Left on vacation for a week cruise to St. Thomas, St. Martin, and Nassau. I would have thought we planned everything well. Derby had a sitter who has been with him for nine months now, and he adored her. She was unemployed, and she understood that we were looking for someone who would stay in the house with Derby while we were gone.
Those of you with adopted greyhounds understand how they can easily regress when in unfamiliar environments, and that they don't do well in kennels. So, we thought we stepped upon a gem when we found someone who loved dogs, had experience in dog sitting, mature, and was willing to stay at our home with Derby. She understood, and had even read a book of mine on greyhounds.
The night before we were to leave she shows up and in a 'by the way' sort of speech, tells me, very quickly, that she will be going to work for 'only four hours' the whole week, and that she was told it was fine with them if she brought my dog.
Maybe the blank look on my face conveyed something, because she proceeded to speak faster about how great it would be, and that it's only for four hours, (but 45 minutes from our home in good Atlanta traffic). It can actually be up to one hour travel one-way.
So, in a dull, zombie-like manner, I told her let me think on it. Right after I told her of the liability of such an arrangement, and that she had know for three weeks about this 'job', yet knew about our cruise for six months.
Needless to say, I was not very happy about this. While she was getting her bags, I was fuming over the audacity of a person to wait the night before my husband and I, along with my dad and his wife, to leave at 8 a.m., for a flight to Miami for a week long cruise to the Caribbean. She and I had been in communication, because she asked if I could front her some of the money up front (warning Will Robinson). She had also asked me several times if my step-daughter would be coming by the house (Houston, we have a problem).
After I gave it much thought; about enough time for her to bring in her bag, my mind was made up. Long story short, I told her I would eat my cruise ticket before I would allow her to keep my Derby.
She had no intention of taking Derby to her job. She argued an old agreement from five months prior where I told her she could take her mother to church in the early morning, as long as he wasn't alone more than six hours. With that statement, she made the assumption that she didn't need to tell me about her job because she would only be working for four hours (she continued to omit the travel time).
My argument was that it was her responsibility to tell me that she was planning to work another job, while I was paying her, and feeding her to stay at my home to keep my sweetie. With her repeated comment about the amount of time she would be gone, and my old agreement made under a special circumstance, I knew she had no intention to take him to a place I had never seen, never heard of, and had not checked for myself if this was indeed an approved arrangement. Dogs, unless they are there for assistance, do not otherwise belong in a work environment, and she was planning to take my pet to a place people sign up for DUI classes. The NERVE!!!! Plus, by telling me at 8 p.m., the night before my departure, she figured I would be stuck without options. I was more livid about her omission, and excuses for not telling, "You don't reply to text messages." Yet, I answered her requests for money ahead of time, and more money to clean my house three days before.
Before I told her to leave my house, I told her that my feelings for Derby have not changed since the day she started working for us. We are two retired military officers who spend a lot of time with Derby. He isn't used to being alone for a long period of time. That is something you have to work on to get him used to, rather than, Mom and Dad leaving for a week, and the only other person he is not AS close to, leaves him for HOURS alone. Dogs can't tell time. I was paying her to keep him at our home, to be with him, take him on walks, NOT disappear for six plus hours everyday while you double-dip to be paid for two jobs.
I called my son, who is in college in Kentucky, and he drove one hour to Louisville, jumped on a plane early the next morning, and arrived in Atlanta to take Derby to our other home where he goes to school. He was truly hurt by what happened because we considered her part of our family. When I visited my boys, she traveled with me too. I drove out of the way so she may visit her children too. I truly felt blessed to have found her, and her greed got in the way. How could I trust her with my precious greyhound, when she attempted to deceive me via omission, when I didn't tell her if my step-daughter would come by the house during the week. She had to mention her plans when she realized someone may see Derby left alone everyday for over six hours. You don't spring that on a greyhound, you have to get him used to something like that.
With that, I have severed my ties with this dog keeper. I'm not going to put her business out there, but I will say that I also hired her to help around the house because she was in need of money, even though I over paid her for the work she did. I valued the friendship above anything else. But she tried to take it to another level, and you can't do that to my Derby....no...not at his expense. He has been through, and has seen enough in his life. That cruise ticket would have been flushed down the toilet had my son not been the hero he has always been.