Help a Sick Friend – Walk Their Dog!

So it is a fact of life that someday we, or one of our friends will get sick – sick enough that they cannot take care of or walk their dogs.  I never really thought about this until recently when a great friend of mine got sick.  She is fortunate enough to have a loving, caring husband that was able to handle everything.  But it would have been nice if he had some help with “the dog”.

I knew her husband would take care of the dog because he loves the dog too, but I did not think about the details behind him caring for the dog.  They do not have a fenced in yard so they really need to walk the dog multiple times a day so he can relieve himself.   I had offered to come over to walk the dog but I live 45 minutes away so my friend always said “no, it was ok.”  Well it was not ok.  I was really shamed to know her husband was coming home on his lunch (40 miles round trip) to let the dog out.   Yeah, I helped a few times, but it was too little, too late.  So if you have a friend that is sick here are some things you can do to help.

4 Things You Can Do to Help A Sick Friend With a Dog

1) Don’t Assume:  My friend has other friends that live way closer than I do.  I assumed they would walk the dog.  But for whatever reason, for the most part, they did not.  Maybe like me, they asked and were told “no that’s ok, we’re all set”.  Which brings me to the next tip.

2) Don’t take “No that’s ok” for an answer.  Yes, I live 45 minutes away and have a full-time job and pups of my own but I could have made the time on the weekends.  She was saying NO because she knew I lived far away and did not want to put me out.  Put me out? She is a great friend.  I should have just driven over and showed up at her door.  If she did not answer I should have slipped a note under the door saying I was here and I would be back again tomorrow to take her dog out for a walk.

3) Contact all common friends to develop a work plan.  What I should have done was to call all her friends to develop a plan for who could come walk the dog and when.  If I did not think about helping the dog, maybe they did not either.  By developing a plan we could have come up with a plan we could have given her husband a break and most importantly, put her mind at ease to know both her dog and her husband would be relieved.

4) If you can’t help with walking, see if you can help with a fence.  So when people think of a fence they envision major expenses and lots of time for installation.  But fencing can be easily installed for a relatively small amount.  Home Depot and other big box retailers sell rolls of wire fencing that can be installed in under an hour. So if you can’t help with walking, ask your friend if you can install a fence for them.  Wire fencing is really easy to install and can be a temporary solution.  Alternatively, you can hook together several exercise pens to create a large enough space for the dog to go and relieve himself.

One final thought, the more I think about this problem, the more I think there should be some national registry for people that need help with their dogs because of illness.  So I am asking all the Raising Healthy Dog readers to let me know if they know of some organization I can publicize and refer people in need to.


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