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Tue Oct 9, 2012, 06:36 PM

Bringing an old dog to Key West

So we have been taking care of my Dad and his elderly dachshund for 3 1/2 years with no break (I got a break, but my husband didn't).

Dad just died, and we're taking a little vacation in January. The problem is that the dachshund has become SO ATTACHED to me. Follows me EVERYWHERE every single minute of the day and it doesn't help that someone was always home his whole life, and now we work at home, so he doesn't know what it's like to be left alone.

I think it would break his little heart at age 14 to go to a kennel. All of our friends work outside the home. Unless we can find someone to take him in for a week, I'm afraid we'll have to bring him with us.

And, of course, being a dachshund, he barks at everything. We live is a painfully quiet neighborhood, and I can just imagine how he'll react to all the noise and commotion of even the quietest street in Key West. The only plus is that most of the places we looked at accept small pets.

Just stumped on how to handle this. Any serious advice would be appreciated

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bringing an old dog to Key West (Original post)
Patiod Oct 2012 OP
avebury Oct 2012 #1
Curmudgeoness Oct 2012 #2
Patiod Oct 2012 #6
TorchTheWitch Oct 2012 #13
KC Oct 2012 #3
Patiod Oct 2012 #7
KC Oct 2012 #10
ginnyinWI Oct 2012 #4
Patiod Oct 2012 #8
irisblue Oct 2012 #5
Patiod Oct 2012 #9
KC Oct 2012 #11
TorchTheWitch Oct 2012 #12

Response to Patiod (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 07:08 PM

1. Can you find a pet sitter who could stay at your

house and look after him (either a professional pet sitter or a responsible son or daughter of a friend)?

Edit to add: You might also consider boarding him with your vet, which would let him be with people he is familiar with. When I started taking vacations it was really hard for me to leave my babies behind. I finally figured out that they were ok at the Vets. Another positive side of boarding at your Vet is that the Vet already knows his health history. I always left my babies with plenty of treats, chew bones, and a stuffed animal which guaranteed that the Vet Techs would stop by his cage several times a day for treat time. You could also find out that, if you paid a little more, you could get some extra one on one time or play time each day.

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Response to Patiod (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 08:08 PM

2. How are you getting to Key West?

Driving? Flying? I think that would make a difference in how I would handle this. I would never put an old dog in the cargo hold of a plane. And if it is a very vocal dog, I am not sure flying in the cabin would work.

I always used to board my pets, and I hated it, but for one week it was not the end of the world if you look around and find the right place. Now, I always leave the pets at home and have someone come in a couple times a day....they are in a familiar place, and even if I am not there, I think it is the best for the pet. I have never had a professional pet sitter come in....they are very expensive. I have, instead been lucky enough to have older kids in the neighborhood who were responsible (and who had responsible parents that would make sure they did what they were supposed to do).

You have to consider that every decision you make will be a disruption to his life. What is the least disruptive that is acceptable? That is what you have to do.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:42 AM

6. You may be right.

I disrupted my own life to move into "his" house to take care of him while my dad was first hospitalized.

We're checking with a friend who has a home business (massage) who might be flexible enough to move into our house our at least spend some time here.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 12:29 PM

13. Good point about flying vs. driving

I wouldn't put an elderly dog in the cargo of a plane either... I don't even like the idea of any pet in there at any age. I agree that if they'd be flying it's best to leave the dog at home. Having a trusted person willing to pet sit in the home is probably the best bet... much less general disruption for the dog.


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Response to Patiod (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 08:23 PM

3. I found

a woman that worked at the vet's office that would come over twice a day and feed and take ours out for short walks, etc.
Sometimes she would just stay overnight since it made a shorter drive to work the next day. It worked out great.
Also one year a friend's daughter, who was about 13, came over to take care of our elderly cat. The girl enjoyed it and it was
great that we didn't have to board the cat.

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Response to KC (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:46 AM

7. Thanks for the idea

If we don't get a self-employed friend, there are a few nice young people at the vet's office we might ask.

We have to have someone come in a mind the cat anyway - we're used to leaving for extended periods with someone coming in to feed her and play with her a little

But this is the first time since my mom died and my dad fell ill and we moved in with him that we've BOTH been able to leave the house for more than 2 hours at a time, so 'what to do with Frank' is a new problem for us. We used to travel a lot, and we really miss it.

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Response to Patiod (Reply #7)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 04:09 AM

10. I hope you

can find someone. This nice tech that I use became really invaluable when I became ill after surgery and had to spend 7 months in a rehab facility. I don't know what I would have done but I sure couldn't see boarding my dog and cat in a small cage for that long!

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Response to Patiod (Original post)

Tue Oct 9, 2012, 08:34 PM

4. If you are driving, consider taking him along

I think I would. You will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing he's okay, because he's with you, right where he most wants to be.

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Response to ginnyinWI (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 09:52 AM

8. I've driven it once before after flying into FTL

Driving the keys is something everyone should do once.

But we're flying, and I had assumed we could drug him up before we left and put him under the seat (the dachshund, not my husband - he wouldn't fit, although the 'drugging him up before flying' part is appropriate)

I am really torn about this, because he's just SO intensely clingy after losing his #1 (my mom) and then his second-in-command (my dad). He's been spending a lot of days at the vets (testing for Cushings) and is sort of an emotional mess. He used to be a such normal little guy, but his strictly regimented life with retired-owners (a dog's ideal) got turned upside down. I'd prefer to bring him with us, but I'm glad I've been to Key West before and realize it's the exact opposite of Avalon NJ in the off-season, which is where I've brought him before.



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Response to Patiod (Original post)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 07:56 AM

5. old dogs can learn new tricks

you've got time before january, so I'm gonna make a few suggestions, if you're driving to key west (color me green) ask your vet staff now for a trainer to help limit the barking. You'll never completely stop it, it is his job to protect his humans, but you can thru positive training limit his need/wish to alert you on everything. So much happens outside in key west, you'll meet lots of new people. If you're flying start now with him going to "doggy day care" at your vets office with one particular vet tech as his care giver , if it is too costly try doing this with one of the techs after their work, a few hours in their house after work, stretching the time out. Do a weekend away, him staying with his dog sitter. best wishes

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Response to irisblue (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 10, 2012, 10:02 AM

9. The vet tech idea is a good one

Everyone involved with him has been trying for YEARS to limit his barking - positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, you name it. We've been able to train our previous two dachshunds not to bark at EVERYTHING, but at 14 years old, this one just isn't buying it. It may be worth a try though. (You're not going to believe this, but via positive reinforcement, I was able to train our kitten to allow me to cut her nails, and 12 years later she still patiently allows me to do it as she awaits the kitty treat which are reserved for nail clipping only)

But he does have two young women at the vets he seems to like (he's been going there a lot for testing recently - long story) and maybe we can get one of them to either take him or come to our house.

As to Key West, my husband has been "on duty" with my dad for 3 1/2 years. He's only gotten away once - and spent that week taking care of his elderly mom so HER caregiver (his sister) could go away. He deserves a break. We're free-lancers in the same business, and NO ONE has work for us in January, so off we go.

We'll have a margarita for all my DU buddies who were so kind with their advice!

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Response to Patiod (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 04:16 AM

11. I forgot to

to say that I'm sorry to hear about your dad. That is such a difficult thing to have to go through!

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Response to Patiod (Original post)

Fri Oct 12, 2012, 12:19 PM

12. I'm so very sorry about your father's passing

It's heartbreaking, and knowing it's coming doesn't make it any easier.

As for the dog, have you looked into local pet sitters? I'm sure that your vet could recommend several reliable and kindly pet sitters. It could also be that someone that works in your vet's office may have a family member or friend that's a stay-at-homer who would love to look after your dog while you're away. Maybe even one of the workers in the vet's office would love to do it and bring doggie to work with them every day... a few of the workers at my vet's office bring their dogs to work with them every day, and they just hang out behind the front desk.

If you prefer to bring the dog with you, would that be feasible? I wouldn't really worry so much about the barking... after all, you'll only be there for a week. But if it bothers you (and I totally get that - I'm always paranoid of the possibility that my dog may be making noise or otherwise disturbing the neighbors), maybe you could try one of those sonic egg thingies that apparently shut up barking dogs. There's a thread about them right here, and I swear I really think I'm going to get one to shut up the barking beast next door that his owners aren't even bothered by his constant barking at absolutely NOTHING and NEVER do a damn thing to try to shush him. I'll be back in a second with a link to that thread if nobody else has mentioned it already (I haven't read anyone else's replies to your post yet).

I'd only worry a little about the dog barking inside the vacation home if you worry about his barking and fussing... out on the street, oh who cares. I'm sure Key West is just as full of barking fussing dogs as anywhere else, and it's not like you're going to be moving there permanently - it's just for a week and then anyone that has a problem with it you'll never see again at the end of the week. I get the feeling that you and you believe the dog will both be happier if he comes on the vacation with you, so go ahead and do it, and don't worry so much about any excessive barking or whatever that he does. It's only a week after all. Look into getting one of those sonic egg thingies to bring with you if you think that it will help with any of the dog's excessive barking or whatever... if it does work, great, and if it doesn't at least people would appreciate the fact that you at least TRY in some way to shush him. That's pretty much how I feel about my neighbors with the perpetually barking beast... it wouldn't bother me so much at all if they at least made some kind of an ATTEMPT to quiet him. I have a LOT of neighbors like that - they have dogs that bark their brains loose perpetually and they don't do a damn thing to try to quiet them. Honestly, I just cannot figure out how the hell they stand the perpetual barking themselves!

I say go ahead and bring the dog with you, and have a lovely vacation!

On Edit: Here's the link about the sonic egg widget that's supposed to stop excessive dog barking. I've heard good things about this gizmo, and I swear I'm going to get one because of the barking beast next door.
http://www.democraticunderground.com/11616193



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