Our dog Zoe is not welcome where we’re going. I’ve yet to find a place to take her where I can visit.

She is quite old and very spry for her age. She can even scare a squirrel, but will never catch one. She sleeps on our bed and two of her own, has not been in a crate in at least ten years although she has three. She doesn’t chew our shoes or pee on the carpet.

Even if she is sound asleep on our bed at four in the morning and I get up, she gets up and follows me, as I am food wench and morning walker.

I may or may not have choices. No way she gets a cage and fenced run. She needs her pack and her pack will not be here for a few days. I said she’s getting old. I’m driving 1,500 miles with her for Thanksgiving to meet my husband and his family. She cleans the floor from our three-day cooking marathon. Ooh, she dropped a couple of crumbs!

Open facility may be an option with time-outs for her for sleep. I’d rather she be in a home with a family and perhaps other dogs/cats for companionship.

Yes, our vet gave me recommendations for lodging. My seal of approval is that she doesn’t jump up on me while picking up, and just walks out to my car. If she is not desperate to see us, she had a good time and wants to come home but enjoyed her stay.

Do you know how difficult that situation is to find? She has to go through interviews this week. She has passed temperament tests in five cities but must go through another. She passed in a local establishment but they lied to me twice about keeping her in a cage. She is too old and, my brother said shortly after she was born, “needy” for that. She wants her pack. We are her pack.

I’ve worked with dogs and cats much of my life, as a volunteer in shelters and spay/neuter clinics. I am interviewing them more than they are interviewing me. My first dog raised my second cat for a year, same bed. Dogs used to come and call on Mick and he’d wrestle with our neighbor’s dogs or they’d run away from home to see him through the window and I’d get a call. Is he there? Hold on. Yep. I’ll keep him ’til you get here.

A lot of places demand training. Zoe knows what to do from Pup 101, even hand signals from me, and sometimes chooses not to do what is asked of her. I want this old girl cared for and given time to sleep, as she does not do so with other dogs. She forgets to sleep, eliminate, even drink water. She’s grandma, taking care of everyone else.

I’m going away for a long weekend and give this much attention to the old girl who left our bed and is a few feet away from me on one of her beds that gives her a view that will not allow me to go anywhere without her knowledge. All hail the herders. Dee


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