• Grand dog sitting


    So I am watching these two sweet dogs this week - my grand dogs.  Ragnar, Rags for short, is the white English Bulldog on the left, and Olivia, Liv for short, is the hound mountain dog mix on the right.  Rags came to us as a puppy.  Olivia was a rescue coming to us at approximately the age of 2.  They are buds.

    This week my son and his wife are out of town and I am their regular dog sitter.  At times in the past I have kept them at the condo with marginal success.  They are big dogs with lots of strength.  Together they can easily overpower me if they are on leashes.  Individually I can manage them.  But they are really 'house' dogs - not 'condo' dogs - and they don't always understand the noise limitations of living so close to other people.  And they are used to their large fenced in yard - as pictured above - leash walking is sometimes hard.   So I decided to 'live' at their house with them and come back to the condo to visit with my husband each day.

    And usually, dog sitting at their house is uneventful ... except when it is not!  Like Saturday.

    Saturday I arrived at the house.  My son and his wife had already left.  The dogs were waiting excitedly for me.  A full week of Grandma - who spoils them, and loves them, and gives them treats for just breathing!!

    To blow off some of their steam at my arrival, I opened the kitchen slider and let them run in their yard.  I proceeded to get myself unpacked.

    At some point I opened the door and called for them.  Rags came running from somewhere deep in the yard at full gallop.  He raced for his water bowl.  He was alone.  No Liv.  I called for her again.  Nothing.  No worries.  She probably was fully engaged with a delicious scent she could not let go of (part hound after all) and I let Rags back out in the yard again.

    I walked along the back of the house to the far side of the yard - calling her name, stepping carefully to avoid poop and dodging Rags who was still exuberant.  I didn't see her.  She didn't seem to be anywhere in the yard.  A small little voice of worry crept into my mind.

    I turned and started walking carefully back the way I came, looking in the bushes and up the hill.  I was about halfway back when I realized that Rags was circling me and running back to where we had been - over and over again.  Hmm... I turned around and walked back.

    When I got to the end of the yard, I noticed that Rags was walking behind a shed and running back out again.  It didn't take long for me to discover this ...


    There she was!  Obviously under the shed and stuck!  She had squeezed in a small spot closer to the other side and could not figure out how to back out.  Actually she may have had very little room to make any adjustments except to go forward.

    And, of course, Rags was so frustrated because Liv was 'having all the fun' and he couldn't get his chunky little body in that space.  (Liv normally is the brains of the pair - but she didn't show good judgement this time.). I had to take Rags back into the house - because he was 'helping' just too much.

    And then I had to dig her out.  When we were done - she could squeeze out and she was very joyful.  Grandma had saved her.  The space, however, looked like this.


    Just too inviting for another visit.  
    One episode like this was enough for me.  
    So I spent some time lifting and repositioning some cement blocks in that space.


    That little episode took a few years off my life.  I don't have that many to spare.  But I knew I was getting her out, even if I had to call Rescue 911 - and have the fire fighters come.  

    When we were done with this little escapade, the sun was starting to set.



    Olivia has proven to be an exceptionally smart dog in many ways since we got her.  
    Her vocabulary is impressive.  
    She is very careful around my legally blind husband
     and waits patiently for me when she and I are going down my condo hall steps together.

    But this day, she let her 'hound brain' take over!!


    Love her bunches!!

    Even the hound parts.

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