our dog over to get him accustomed to the experience. That's when we learned that the home belonged to our FedEx delivery lady, who was nice, charming and who stopped her truck so she could gather strays and take them to their homes. But she was oversubscribed for the days we needed her.
We called people listed in the Yellow Pages and in the Santa Fe Monthly, but we found that many of them were going away at the same time or had other excuses.
Our friend, J., wanted to take Gizmo, but my wife was afraid that her split-rail fence wouldn't contain Gizmo. So we visited J's home, saw that Gizmo couldn't escape and was also friendly with J's dog. Then Grace fretted about the large Jumping Choya cactus in the yard.
Finally, J. got Gizmo for 5 days, after which H., our friend from San Francisco who wanted to visit Santa Fe, arrived, picked up Gizmo and kept him at our home for 5 more days. The result: 10 days of long walks and many people falling in love with him. Success.
“Diplomacy is the art of saying "Nice doggie!"... till you can find a rock.” Unknown