Ideal Houseguest

Tomorrow, Mischa, Tierce and I are heading up to Courtenay, BC for a housewarming party. Well, Mischa and Tierce are heading up in the car and I’m cycling it. To make a long story short, I’m crazy and have been cycling long distances for a number of years. And it’s going to be nice out tomorrow.

I was thinking about Tierce and the fact that we have managed to bring him along to so many friends’ places. He is not obedient, he’s still a chewer, we have to keep an eye on him in strange homes so that he doesn’t blithely mark in the house and, while we managed to wrest a second dog out of him a while back, still sheds a good deal of hair. Well, it’s not so amazing that we managed to bring him to so many friends’ places; it’s that we managed to bring him more than once.

The key, of course, is that a) we never assume that Tierce is welcome without specific inquiry and b) we take exquisite care that he is properly exercised, fed, confined and entertained. His parasite prevention is kept up-to-date. His exercise pen and crate are standard equipment for an overnight jaunt – they provide a safe, familiar environment for him to stay. I also make a special effort to take him for a good walk and/or a place where he can safely run his little heart out. Tired puppy = quiet, happy guest puppy. We also are very aware of his abilities and limitations and take those into account

I truly appreciate our friends’ indulgence in permitting Tierce to accompany us to their homes and feel that the only way to return such a favour is to ensure that his deportment is nothing less than impeccable. Tierce is still a long way off from being a model puppy, so his deportment is largely dependent on his confinement and supervision.

It surprises me when other dog owners don’t take these kinds of things as a matter of course. It seems that people’s sense of entitlement extends past their overfed and underdisciplined spawn to their overfed and underdisciplined dogs. To my surprise, there have been stories surfacing of late that involve people bringing their dogs to places and events without ascertaining whether the dog was welcome. Some of these incidents have resulted in remarkably non-dog-friendly reviews of the situation. I like to reserve my disdain for stupid, selfish people, not people who happen to love their dogs – some people actually have a sense of limits.

Things we take when Tierce visits:

1) Crate
2) Exercise Pen
3) Dishes
4) Food
5) Kong – silent toy that can be stuffed with treats
6) Flexi and 6 foot leads

If we were visiting off-Island, I would also take copies of his vaccination records, veterinarian records, Canadian Kennel Club papers, identification (he’s microchipped, so that has to be noted), recent photos and grooming supplies. Just in case.