Dear Barb – Hair of the Dog

Dear Barb:
My problem has to do with a dog sitter that I hired to look after my two poodles. My husband and I initially considered putting them in a kennel, but after touring a few, we decided our dogs would not do well. We felt it would be too traumatic for them to adjust at their age, especially with the noise and commotion in a kennel. Then we thought we had found the perfect answer. is a service where people care for dogs in their homes. We set up a meet and greet with a couple of people and chose one. We brought our dogs for a trial visit for a half a day just to see how things would go. One of our dogs did great, the other one shook the whole time and wouldn’t eat or drink. We tried a few more times and even an overnight and Ginger would not eat or drink the entire time. Needless to say we had to find another situation.

A friend of mine then recommended someone that they knew. This is a very good friend whom I have known for years, so I contacted the person recommended. She came over to meet the dogs on three occasions and seemed very capable. Both dogs appeared comfortable with her. So we thought we would attempt an overnight visit. But, to begin with, she was 40 minutes late arriving, but I thought, “Well, no big deal.” That evening I got three or four silly emails from her, but thought she just wanted to keep me up to date. When we arrived home the next day the house was dark and she was getting up from lying on the sofa and said she was resting. When I got close to her I could smell alcohol. Then I asked her how the bed downstairs was and she said she had a couple of glasses of wine and fell asleep on the sofa. I said oh did you bring some wine, she said no I drank yours. I was shocked, but didn’t say anything. My husband said she should have known by the look on my face I was not happy. I had an unopened box of wine in my fridge that she opened and generously helped herself to. Everyone I tell this to gets a good laugh out of it. I would never hire her again; I think what she did was totally uncouth! What is your opinion?

Thanks, Wendy.

Hi Wendy:

Quite an unfortunate series of events! Yes, I do think that was impolite to open someone’s wine and help yourself to it. I would have expected her to apologize once she saw your reaction, but since she didn’t, she obviously didn’t see anything wrong with what she did. You could talk to her about it and see what kind of response you get. If you are convinced she is sorry and won’t do it again, you could try another overnight and see how it goes. On the other hand, she may feel you should provide her with alcohol. Then I think you already know what you need to do. Thanks, Wendy for sharing your interesting story.

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