Good morning and happy new year to you! I hope you had a great Christmas full of family and fun! I know we sure did!  2017 was a wonderful year full of growth and development both personally and with Coddled Canine.  Now that I know that I am capable of doing some cool things, I plan to take those cool things to the next level in 2018.  Thank you for your continued support! I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.  

Today I am going to talk about dog sitting.  As a Christmas gift to each other, Paul and I are going on a 3 day trip this weekend for an event.  In the past when we would go on trips, my parents lived down the street and were happy to watch Riley while we were gone.  Now that we live in Pennsylvania, it would be much more complicated to get Riley to their house.  What do you do when you need a dog sitter?

We have been very lucky that for Riley’s whole life, he has always been watched by a family member when we are away.  But now that we live 4 hours away from family, we have to find someone else to watch the pup.  At first we looked into kenneling services.  I don’t know much about kennels but from my research it sounds like your dog sits in a metal cage all day and is only taken out for one walk and two potty breaks a day.  I can only imagine Riley being scared and overwhelmed in a place like that with other dogs barking and very little attention.  I decided that kenneling Riley would be a last resort.  I just don’t think I could feel good about him being there while we are having fun without him.
So Paul reached out to a few of his trusted friends and one of them is going to watch Riley for us!  I am very thankful for Paul’s friend, Kyle, who is willing to watch Rye.  Riley and Kyle have met a few times before and I think they will get along very nicely.  Kyle doesn’t have any other pets so I don’t have to worry about Riley getting along with other dogs while we are gone.  As much as I trust Kyle to watch Riley, I am sad to have to leave him while we go have a good time and I am nervous as any mother would be to leave your furkid with someone else.  I have decided to make a detailed list on how to take care of Riley so that Kyle understands Rye Guy a little more.  So here is my instructions for him.

Instructions for Riley Whiting
Dates: January 5th-7th
Paul’s cell phone: ***-***-****
Abbey’s cell phone: ***-***-****
Our vacation address: _________________
Vet address:______________
Vet phone number:______________
We will be coming back late on January 7th.  We will keep you updated with an ETA.
Care Information:
Food and Water: We always leave a bowl of his kibble and water out for him to eat whenever he wants to. We do not give him any human food.
Allergies: **Chicken**
Bathroom: He will go pee outside first thing in the morning and every 2-3 hours throughout the day. He poops about 1-2 times a day.  While you are not at home, Riley will be fine to hang out in a small room with his crate, toys, food, and water.  When he is in the house, he should have a belly band on at all times.  Remember to take off his belly band when going outside.  When he comes back inside after going potty, he will ask for a treat.  He can have a piece of a greenie. We left a business bag with a roll of poop bags for picking up poops.
Treats: We break up his treats into smaller pieces and he can have one after going outside or after doing tricks, playing, or when he is cute.  
Barking: If you are worried about barking, his bark collar works great.  Holding the (-) sign will turn it on and off with one beep sound.  Just put it around his neck and he will quiet down.  Without his bark collar on, he will bark when people enter and leave the house.  
Interactions:  Riley is great with people but does get stressed out around small children and other dogs.  I would try to limit his exposure to kids and dogs.  
Walks: He loves going on walks but with the cold temperature, his paws tend to get very cold very quickly.  If he lifts his paws off the ground or starts shaking his paws in the air, he generally won’t walk back into the house.  It is very poor logic on his part.  You may have to pick him up to bring him back inside.  If it is nice outside and you want to walk him, bring his bark collar and business bag with poop bags.  He doesn’t need to go on walks.
Playing: He loves playing tug of war with any of his toys, especially Wolfie, the grey and white wolf.  He will kind of play fetch, and he loves hide and seek with Wolfie.  You can hide Wolfie and ask Riley, “Where’s Wolfie?” and he will try and find him.  
Sleeping: Riley will sleep on the bed.  We always close our door so he won’t wander around too much.  
Communication: Riley communicates by sneezing, staring, barking, and putting his paw on you.  Most of the time, he will ask to go outside by sneezing or pawing my leg.  If you ask, “Do you have to go outside?” he will sneeze, wag his tail, stretch in the puppy bow, or turn in a circle to say yes. He knows quite a lot of words so you can ask him lots of things and get responses. Oh, and he loves to give kisses. All. the. Time.
I think that is about it! Call or text us with any questions you may have.  We will keep our phone close.  And thank you very much!
So that is about all the instructions needed to take care of Riley.  I am sure that everything will go great this weekend! I would love to know how you make sure your dog is taken care of while you are away on vacation.  Have a great week and thanks for reading!