Friday, September 4, 2009
Munchkin Care Guide for the Baby-sitter
I’ve developed a guide for the baby-sitter that covers Munchkin Care. I list important phone numbers and contact info: The vet, our home address and phone numbers, where we will be staying, family contact information, other local basenji people, our neighbors who have a spare key, and BRAT contacts.
I start with reminders to always use the airlock door –the door from the kitchen to the garage has a corral built around it in the garage to prevent bolting – and after dark to take them in the fenced backyard on leashes so there are no rabbit massacres.
Then I spell out the feeding protocol. Ivan is food aggressive, so there is a carefully sequenced choreography to meal times. There is a daily check list with the menu which varies from dog to dog and meal to meal, and more in depth coverage of their dietary needs, supplements, likes, dislikes, medications, etc.
Included throughout the guide are periodic reminders to give Ivan and Dasa praise and snuggles. Our current baby-sitter is a sweet grandmotherly type who thinks Ivan and Dasa are wonderful and good all the time, so she doesn’t really need reminding about this.
There is info about collars, and a reminder to remove them when the munchkins are in their crates and at bedtime. They sleep in the big people bed with the baby-sitter, who says she feels like a sandwich with a small dog on each side.
There are suggestions for safe places to put personal belongings to avoid customization, and also guides for keeping people food safe. (Don’t put your sandwich on the coffee table and leave the room. Actually, don’t put your sandwich on the coffee table, period.)
I also include more general information about teeth brushing, car rides, walking the munchkins, cleaning ears, who does their nails, where we buy their food, and tricks they can do. Useful information, should we get hit by a bus.
I have descriptions of Ivan and Dasa, their chip numbers and rabies tag numbers as well as lost dog posters, lists of places to post them, and contact info for local vets and shelters, in the awful event they get loose. We leave signed medical permission sheets for the vet.
Every evening I check in with my mom call. After I’m reassured Ivan and Dasa are safe, and have been astonishingly good all day, I can sleep. Ivan and Dasa are happy in their house with their regular routine and attention from the baby-sitter, who says they are really sweet and very cute, no matter what Ivan has chewed or destroyed.