for your granddog can be a win-win.
she and her husband might have grandchildren, said Lyn
Hathaway. In the meantime, the Rocky Mount, N.C., couple
has their "granddogs" Theodore and Reagan.
is their daughter Madelyn Gallagher’s 3-year-old pug.
Reagan is daughter Lacy Gallagher’s 4-year-old beagle.
the daughters work, their dogs stay together at one of
their Raleigh, N.C., homes. When their "moms"
leave town for vacations or business trips, though, the
dogs stay with the Hathaways.
all lie on the futon on our porch and watch the wildlife
in the backyard," Hathaway said of her charges,
plus her three dachshunds and one foxhound. Although
Reagan doesn’t dig at home, she teams with one of the
dachshunds for backyard excavations at Hathaway’s
house. "It’s just a thing those two do
together," said Hathaway.
young adults are having children later and marrying
later, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
and children may not be on their horizon, but canine
companionship is. About 74 percent of millennials (ages
19 to 35) have dogs, according to the American Pet
Products Association. Their dogs affect their life
joke that our dogs must like people we choose as
boyfriends or girlfriends, but it’s true," said
Cory Smith, director of pet protection and policy at the
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). "We
hear from a lot of couples who met at dog parks because
that’s where they found other ‘dog people.’"
dynamics affect their careers too. "If an employer
allows you to bring your dog to work, like HSUS does,
the millennials want to work there," said Smith.
"And, we choose jobs that allow us to be near our
parents if they dog-sit for us."
for your granddog is a win-win, especially when Mom and
Dad can no longer have dogs of their own.
last family dog, a Lhasa Apso, died at age 17,"
said retiree George Maskaly of Carteret, N.J. "I’m
too old to have another one for that long. It wouldn’t
be fair to the dog."
sits for his daughter Michelle Maskaly’s dogs, an
8-year-old Chihuahua named Toby and 1-year-old terrier
mix named Maddux. At least once a month, Michelle drives
the duo three hours to her dad’s house, or he drives
to her Lake George, N.Y., home.
get all the benefits without the vet bills," said
the elder Maskaly.
admits he caters to his buddies. "Toby has to sleep
on something fleece," he said. "If there’s
no fleece blanket around, a fleece jacket will do."
He equipped the front of his kayak with a rubber mat so
the dogs can ride with him instead of staying home.
all about peace of mind, said Lori Dowling, a Mt.
Lebanon, Pa., homemaker who takes her 8-year-old
poodle-cocker spaniel, Lacey, to her parents’ house
before she leaves town.
don’t worry because I know she’s safe and happy with
them," said Dowling of her folks, retirees John and
Donna Viehman, also of Mt. Lebanon. "They adore her
and she follows my dad everywhere."
two-legged grandkids, granddogs learn that different
households have different rules.
home, 9-year-old China, an English mastiff, sleeps in
her dog bed. While her mom is out of town, though, she
climbs into bed with her "grandma," Lori
Barnes, a Bonney Lake, Wash., authors’ advocate.
"There’s nothing like having your nose buried in
her fur," she said.
knows her routine at Barnes’ house, where she’s the
center of attention.
go to the dog park, then to McDonald’s drive-through
for a treat," said Barnes. "When the ice cream
man comes, she gets in line with the neighbor kids and
takes her turn like the well-mannered young lady she
Barnes has company, China patrols the perimeter of her
2-acre lot "to make sure there are no bad guys
trying to get in," said Barnes. "Then, if one
of the kids strays, she herds them back in."
home in New York City, Stanley, a terrier mix, is a city
dude, used to brisk walks with his humans, Jeremy
Whiteman and Marsha Ignatyeva. When they travel, though,
Stanley spends hours leisurely inspecting his country
digs (Whiteman’s mom’s home in Toms River, N.J.).
only problem is our dog door, which scares him,"
said Lynette Whiteman, who also sits for another son’s
dog, Guthrie. "He gets right behind one of my dogs
so he can run through before the flap comes down."
Between Stanley’s visits, Whiteman’s dogs don’t
touch the toy stash he keeps at her house.
your parents are your dog’s sitters, "choose a
breed that matches your lifestyle and your parents’
lifestyle," said Smith. "You may be able to
keep a border collie exercised because you’re a
runner, but he may be too high-energy for your
the homeowners’ association (HOA) covenants at both
homes. "If they say ‘no dogs more than 30 pounds,’
get on the HOA board and change it because it’s
backward," said Smith. "Tiny dogs are the ones
who are noisy and scratch the door while you’re gone.
Larger breeds are couch potatoes. They nap."
you and your parents learn dog training together with
your dog, said Clare Reece-Glore, a Durham, N.C., dog
train your dog so the crate is her home away from home
when you’re gone, said Reece-Glore. "Done right,
the crate is her refuge, not somewhere she goes to be
punished," she said.
schedule vacations until your dog is potty trained and
past the chewing stage. Accidents on the carpet and
gnawed shoes are a lot for your parents to tolerate.
an extra dog tag that has your sitter’s name and phone
number. If your dog was "chipped," (implanted
with a seed-sized chip under her skin) call the chip
registry to add the sitter’s identification. Then, if
an animal control officer picks up the dog, she will use
a scanner to read the chip.
your dog’s harness, collar and two leashes so your
parents have extra security when they walk her and she
decides to chase a squirrel," said Smith.
your parents if your dog becomes a shivering wreck when
she hears thunder. Wraps like the ThunderShirt comfort
some dogs, but others want to be cuddled until the storm
anyone doubt the dogs like visiting their grandparents,
it’s time to go home, she hides behind the pillar in
my living room," said Barnes. "She thinks if
she can’t see us, we can’t see her, but we can see
everything but her face. All 180 pounds of her."