Help me find this dog, or at least make the owner try to do it.
July 3, 2011 2:45 PM Subscribe
The dog I'm sitting for ran away. Now what?
posted by hoperaiseshell to Pets & Animals (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm dog sitting for a cocker spaniel, owned by an older woman who is out of town until the 5th, visiting her niece. She came into the clinic where I work saying her usual sitter had backed out and she needed to find someone fast, so I took the job. We worked out a plan that I would come get the dog and take it to my apartment while she was away. Right before I went to pick the dog up, I called to tell her I was on my way, and she changed the plan, saying that him staying with me wouldn't work since I live in an apartment (although she wouldn't tell me exactly what she was worried about). She thought that it would be fine if I just locked the dog in the basement during the heat of the day, and let him out in the yard at night. I was really uncomfortable with the change of plans, because I just don't think a dog should be alone that much, but I agreed because I didn't want to back out and leave her with three hours to find another arrangement.
Last night I went over, fed the dog, put it outside and left, exactly as she told me to do, and when I went back in the morning, he had gotten out the front gate. I freaked out and talked to a few neighbors. It turns out this dog has gotten out that way a few times before, and his owner is well aware that this is a possibility. The neighbors spent about 1-2 hours this morning trying to corral the dog, but it's very skittish and ended up just running off. They called the police, who came while the dog was still running around within sight, but apparently animal control doesn't work weekends and the cops refused to chase down the dog and pick it up. I don't believe it has a collar on. In the end, I just drove around looking for awhile, then taped a message with my number on her front door, and left.
I've been in contact with the owner, who thinks he does have a collar on and has asked me to check her voicemail and go back and look for the dog further. She also wants me to talk to the neighbors again and spend more time looking around the neighborhood. I feel bad bothering these people any more, when they tried for so long to get the dog this morning. I also don't think driving around looking will be very effective; he could be in backyards or who knows where.
Aside from this, I'm just generally angry that this happened. I shouldn't have to deal with this. If the owner knew that the dog was capable of getting out of the yard, WHY would she devise her brilliant plan around him spending long amounts of time there? I'm insulted; just what was so awful about my apartment that keeping the dog in the unsecured backyard was so preferable? I also have a feeling that she won't be paying me after this, which makes me angry because this has added a lot of time and stress to the whole endeavor.
I feel terrible, but his getting out was not my fault. The owner doesn't plan to come back early from her trip (she drove, so she could if she wanted), and seems to expect me to just take care of the whole situation. I don't want to spend what little free time I have searching exhaustively for a dog due to his owner's negligence and bad planning. I tried to convince her to just let me take the dog with me; the arrangement went against every instinct I had, but in the end, he's her dog. Where does my obligation end here? What should I do to try and get the dog back, considering I don't have any pictures of it and can't put up signs?