Adventures in Dog Walking Dixie

Adventures in Dog Walking DixieIf any of you have ever had to get a dog walker, you know what a major decision this is. For the past few years, Dixie and I, alike, have enjoyed the luxury of having her come into the office with me each day. She had a bed in my office and in the conference room. Each day she’d make the rounds and walk into each person’s office and check on them. A slight inconvenience to Dixie was the mail delivery people. For some reason, their deliveries interrupted her day in a way she felt was unacceptable and her aggressive barks she felt scared them off. Until the next day.

I have a brand, spanking new job which means new office, which means a no-dogs-at-work policy. I need a dogwalker for once during the day, because late nights are definitely expected. Here was my plan:

1. Talk to neighbors in my building and find out who they trusted.

2. Find a man. No, not for me. For Dixie. She is as sweet as southern tea to women, but she gets so feisty with men, so I thought, ‘Let’s get her a man to walk her and take care of her. Then, she’ll see how nice that gender can sometimes be.’

3. Set rules. When interviewing the candidates (NBC’s Apprentice-style) I made sure they knew the following must be followed – no cell phone calls during her walk and she can only be walked with one other dog at a time.

4. Love notes. I asked the new man dog walker to leave me a note, which I could read after my long day the office, and know how her walk went. Did she go? How far was the walk? I hoped the anecdotes would help me to feel a little less sad at not having my sidekick at my side during the day.

5. Treats! I picked up her favorite treats to give her one when I was leaving for work, so she could associate something good with my walking out the door. And I left another out for Dog Walker Guy when he arrived, so she’d warm up to him.

Unfortunately, Dixie did not. He tried, but Dixie is one tough customer, and she began to show signs of anxiety (crying in the middle of the night and she pooped on the floor in the den). I gave it a chance for a week, but then we had to try another way.

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