We have a pet sitting dog for a neighbor. He isn’t home during the day, so someone in our household walks down to his house somewhere between 12:30 and 2:00 to let out his dogs. They stay outside in the fresh air and sunshine for thirty minutes to an hour. They go to the bathroom and check out the neighbors on each side. And then they head back inside and wait for Jim to return home. He leaves on the television so they watch Hallmark channel – or sometimes the weather channel! – all day long. The dogs are very familiar with Laura Ingalls and Nelly. Every once in a while, I walk in to find some cheesy 1980’s movie or a soap opera.
The job started as one that Glory performed at least a year and a half ago. When her schedule became too busy during the summer, Joy took on the responsibility. For some reason, the dogs didn’t care for Joy – probably because she’s a child and no children have been in this particular household for many decades. Right now, I’m the main caretaker. But, there are days when I’m not home, so James or Glory do the duty.
We consider this a family responsibility. But, I even consider it a ministry. We give these sweet canines a new face and a tousled head midway through their day. And we have formed a relationship with a man who may one day call on us for help as he ages because he knows that we’re here and we’re available.
Sometimes I’m amazed that there is someone at our home almost every single day of the week between 12:30 and 2:00. That seems unlikely to be possible. But, it is. There is almost always someone around to take care of Bebes and Fancy.
Rather than a nuisance, I quite enjoy walking down the street every day, being fondly greeted and being given the blessing of tossing a treat to a dog. I know they expect to see us and I know that they’re thankful that we’ve come. We’re part of their routine, just as much as The Little House on the Prairie and for this, I’m thankful.