I agree with everything you just said minus this line. A journal is excessive. I’ve dog boarded enough dogs to know that 2–3 pages is enough. I once got a typewritten 8 page note, including two spellings for the dogs’ names. Sigh. I read it once and realized I only needed a solid two pages to board the dogs. After that, I was totally fine. If someone hands me a “journal” about their dog, that is a helicopter dog parent that I want to be as far away from as possible, and I say that as a 22-year dog owner.

But I do think you’re onto something with this one. For anyone who claims that they can take care of your dog in the event of an emergency, I think that owner should allow that potential adopter/family to dog board their dog. Even if it’s just for a couple of weeks, you’ll quickly realize if this is the dog for you. I can think of two dogs specifically who I dog boarded and cried my eyes out when I left. I couldn’t do it. I sat on the couch with one; that dog felt so sorry for the puddle of me and started licking my own tears off my face. The other one I had to rush out of the garage so I wouldn’t keep looking back at her sad face staring at me — and I cried like a basket case again. Anybody who is as smitten with my (imaginary third) dog as I am with those two (or the other three I didn’t mention) is someone I think would be a great adopter.

On the other side, I remember watching a puppy for a family that had gone out of the country. They were gone maybe 1–2 weeks. Came back. Dog died about a week later. He’d gotten into some charcoal and ate it. I was pissed. How do strangers to your dog — with another dog in our house — take better care than the owners? Some people just don’t have any business having a dog altogether. But there has to be a middle ground. I’ve dogsat for two helicopter dog parents and it’ll never ever happen again. One couple and one single lady were the absolute worst — one had a filthy home and the other was insanely protective of her home. To this day, I still think both of them have no business hiring anyone as a dog sitter. They were 100% prepared for the dog but nowhere near prepared for the human watching the dog.

Anyway, thank you for reading! I appreciate the feedback.

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Check out her five Medium publications: Doggone World, Homegrown, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. Visit Shamontiel.com to read about her.

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