The good news: For each of the past two weekends, someone I know has come to my town from hundreds of miles away to adopt a dog from my local shelter. It’s not luck; it’s thanks to my relentless promotion of dogs I’ve met while volunteering – AND because I tell everyone I know who is looking for a dog that if they adopt from my shelter, they receive that dog’s lifetime of FREE “tech support” from me.
The challenge: Actually finding the time to provide that promised support to new and somewhat inexperienced dog owners.
Just a few of the questions I’ve answered so far:
Why won’t she poop?
If he pees at 6:40 pm, but hasn’t pooped since this morning, should we let him loose in the house or does he have to go back in the crate?
How do I get her to pee on the side of the house that is dirt, rather than only the grass?
How soon can I take him for a long walk?
Does that stuff kill fleas, too? Because I just saw a flea on her!
Should the pet sitter/dog walker be bonded? Should I pass on this pet sitting company because they have a lot of employees and it might be a different walker every day?
How do I keep her out of the living room and dining room; I have an open floor plan and the entrances to these rooms are 20 feet wide!
My partner keeps telling the dog NO! How do I get him to stop that and “divert and distract” the dog — without getting in a huge fight?
When will all those puppy teeth fall out? The adult teeth are already pushing in! Should I be brushing them every day?
How many treats a day are too many?
How many hours in a crate is too many? How soon can he graduate to being loose in the kitchen with the crate door open, without ruining his potty-training?
And of course: What kind of food should I buy?
It’s been an exhausting but good reminder of just how much inexperienced dog owners need to learn, fast, if they have a strong desire to do everything right in order to produce a happy, healthy, well-behaved forever member of the family. I keep finding myself looking up and sending articles to them, and copying advice from this email and pasting it in that one . . .
It finally occurred to me: I need to write a book for new dog owners, so I can just send them the book. Now, how am I going to find time to do that? Hmmm…