Saturday, February 17, 2018
Pets

Who better to dog-sit than your parents? Meet the granddogs

Someday, she and her husband might have grandchildren, Lyn Hathaway said. In the meantime, the Rocky Mount, N.C., couple have their "granddogs" Theodore and Reagan.

Theodore is their daughter Madelyn Gallagher's 3-year-old pug. Reagan is daughter Lacy Gallagher's 4-year-old beagle.

While the daughters work, their dogs stay together at one of their Raleigh homes. When their "moms" leave town for vacations or business, though, the dogs stay with the Hathaways.

"They all lie on the futon on our porch and watch the wildlife in the back yard," Hathaway said of her charges, plus her three dachshunds and one foxhound.

About 74 percent of millennials (ages 19 to 35) have dogs, according to the American Pet Products Association. Their dogs affect their life decisions.

"We joke that our dogs must like people we choose as boyfriends or girlfriends, but it's true," said Cory Smith, director of pet protection and policy at the Humane Society of the United States. "We hear from a lot of couples who met at dog parks because that's where they found other 'dog people.' "

Doggie dynamics affect their careers too. "If an employer allows you to bring your dog to work, as HSUS does, the millennials want to work there," Smith said. "And, we choose jobs that allow us to be near our parents if they dog-sit for us."

Sitting for your granddog is a win-win, especially when Mom and Dad can no longer have dogs of their own.

"Our last family dog, a Lhasa apso, died at age 17," said retiree George Maskaly of Carteret, N.J. "I'm too old to have another one for that long. It wouldn't be fair to the dog."

Maskaly sits for his daughter Michelle Maskaly's dogs, an 8-year-old chihuahua named Toby and 1-year-old terrier mix named Maddux. At least once a month, Michelle drives the duo three hours to her dad's house, or he drives to her Lake George, N.Y., home.

"I get all the benefits without the vet bills," the elder Maskaly said.

Like two-legged grandkids, granddogs learn that different households have different rules.

At home, 9-year-old China, an English mastiff, sleeps in her dog bed. While her mom is out of town, though, she climbs into bed with her "grandma," Lori Barnes, a Bonney Lake, Wash., authors' advocate. "There's nothing like having your nose buried in her fur," she said.

China knows her routine at Barnes' house, where she's the center of attention.

"We go to the dog park, then to McDonald's drive-through for a treat," Barnes said. "When the ice cream man comes, she gets in line with the neighbor kids and takes her turn like the well-mannered young lady she is."

If your parents are your dog's sitters, "choose a breed that matches your lifestyle and your parents' lifestyle," Smith said. "You may be able to keep a border collie exercised because you're a runner, but he may be too high-energy for your parents."

Buy an extra dog tag that has your sitter's name and phone number. If your dog was "chipped," (implanted with a seed-sized chip under her skin) call the chip registry to add the sitter's identification. Then, if an animal control officer picks up the dog, she will use a scanner to read the chip.

"Bring your dog's harness, collar and two leashes so your parents have extra security when they walk her and she decides to chase a squirrel," Smith said.

Lest anyone doubt the dogs like visiting their grandparents, consider China.

"When it's time to go home, she hides behind the pillar in my living room," Barnes said. "She thinks if she can't see us, we can't see her, but we can see everything but her face. All 180 pounds of her."

Comments
Hernando Pet of the Week for Feb. 16

Hernando Pet of the Week for Feb. 16

Humane Society of the Nature CoastChaz is a 5-year-old chow mix. He loves to play and get lots of belly rubs. Chaz is hoping to find a home with older children and no cats. He has been neutered, microchipped and is current on his vaccinations. He is ...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for Feb. 9

Hernando Pet of the Week for Feb. 9

Hernando County Animal ServicesMischief is a female dilute torti. Despite her name, Mischief is very sweet and loves affection. She has been spayed, microchipped and is current on her vaccinations. Inquiries about adopting Mischief or other dogs and ...
Published: 01/31/18
Updated: 02/08/18
Hernando Pet of the Week for Feb. 2

Hernando Pet of the Week for Feb. 2

Courtesy of Humane Society of the Nature CoastRue is a sweet, 7-month-old pit bull terrier looking for a good home. She is happy playing with her toys quietly alone or with other dogs. Rue has a light brown brindle coat, soulful eyes and is a little ...
Published: 01/30/18
Updated: 02/08/18
Find a Friend   |   Razzle and Fizzle, all-star kittens

Find a Friend | Razzle and Fizzle, all-star kittens

So, you went to a parade and a hockey game broke out? No worries, pirate, no penalty box because Razzle the Bengal doesn’t really "check" Fizzle the Tiger kitten. But the young all-stars sure do love wrestling to exhaustion and stealing cat naps on t...
Updated one month ago
Grumpy Cat owner awarded over $700,000 in lawsuit. Cat still won’t smile

Grumpy Cat owner awarded over $700,000 in lawsuit. Cat still won’t smile

To most Internet users, Grumpy Cat — the feline with a furry frown — is a minor celebrity that capitalized on the popularity of memes in 2012 as a perpetual sourpuss. One of the most famous images of the cat, for example, was overlaid with the text, ...
Updated one month ago
Hernando Pet of the Week for Jan. 26

Hernando Pet of the Week for Jan. 26

Humane Society of the Nature CoastFrazil is a white, 5-month-old kitten in need of a good home. He is neutered, microchipped and current on all his vaccinations. Inquiries about adopting Frazil or other dogs and cats can be made at the Humane Society...
Published: 01/23/18
Updated: 02/08/18
Find A Friend: Cooper, the Labrador mix

Find A Friend: Cooper, the Labrador mix

New Life Dog Rescue helps needy canines reinvent themselves. For Gasparilla, they’re recruiting for Ye Mystic Krewe of Cooper: a spirited 1-year-old Labrador mix. Formerly owned by an evil band of pirates who failed to retrieve the pooch from tempora...
Updated one month ago
No reports of dog flu in Tampa Bay, but another virus could pose threat

No reports of dog flu in Tampa Bay, but another virus could pose threat

A nasty strain of the flu is sweeping the country and the CDC reports that deadly cases have increased in nearly every region of the United States. To make matters worse, your pets are also at risk of catching their own flu.But while Humane Society o...
Updated one month ago