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The Daily Spike: The do’s and dont’s for leaving your dog with a pet sitter

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Spike goes everywhere with me. But there are some challenges where should I go it alone.

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, which led to the removal of my thyroid. I wrote about that experience and how little puppy Spike helped me through it. While there doesn’t appear to be any progression of the cancer, there are a number of lingering issues and my doctor recommended a low dose of radioactive iodine – or what it calls ‘peace of mind’ radiation.

Spike has a pretty regimented training program that he and I follow for the Dog, for Independence. These guidelines are followed by all the puppy-breeders in the entire country. If we ever have a puppy sitter, we just ask a fellow Dog breeder and puppy to help.
(Jennifer Williams)

I am all for the peace of the spirit. To prepare for the treatment, I have been on this difficult low-iodine diet. Turns out iodine is in everything delicious that is a disappointment. But I have lost nine pounds in two weeks which is definitely not a disappointment.

A major disadvantage of this procedure is that after the radiation, I could not in close contact with adults for a considerable time and I can not near children or pets. This is because for the next few days I’m going to be slightly radioactive. Great!

So in my greatest time of need, I may be in the vicinity of a Spike, that stinks. But it is always good for Spike to work on his commands and training with someone else, so that he knows that no matter who talk to him, he should listen.

Spike has a pretty regimented training program that he and I follow for the Dog, for Independence. These guidelines are followed by all the puppy-breeders in the entire country. If we ever have a puppy sitter, we just ask a fellow Dog breeder and puppy to help. I have always done this… until now.

Dana Perino, the world’s biggest dog lover and anchor of The Daily Briefing, has generously offered a few times to take Spike when something comes up. I must admit that I hesitated when Spike was younger, because she didn’t know of the program. But also because Jasper, Perino’s dog, has VERY different rules of Spike. He is a couch and bed dog – but Spike is not allowed on any furniture. Now that Spike is older he knows that it is not good for him to jump up on the couch, even if he sees that a civil dog.

Spike and I have now been many hours with Dana and her husband, Peter, and Jasper, including a couple of nights. They are very interested and involved in Spike’s training since day one. They clearly have a good understanding of the expectations and are disciplined dog owners and trainers. Have you ever read her book “Let Me Tell You About Jasper!?” (You should if you haven’t already.)

So I guess Dana is now ready for her first Dog for Independence puppy-sitting work. But there are a lot of rules and I had a Dog ” permission to a non-puppy raiser for him. She recognized Dana’s competence and commitment and said yes. Phew!

There is a form that we give to all puppy sitters to fill in about their time with the dog I will ask Dana and Peter to fill in. I also thought that it would be useful to find out some stuff, more or less a cheat sheet for Dana and Peter. I’m sharing this cheat sheet in that it can help people to understand what is entailed in raising a puppy for the Dog — and maybe a few ideas for those who look to the increase of “civilian” dogs.

Dana Perino, the world’s biggest dog lover and anchor of The Daily Briefing, has generously offered a few times to take Spike when something comes up. I must admit that I hesitated when Spike was younger, because she didn’t know of the program. But also because Jasper, Perino’s dog, has VERY different rules of Spike.
(Jennifer Williams)

Leave your dog with a sitter, you want to make sure to leave relevant information, such as your phone number, as well as the full name, address and phone number of your dog’s veterinarian. If your vet does not take emergency calls, you also have a 24/7 emergency hospital, and the address just in case.

Other data that you want to include:

SPIKE/DOG FOR INDEPENDENCE

Spike date of BIRTH: 1/29/18

Spike’s CCI-ID # / chip # : 20180064

MEDICATIONS

Not right now.

POWER supply

Spike eats about three cups of food per day. He eats twice a day, and get a good cup in the morning and the evening. He is used to 6:00 am for breakfast, but know at the weekend he may have to wait until 8 or so. He eats dinner around 5:30 pm on weekdays, but go a bit later in the weekend (aka Jasper time).

He must wait for you to say “OK” for the food. Put the bowl of food down and if he starts to try to eat and pick it back up and say “no.” He knows the rules! I usually wait anywhere between 5 and 30 seconds.

I go through about another cup of his kibble in the course of the day to treat him as a reward, hence the three cups total of food.

You can also mix in the treats I included as a reward. But no human food whatsoever.

TOILETING

NOTE: This is important so that your pet sitter knows what to expect and can make sure that your pet is not stressed toileting on top of being in a new environment. It will also help the pet setter flag if something is abnormal

Spike always pees and poops on his first walk in the morning.

I try to make sure that he goes out every four hours, but can be longer if needed.

CARE

I included brush if he sheds a lot. He loves to be brushed and usually sit or lie in while doing it.

I also have a toothbrush and toothpaste. If you remember to brush his teeth once or twice, great. More than anything its good that he let someone other than me brush his teeth if you have time.

GENERAL DOs

Make sure that Spike is walking nicely on a loose leash next to you – not far ahead and not far behind.

Spike should be calm and confident in a variety of situations, including meeting new people and dogs.

Spike must wait quietly by your side if someone comes to the door – he must not bolt for.

A lot of praise – and-treats – for doing the right things.

GENERAL don’ts

Never off the leash outside, where it is not fenced in the

Do not jump on furniture, chairs, beds

Do not jump on people. Turn your back or ignore him and say: “not.”

No humping! If he starts humping everyone (who he recently picked up from a little Frenchie in San Francisco) pull him off the dog and say “no”

No picking up food or trash from the ground/sidewalk

COMMANDS

I am giving Dana and Peter, a condensed list of Spike’s commands. I chose the easiest for him so that there would be no problems.

SIT – easy peasy

DOWN – make sure that his belly hits the floor

SHAKE his paw in your hand. He will have a leg.

SPEAK – aka bark, and he should just bark once. He loves this, now he finally got his voice.

CAR – say this when you open the car door and you want him to go and settle on the floor

HURRY – this means that to pee in. While you don’t need to use this command before he, incidentally, when you say, “good hurry up” after, it strengthens the command.

RELEASE – this means that he was completely free to do what he wants. So if he is on a leash or in a command, and then you let him play with Jasper, tell him the first release. Or, say you walk him on a leash and there’s someone in the neighborhood to say hi, first put him in a ‘sit’ (in command mode) then say, “loose”, so that he is able to have his affection.

NOT – this means “no”, stop doing what you are doing

Spike is also excited to spend the whole weekend with his buddy Jasper and now Dana and Peter are prepared and ready for their first Dog is puppy-sitting gig. Success guys!

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