I have a bit of a silly riddle for you. What do holidays have in common with hospitalizations? Answer? They both may require care for a pet dog or granddog! Yes, I know, it wasn't the most exciting riddle, but it IS one our Sandwich Generation family has had to solve a few times this year!
Many times, this granny nanny has enjoyed granddog-sitting the local cuties. I just take my Netbook over, let them play around outside while I work after a bit of cuddle time, then head on home. For other family members, a nearby neighbor has sweetly stepped in to fill the bill. But what if your senior parent has one of those "sweet" granddogs that aren't so sweet for the sitter? Perhaps a bit…..crochety, shall we say. Or not as potty-trained as you might prefer. Or perhaps your senior parent would feel too nervous that their sweet bambino is alone for such a long period of time – and doesn't feel comfortable with a traditional dog kennel. As one of my grandkids' favorite characters on the Magic Schoolbus might say, "Oh, what to do, what to do, what to do!"
We have discovered some excellent alternatives to add to our Sandwich Generation caregivers "toolbox" of resources! A doggie hotel! There appear to be several great options, from the PetSmart PetsHotel with Doggie Day Camp to one of the dog hotels popular with famous stars' and celebrities' doggies, such as The Barkley Pet Hotel & Day Spa. Each area seems to have different options. But some things that many usually share in common are:
1. Caregivers always at the facility with your pet – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in very nice facility – not the traditional, and somewhat noisy, cages often associated with traditional care facilities.
2. PetSmart lists that "PetsHotel is totally enclosed and completely air conditioned and heated. The air conditioning and filtration system for the cat area is separate from the dog rooms and suites. Cats and dogs will never be able to smell one another," and my family has found that true at another facility as well. Very nice for those granddogs and grandcats that get nervous around each other.
3."Pet park" areas where they can play with other dogs or alone, depending on the option you select. Playing alone may add to the charge, but if you have a granddog that doesn't like to play with other dogs, that can be well worth the cost!
4. You can call to check on the granddog – and some pet hotels, such as the Pet Smart pet hotel, will even let you talk TO the granddog. What a comforting treat for an elderly parent in the hospital, recuperating from surgery but so worried about their sweet dog.
5. Regular exercise schedules, with different options (and different prices) for each individual dog's needs.
This has been such a fun subject to research. As I mentioned above, one granddog in my Sandwich Generation family has enjoyed staying at a doggie hotel in his home town and loved it. It was a big help to his family in a difficult time which is why I wanted to share this info with you. And there's more! So check back tomorrow for Holidays or Hospitalizations – What's A Granddog To Do! Part 2, along with more cute granddogs.