My wife is pet sitting for a client in Ormond Beach, who has three Golden Re- trievers and two cats. She stays at the client’s home overnight to provide the very best care for all the animals. Usually, the overnight stays are only for a few days, but this time it is for three weeks. Such is the life of a responsible pet sitter.
We are now down to one dog, she will take Bentley, our Golden, to the client’s house on afternoon playdates. I come to have dinner with my wife and come back home with Bentley. He seems to enjoy the time he spends with the other dogs, but each and everyone is very different from the other. Just like kids, they each have their own unique personalities.
The oldest of the pack is Garbo. She is around 12 years old and likes to be by herself for the most part. She will come to greet people when they arrive, but after the initial excitement has worn off, she will lie in her bed and ignore the shenanigans of the other dogs. So, she is the loner in the pack.
Next comes Ginger. She is about three years old and is a really great dog. She used to be wild and crazy when she was younger, but she matured into a wonderful dog over the last year. Obedient and not wild unless she is playing with the newest edition to the family named Beau, also referred to as the Tasmanian Devil.
Beau is still a puppy at around 11-months old. He is exceptionally high-energy and loves to play all the time. He will play, play, play, then suddenly crash, sleep for thirty minutes, and then back at it. I get tired just watching him. He loves to bring rocks into the house. He doesn’t chew on the rocks; he simply likes to transport them into the house, so my wife has something to pick up all the time.
Now we add our Bentley to the mix. He is more laid back and likes Ginger very much. Both have worked a few fundraising events together for HHS, so they know each other better. We think Bentley is around seven years old. We are not sure because we adopted him as a stray. Bentley will play for a while with the others; then, he will grab a toy and stay to himself.
So, four dogs and four very different personalities and behaviors. Yet, each one is loved and cared for by their pet parents. All are so different, yet they all get along very well. No anger or attacking one another unless in play mode. They do like to roughhouse together, but they respect each other and the signals to stop.
The point of this article is to consider each pet as an individual because they are just that. Don’t try to make one pet like the other or like one you lost along the way. Let them be their own personality and companion. I often hear people say, “All animals like me.” They usually say this right before they are bit by a dog or cat who is not friendly or has challenges adjusting to their new surroundings. Not every animal likes every person. I love animals, and I have had over twenty pets who loved me as well. I have also been bitten three times by dogs who just didn’t like me, or men, or a man wearing a hat, etc. Like humans, animals are all different. Give them a chance to show you their true personality, and you will all get along much better.
Lastly, remember to adopt, don’t shop.
Barry KuKes is the Community Outreach Director for the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach. He can be reached at 386. 274.4703, ext. 320, or at barryk@halifaxhu manesociety.org