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Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 01:23 PM   #1
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Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Several recent topics in "Life After Fire" helped me realize I feel tied down to my possessions. SAMIAM expressed similar feelings. In my case, it is my dogs. If I could leave home for several weeks knowing that they would be well taken care of and not feel like a pet abuser, it would be a lot easier to travel.

Right now the sister-in-law's husband actually moves into our home when we take our annual outting. And he is wonderful. However, when the wife retires mid-year, we want to travel more often and be able to take advantage of last minute internet deals. We would not want to be more of a burden on the in-laws than we currently are. Being hermit like souls, we don't interact with the neighbors much more than an over the fence conversation once in a while. We also do not have in our small circle of acquaintences, folks that we would want to burden/trust with our unbehaved pack.

We have used recommended kennels, read about pet hotels, and pet sitters, but feel uneasy about such services.

How do fellow pet owners/travelers deal with this? I do not want to travel with the pets.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 01:29 PM   #2
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

We have the same problem.

Dogs generally do not do well in kennels for more than a maximum of two weeks. The environment is very stressful for them.

We gave in a bought a motorhome and take the dogs with us. Trips without dogs (Australia for one) will have to wait for either a dog sitter or when our babies are no longer with us.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #3
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

We struggle with this too.

I have neighbors check-in to care for the cats, who seem do do well but obviously miss us. For the dog it is harder. We try to take her with us whenever possible. I found a kennel that I fully trust - we have worked with the owner in other issues and all the staff know her well. I would love to find a family to leave her with but she is too high energy for someone who is not a dog person, and she doesn't always get along with other dogs. Leaving her in a kennel doesn't take away the guilt and concern, especially since she has not eaten well at some kennels. But, I know that in this place she is well cared for, safe, and she will get the attention she needs to eat. It is best alternative for us and her, even if she is lonely for her pack/family. We expect the leave her for a fairly lengthly vacation this summer (usually it is only a few days), and I have already shared my concerns with the kennel/owner.

The only other choice is not to have pets, and that is an unaccpetable alternative.

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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 01:48 PM   #4
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

A big problem for us, too. I've looked into the house carers or house sitters type of thing, which we will probably do for our next extended trip. Right now, with just two weeks at a stretch while we are working, my Dad comes over every day. He lives about 15 minutes away. It is a hassle for him, but he is nice about it.

When we lived on the sailboat in 2003, we left an old friend of DH at the house, who needed a place to stay. Disaster. Let's just say if someone is sketchy enough at age 40 to need a place to stay, he is too sketchy to take care of your animals!

I will have to find live-in help for ours when we travel more, no question. Right now it is 5 dogs, 5 cats, two sheep and a bunch of fish. The worst problem is worrying about them when we are gone and not being able to fully relax on a trip, thinking something bad will happen.
This must be what you folks with kids feel like all the time!
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 02:02 PM   #5
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
Right now, with just two weeks at a stretch while we are working, my Dad comes over every day. He lives about 15 minutes away. It is a hassle for him, but he is nice about it.
I hope you're giving dad a truck load of appreciation!! He deserves it big time!

DW and I gladly babysit for the three grandkids (I'm doing that right now as I type this - oldest grandson is home from school with a bad cold), but won't tend to the dog and cat. I like the dog and cat. The dog is dozing at my feet right now. We've had our own dogs and cats over the years. But now, drive 30 mins over here to tend them while the kids and grandkids are out of town? No way!
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

We hire a pet sitter. Takes care of both the pets and the vacant house issue. We just consider it part of the cost of travel.

It does keep us from spending, say, a year in China. But there are a whole slew of logistical issues that pop up for that sort of travel anyway.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Once DH quits we could be the roaming petsitters for the ER crowd !
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 02:55 PM   #8
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

We also hire someone to live here when we travel. I have upto 150 animals to take care of at any given time (besides dogs and cats I raise sheep). So getting away is never easy for us either...
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Old MacDonald, what kind of sheep? I just have the two Katahdins, but if I could talk DH into more....

Where do you folks find your house sitters? Local or through an agency? Know them or check references? After our "Mr. Sketchy" experience when we went sailing, I want to be sure it is someone good when we take the next big trip!

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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 03:58 PM   #10
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

i used to use pet sitters. after wolfpuppy died i decided not to have a pet again until much later in life. i'm also thinking of selling house at some point so i won't even have to care for that either. at that point i will be completely unencumbered.

i'll get a pet again in my 70s. i'm thinking miniature horses, they last longer than dogs so he can bury me this time. in the will i'll leave him a small ranch & caregiver for his remaining days.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

This covers us too.

We’ve been very fortunate in having a neighbor who’s mother lives with her. She’s retired, loves animals, and has a lot more time on her hands now that the grandkids she was helping with are off to college. She comes over for the dog and two cats, handles the patio plants, and hangs out watching TV with the dog for a couple hours per day watching TV to give the house a lived in look. We’re comfortable traveling for up to three weeks with her in charge. She always puts up the big fight about she enjoys the exercise with the dogs and we don’t need to pay her but we throw about $20/day her way and everyone’s happy.

Without her I doubt we’d go away for more than a week.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 06:02 PM   #12
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Having just lost our pup, we figured it was just a matter of time til we found a successor. That's probably still true, but the burden they place on travel, cutting a day trip short, cost, and general maintenance are becoming more obvious every week by their absence.

Oh, hell. Who am I kidding - we'll buy another some day. Just might put it off a bit longer than I would have guessed.

I did see an ad for a Doodleman the other day. Poodle Dad, Doberman Mom. Hmmm...
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 06:11 PM   #13
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

I like the doggie day care places that also board overnight. They are pricey but at least you know your dog is getting a social experience, and exercise while you're gone.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 06:13 PM   #14
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

This is an issue for us as well. We find that having pets (as wonderful as they are!!!) would keep us from doing extended international travel - something we really want to do again. We went to Thailand for ~ 1 month and had a sitter come in over that time...our cats didn't handle it well, and we worried so much about them. We've decided we won't replace our beloved kitties when they do pass on someday.

One option to consider is looking into sites like housecarer.com. I still am a wary of having a complete stranger be in my house with my pets, but I supposed if you were really careful about screening it might work out...BTW there are several retired couples that are listed on the site available for housesitting. What a great, cheap way to see new places! Seems really popular in Australia.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 06:17 PM   #15
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbabe
I like the doggie day care places that also board overnight. They are pricey but at least you know your dog is getting a social experience, and exercise while you're gone.
My brother runs one of those places and I don't know how he finds the strength to carry on. He must've been really desperate to leave Megacorp and join the ranks of the filthy rich self-employed.

To me it's like running a daycare center because you love children, but then I guess he wouldn't switch careers with me either.
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 06:33 PM   #16
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Having just lost our pup, we figured it was just a matter of time til we found a successor. That's probably still true, but the burden they place on travel, cutting a day trip short, cost, and general maintenance are becoming more obvious every week by their absence.

Oh, hell. Who am I kidding - we'll buy another some day. Just might put it off a bit longer than I would have guessed.

I did see an ad for a Doodleman the other day. Poodle Dad, Doberman Mom. Hmmm...
I have the dog that we bought for my youngest son when he was 9, to replace his dog who got out when a deliveryman left our gate open and the dog was killed on the road.

Son is now 24 and married, dog, now 14 is still going strong with me having been the major dog care guy for the past 8 years or so. I am about done with this role, and have reached out to my wife to take over at least some of it. It is mostly work, since he walks slowly, needs a lot of care, etc.

If I were the only one involved I would put him down and cry a lot for while, but then be basically glad that I had done my job and it was over. Neither of my kids wants to or could realistically take over his care, but my wife basically feels that a dog has to be on his deathbed for an ethical put-down. My vet disagrees, but then she has less power in the situation.

Same thing happened to my Dad when my brother and I went off to college and left our old boyhood pet. This Border was 18 when Dad finally bit the bullet and took him on his last ride.

Ha
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 07:00 PM   #17
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

I doubt if most people would want to try my solution.

I divorced 15 years ago, and my ex moved back east for a few years on
contracting jobs, although the house was still owned 50-50. Afterwards
she moved back, and we now live seperately in the same house (this
arrangement works out much better than being married did). This setup
has allowed us to keep dogs (3), since both of us like to travel. I also
solve the problem for a number of my friends, frequenty babysitting
about 6 other dogs (1 or 2 at a time)
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 07:02 PM   #18
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Same concerns here. We have two Golden Retrievers and I provide doggie day care to my son's GR (they are all related). DS pays us back by staying here when we are gone but we would like to do more extensive travel in a couple of years and I am reluctant to impose on him more than I do.

I too am interested in the pet sitters WAB and OldMcD found - where did you get them and how did you like them -- or rather, how did the pets like them
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 07:14 PM   #19
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

Reminds me of something I read:

"Life doesn't begin at 40; life begins when the kids leave home and the dog dies."
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.
Old 01-25-2007, 07:15 PM   #20
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Re: Tied Down by Home/and or Pets.

We've had pets for 30 years and have been lucky to have friends/neighbors take care of them while we went out of town.

We now have pet sitters that come to our house, get the mail, feed the kitties and clean the litter box once a day. The main reason we went with the pet sitters was because with DH's dad being ill, we may have to leave in a hurry and don't want to depend on friends. We were referred to our sitter by a woman we know very well that said they did a wonderful job. We interviewed them and was assured they are bonded and well insured. (I called the insurance agency they had listed) The first time we left, we were nervous about leaving them, but it worked out just fine. Fortunately, the first time we used the sitter, we were only gone for 3 days...less time to worry. We have used them for over a year now.

When our 2 cats are gone, (one is 15, the other 11) there will be no more pets. I love animals and it will be difficult not having one. But, my husband has asthma, and we know animals don't help the situation. I've decided once we are "petless", we can donate money to the animal shelter. That's the only way I figure I will be able to take the sting out of not having a furry companion.
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