Home > Pet Ponderings, Pet Sitting > My doggie fence friends

My doggie fence friends


Reading Kristine’s post (“Wordless Wednesday – Fence Friend”) yesterday on her blog, Rescued Insanity,brought back so many memories from my days as a pet sitter and all the dogs I got to know as I walked my client’s dogs in their neighborhoods.

In the morning, there were the two Yellow Labs that used to run with their owner – we would wave “Hi” as he jogged by and once in a while I would greet the if I arrived as he and they were leaving for their morning run.

In the afternoon, there was the black Lab mix who lived behind a brown picket fence and who would whine for us to come and greet her when we walked by. We always did and I often would sneak her a kibble or two. She was such sweet dog.

In the same neighborhood as the black Lab, was a Husky that loved to run along the fence with Marley (one of my clients) and sometimes, when she was feeling particularly frisky, she would hide behind the corner of her deck until we had gone almost the whole way past her house, then she would bolt and race to the fence to try and scare us. It never did, but it often made me laugh to watch her. She loved kibble too.

In my friend, Henry’s, neighborhood, there was a sweet girl named Blondie. She was a yellow Lab like my Daisy, and just like Daisy, the sweetest thing you could ever meet. She would often sit in her garage or in her driveway while her Dad worked on his car and then would wander out to greet us as we walked by.

The little guy across from Henry also used to run over to greet us if his owner was outside with him. He loved all the attention I gave him, even though he got more than plenty at home, and most certainly was happy to take a piece of kibble from me.

But, perhaps my most favorite was a Husky/Yellow Lab mix that I got to know pretty well. Annie was a sweet older gal who loved laying in the sun and napping most of the time. The only exception was when the kids were returning from school or when I would walk by with my clients, Marley and Bailey.  Then she would “chuff “and sometimes bark, to let me and the kids know that we had to stop by and say hello, and you know what? We always did. She loved the attention she received from all of us.

Over time, I got to know this dog’s owner as well. A nice older gentleman, named Frank. We would often wave “Hi” and stop to chit-chat for a minute before I moved on with the girls. Annie was the love of his life and over time I fell in love with her too. There wasn’t a day we didn’t stop to greet her and give her a piece of kibble or two. She came to expect us and would wait by the fence for us as she watched us come up the street.

Then one day, she wasn’t there to greet us. I thought maybe it was too cold and she was inside laying on a nice warm rug, but the next day she wasn’t there either. A week later, I ran into Frank and he told me the news. Annie had gotten ill and had died. How sad. She had become my friend over that year and a half that I had come to know her. Frank and I both shed a tear over his girl as we talked, but it was hard. We both were grieving her loss. I still think of her and smile today. Like Kristine’s dog friend, she was my fence friend too.

It’s been a year since I left my pet sitting business, mostly for monetary reasons, but I still miss it. I don’t just miss the dogs and cats I cared for every day (I miss then a lot!), but I also miss the ones I didn’t care for but got to know along the way.

My fence friends.

  1. May 31, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Aww, I am glad I could inspire such a sweet post. Unfortunately, most of the dogs in my neighbourhood are not approachable when they are behind fences. There is a gorgeous GSD on the corner that is quite friendly off his property but behind his fence is another story. We try to leave him alone when we walk by. That’s why the dog I posted pictures of yesterday is such a pleasure for me. She isn’t always outside when we walk by but when she is I like to stop and say hello. When we move, I know I will miss her.

    • Mel
      June 1, 2012 at 6:17 AM

      I know what you mean Kristine. There was a Chow mix that I avoided on my walks as well as a Golden. The owner of the Golden would always walk him away from us when she saw me and Ozy because she knew her dog was reactive. Sadly, he became that way after using Mr. Milan’s methods on the dog, a puppy mill dog.

  2. May 31, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    What a sweet post, we mostly run into off leash dogs on our hikes, but on the occasion we walk around the block there are a couple of dogs that I see inside their electronic fence, but since Delilah can sometimes be reactive I don’t usually venture on that side of the street.

    • Mel
      June 1, 2012 at 6:15 AM

      Totally get it Jodi. It WOULD make it hard with reactive dogs.
      Henry was like that too, so we didn’t say “Hi” to a lot of doggie friends on his walks, just a few he liked.

  3. May 31, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    I’m hearing Willie Nelson, singing “To All the Dogs I’ve Loved Before”….
    You’re surely missed by those dogs as much as you miss them!

    • Mel
      June 1, 2012 at 6:14 AM

      Ha! Yes. That would have been a great song to play in the background. I don’t know if they miss me, but I sure do miss them.

  4. May 31, 2012 at 9:26 PM

    Lovely. I had a lot of fence friends too when I was a dog mad child. Not so many these days because most dogs are indoors or in the backyard where I Iive. It’s strange how attached we can get to dogs that are not ours. If some of my dog friends in blogtown passed on, I’d miss them too.

    • Mel
      June 1, 2012 at 6:11 AM

      Me too Georgia LP. I would miss a lot of my doggie friends. Still miss Thumper.
      (Psst! I was a dog mad child too.)

  5. May 31, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Such a nice post… it’s amazing how much of an impact those short daily interactions can have on our lives.

    • Mel
      June 1, 2012 at 6:10 AM

      Thanks AJ. I agree. Those little interactions become a part of our daily lives and enrich them. It was Kristine’s post that brought it all back for me.

  6. June 1, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    It is so hard to leave behind all of the wonderful animal interactions that we got to have every day as dog walkers/pet sitters. Some days I really miss all of the happy smiling faces, especially when I’m stuck at the computer all day. The memories always make me smile 😉

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