I am in the unusual situation of having a part-time dog. I didn’t plan it, but in hindsight it has worked out really well for everyone involved.
After I lost my beloved dog to renal failure I swore that there would be no more dogs in our house. After my parents retired, they decided they wanted to roam around the globe but they had one problem -what would they do with the dog?
Meet Miss Sally
Sally is a westie-poodle mix and a really, really sweet dog. She alternates living at my house and my parent’s home every 3 months. She has adapted well to her living situation and transitions between her two homes easily. It allows my parents to travel without worry, they did not have to give Sally up for adoption and now she gets twice as much love. Dog ownership is a big commitment in terms of time, money and responsibility. We have found that pet sharing works for us. (I admit that I do miss her so much when she goes back to my parent’s house – but I can visit as much as I want.)
If dog ownership does not make sense because of your lifestyle or budget, there are other options, that let you have all the doggie love you can handle but without all the responsibility. If the situation ever changes with Sally and our living arrangement, I will consider another part-time dog.
Where do you find a part-time dog?
1. Dog Sitting: That’s the thing with owning a dog – it can make travel, hospital stays, emergencies etc. very difficult. My neighbours travel from time to time and they let us dog sit for them. Their dogs are a hoot! We get to love and spoil them for a period of time and give them back.
2. Dog Walking: An acquaintance of mine started dog walking as a side-hustle and eventually left her full-time job to become a dog caregiver and she has not looked back.
3. Foster Care – Many shelters and rescue organizations need temporary foster homes to care for pets that are waiting to be adopted. I will definitely consider this if I am not in the position to adopt a dog. You can find out more about fostering dogs and search for local shelters at Pet Finder.
I love dogs but I know that owning a dog full-time right now would not be fair to my family or a dog so in the meantime part-time dog ownership works for us.