When you have four dogs, twelve llamas, three alpacas and three yaks it is not easy to pick up and leave for the weekend. Even if you wanted to bring them, most motels won’t let you keep them in your room.
We started planning for our yearly trip to Taos last January. We recruited the long time boyfriend of one of my nieces to house and animal sit. He’s a good kid, with a little ranch experience. He thought it would be fun to live in the “sticks” for a while and play cowboy (yakboy).
Three weeks before we would leave for Taos, my niece and yakboy break up. They have been steady for about five years. Now he’s depressed and can’t sit for us.
Yakboy: I’m sorry I can’t help you
Me: It doesn’t matter who your girlfriend is or isn’t, get up here so I can show you what needs to be done
Yakboy: I’m just too upset
Reluctantly, I changed my plans and made arrangements for Boy Twin and me to stay home. I mentioned to a friend I was staying home because we had lost our sitter.
Friend: I’ll watch your place
Me: What? Why?
Friend: You need to get out of here for a while; it will be no big deal
Me: Are you sure?
Friend: I’ll come up tomorrow and you can show me what to do
“Hey guys, Boy Twin and I are going again.”
I spent a couple hours showing my friend around, introducing him to the animals, especially the dogs. Emma, our oldest Great Pyrenees, is not friendly. She doesn’t want to meet strangers, especially men …….with hats. The years have not been kind to my friend’s hairline. Guess what he was wearing? Yep! When Emma meets strangers she barks and gets behind a piece of furniture or someone in our family, growling and barking. So far, everyone that has encountered Emma has given her the time to warm up at her pace. She warms up, but not before she’s ready.
Emma and my friend are wary of each other, and the other dogs are everyone’s buddy. Elaine left explicit written directions for my friend.
Our car and trailer are finally hooked up and we are on our way. Sixty miles from home my cell phone rings.
Friend: Hey, your dogs are gone…..Oh, here they come down the driveway
Me: All of them?
Friend: I don’t see Emma… Oh there she is
Friend: They’re coming right up to me. I’ll feed them and get them in the house
Two hours later!
Friend: Emma won’t eat and come in the house. She is under the deck growling at me.
Me: Just leave her there; she is under the deck in the fenced yard, right?
We arrived in Taos, everything is fine. Friday morning I called my friend, concerned about how his night went.
Me: How did it go?
Friend: Great, where do they keep getting all those shoes?
Me: You’re asking me? Did Emma come in?
Friend: Yeah, she didn’t eat though. The puppies wanted in and out all night.
Me: They do that
Me: Did it go any better?
Friend: No, the damn puppies barked at the door all night
Me: Did you let them out? They sleep most of the time outside.
Friend: I wish I had known that
Me: Did you read Elaine’s note?
Friend: I will now
The rest of the trip went fine. When I got home the corrals were six inches deep in uneaten hay. My friend said to me, “I think I may have overfed the llamas and yaks.”
“Naw, you did just fine!”
Anyone want to house sit next year?
Our crazy lives!