Saturday, April 9, 2011

crisis averted

Jeff & I are going on vacation in a couple weeks. I had a brilliant idea to introduce Oreo to a petsitter, with gradual, quick visits while we were at work, prior to our departure. I thought it would give Oreo time to get to know the petsitter, see her as a good person, who brings good things.

The petsitter made 6 visits (2 with me present). Things were going OK. He spent most of his time hiding in the bathroom. However, he was eating treats from her hand. He would let her put on his leash and bring him outside. She thought he was getting better each visit.

Then, Jeff was home from work one day, and Oreo was cowering in the bathroom, refusing to come out. He wouldn't eat treats. Unheard of behavior for Oreo. Oreo usually hangs out with Jeff on his day off. 

Jeff texted me photos of how Oreo looked:

looking toward door

"I'm not coming out!"

treat sat there for over an hour!

When did this behavior happen? During the hours the petsitter usually arrived!

Obviously, this sweet petsitter, who I really liked, could not come back.

Good thing I had a Plan B (and C)! My parents.

Actually my parents had been my Plan A, but I didn't want to inconvenience them, and I thought it might be nice if Oreo learned to like a petsitter. Might come in handy someday.

Anyway. Since Oreo was obviously traumatized, I was worried he might now be afraid of EVERYONE who came to our house. He has never had a problem with my parents. My mom is the Food Lady after all.


Last night, I invited my parents over for dinner. Oreo was a bit wary at first, but with a few pieces of rotisserie chicken, he was back to his ol' self with my parents.

Stayed in the same room with us. Hopped onto the couch with my mom, asked her to rub his belly.  Herded them when they were getting ready to leave, and followed them to the back gate. No hiding in the bathroom.

Can't tell you how relieved I am.

Thanks Mom & Dad.  I think I can actually enjoy my vacation now.  Jeff thanks you too.  You know what I mean.


Priscilla said...

That's great news! Glad your parents could step in and help!!

Enjoy your vacation :)
Take a good break and relax!

Reilly / Bree said...

I think Oreo needs to come and chill with Reilly - he is the most laid back unsheltie like sheltie you can imagine. Maybe some of his calm unflustered easy going manner would rub off. Or maybe this is way of missing and mourning for Misty????

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

BrownDog here. Always listen to your dog! We know things about people that y'all never see. If we don't trust or like someone, listen to us! Glad you heard Oreo and listened to him!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I thought your idea of getting a pet sitter to come and visit Oreo and get to know him was such a good one - too bad it didn't work out! My parents are my plan A for Ricky too so I know how you feel and how thankful you are that they can do it. Oreo loves his grandparents as much as Ricky loves his!

Dawn said...

Awwww Oreo! Look at that face!! Parents are wonderful plan A's. And when the mom is the FOOD LADY...well...that's an excellent plan! Poor little boy. If he wouldn't eat a treat, then you know he's stressed. Hugs to you Oreo..

Sophie said...

Oh, what a shame about the petsitter! Sometimes dogs just take a general disliking to someone, though it's nobody's fault. Just like people don't like every person they meet, same with dogs.

I'm glad your parents can help though - you deserve a vacation!

Helen said...

A pet sitter would have been very hard for my Gryff, too. Other than family, the only person he was close to was a friend of mine. One evening she sat on the floor for 3 hours and let Gryff make all the advances.

Joan said...

Dinner was delicious. Oreo was relaxed after a few pieces of chicken. The "food lady" will be picking up a Price Chopper chicken and we will be best of friends sitting in the sunshine in your lovely backyard. He will have a good vacation while you are away on yours.

Rob said...

Hi Sara, It's a bit of a problem when you have to go away, thankfully our daughter is still around so looks after ours when we can't take them. I wonder why dogs like the bathroom as a hiding place? Tippy always took to the bathroom at scary moments. I hope Jeff enjoyed the race although not the best result for him if he wanted Lewis Hamilton to win.

Sara said...

Oh, he hasn't watched the race yet! I won't tell Jeff the results.

Maybe the dogs find the cool bathroom floor soothing? Or the smaller space helps them feel safe? Who knows.

madcobug said...

Poor Oreo, those pictures showed how he really felt. Dogs have a built in clock it seems. Glad that your parents are going to keep him. That was cute him herding them when they started to leave.

Diana said...

Im so glad your parents can watch Oreo so you can enjoy your vacation.

Amy Wood said...

Ugh! Sorry to hear things didn't work with the petsitter. Glad to hear your parents were able to help out. Enjoy your vacation!

katie said...

Ahhh rotisserie chicken. . . the food of the dog gods!LOL It counts as one of the highest reinforcers in this house.

Sorry the pet sitter didn't work out, but I'm glad you found out before you went and not after. Aren't dogs amazing? Whoever thinks dogs cant tell time is crazy, Oreo knew what time it was when he was expecting her to come. Fearful dogs seem even more amazing with how tuned into things like that they can be.

Kudo's to your husband and parents for being there for Oreo too. If your conversations around this kind of episode go any thing like mine both our husbands deserve a big thanks! (I seem to remember a recent statement made by one Crazymomlady including the words, ". . . then we just wont go on vacation!"LOL

Thanks for following Lessons From 4 Legs on FB, it's fun to have your comments!

Marie said...

I'm relieved for you and Oreo both that your parents are going to be able to help our while you're on vacation.

The picture of Oreo with the untouched treat just brought way too many memories of a totally stressed out Rogue flooding back to me.

I was really happy to hear that he recovered so nicely when the "food lady" brought the chicken. :-)