|Guido the Cat|
When David and I returned from a month in Mexico last summer, Guido the Cat let us know he had not appreciated our absence. He sat on the steps all afternoon as we unpacked and loudly meowed the entire time. Either he was bawling us out for having the audacity to leave for a month, or he was catching us up on all the cat-news he'd been storing up for thirty days. In any case, by the time it was dark, poor Guido was completely hoarse. His raspy, barely audible voice continued until midnight, though, so great was his need to communicate.
Our dog, Lena, on the other hand, was happy to see us but a little blasé about welcoming us home. She'd been at Club Med for Dogs, after all, so we could have stayed away for another month or two as far as she was concerned. Life with our wonderful neighbors meant lots of walks and lavish attention from two adults and two children. Even if she had to contend with Legos in her water bowl and afternoons dressed in elaborate costumes complete with bandanas, she had enjoyed affection 24 hours a day.
Guido had none of that.
It really wasn't anyone's fault. Our neighbors came in every day to give Guido water and food and clean his litter box, but because Guido is shy, he hid every time he heard the door open. They never saw him. Not once. No wonder the poor guy was lonely.
For the trip we're planning this spring (We're going to Italy, Spain and Morocco. We hope. Stay tuned!), we knew we had to think of a different solution. Our neighbors are great people and charge us a pittance compared to boarding kennels, but we think Guido needs a lap to curl up in every night. We had to find a pet sitter.
We checked with professional sitters, but our tightwad budget could not accommodate $60 a day. A boarding kennel was out of the question, and not just because of the high price. The first, and last, time we left Lena in one for three nights, she cried when we picked her up. I've seldom heard a dog cry, but there was no mistaking her misery.