Some mornings start with coffee. Others start with adrenaline.
One of the staff called me very early this morning. The fact that she was calling before 7 am was my first clue that something was really wrong. My second clue came with her clear words: “Max has collapsed in the yard and he’s not moving.” Max is a 90 lb, 10 year-old Golden Retriever. Collapsing, unconscious in the yard at the crack of dawn, before the vet offices open, was definitely not on the agenda today.
Max turned out to be very sick, though no one had any reason to know it ahead of time, and he didn’t make it. We got him to the vet within 15 minutes, but it took three of us to pick him up, and bless the wonderful vet’s office for their help. They weren’t open yet, but I went to the back door and they sprung into action and did everything they could for Max. Luckily, his person wasn’t vacationing too far away, and she was able to be with him at the end.
But what if Max’s caretaker had been a teenager next door? Or a friend? It is self-serving…granted…but I believe in pet sitters and their knowledge and I used them for many years before I actually became one.
Would a teenager or friend have looked at Max’s gums, found them to be white as snow, and wrapped him in a sleeping bag to help prevent deepening shock? How would they even have lifted and transported the 90 lb dog? Would they have known what information was critical to tell the vet staff? And because there weren’t many staff members at the vet’s office at that hour, would they have been able to help hold Max while blood was drawn and a catheter put in? (I have to admit, having worked in a vet’s office helped me with this last piece.)
Even more than that, how would a teenage pet sitter feel to have a dog die on her watch? Is a 14 year old ready for that emotional responsibility? It is hard enough for us as pet sitters, but burdening a teenager or a good friend with that…really??
OK…off my high horse. Sorry about that. It was a stressful morning, but I am really proud of everything three of us professional pet sitters did for Max. Glad that he didn’t die alone. He was a really sweet boy, and we will miss him. He loved nothing better than to lean on us and be pet, and we’ll remember him that way.
Rest in peace sweetie…I’m really glad we have been your pet sitters.