I don’t mind checking in on a friend’s house if they are out of town, I will even water his fake plants, grab his mail, turn his lights on and off just so his neighbors won’t come break into his place while he is gone. I have no problem doing that for a friend. But hopefully my friends are smart enough to never ask me to watch over their Fur Babies..
I know there are better friends out there that will volunteer to care for someone’s pet while they are out of town, they are truly good friends to have. But then there are also those of us who occasionally get duped into watching some’s pet. So for those of you that have been “Duped”, and are new to the whole caring for someone else’s fur baby, let me share a few tips with you to make your job a little easier.
When you have been entrusted to care for a friends fur baby, always confirm that the pet is still alive before accepting responsibility for the animal. For example, whenever I had one of my pets die on me, I would ask a friend to come watch it for me, while I “went out of town for a day“. I would tell my friend that my pet was sleeping, then I would hand responsibility over to him, then I would leave. When he discovers the pet is dead, he just might blame himself and try to trick me with a new identical and most importantly, free replacement. One a side note this is also how I used to replace broken furniture and sporting equipment.
Another bit of advice is to take a picture on the very first day you take responsibility of the fur baby, that way you can be certain to buy a replacement pet as identical as possible to the original in case it dies or decides to run away.
If for some reason you have been asked to watch your friends toddler and your home is not exactly kid proof, they say you should get down on ground level to see things from their perspective and to ensure there aren’t any sharp pokey things or heavy items they can pull down on themselves. So the same should apply if you’re watching a fur baby, get down on the ground and start chewing on everything in sight, just to make sure it’s safe and tasty. And while you’re down there, you might want to sniff around the carpet to determine if there are an areas that emit a scent that makes you feel like urinating. If so, you should immediately remove those areas of your carpet, trust me it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Another wise thing to do is to ask about the animal’s ownership history, sort of the “Show Me The PawFax” of the animal world. It is important to know if the animal has always been owned solely by your friend or did he first purchase the animal together with an ex. Now this information isn’t exactly important for the care of the animal, but it might be a good way to obtain some juicy gossip about why your friend’s relationship fell apart with his ex. Also you might be able to find out if his ex is seeing anybody and also what things she didn’t like about your friend. That way you can avoid making those same mistakes after you ask her out.
There are those that believe it’s healthy to talk to animals, but don’t be disappointed when they don’t talk back. So keep this in mind if you’re the hyper-sensitive type, that has issues with being ignored, isolated and disrespected, talking to the animal will probably not be a good activity for you, unless you’re managing to talk it into attacking those people who have been disrespecting you.
It is always smart to be direct with your friend about the possible risks that something could go wrong with the pet and ask how that might impact your friendship. Would he blame you if he returned home and found the animal dead? Would he blame you if the animal went missing? Would he blame you if you forgot you were watching his animal and went out of town yourself?
So there are my tips for watching a friend’s fur baby, remember sometimes it’s best just to say NO.