Experienced and confident dog sitter(s) for our people-loving pooch
We are a family of four humans and one canine. We moved to Chengdu, China from a suburban US city in the Fall of 2017 to teach and learn in an international school. I teach Art and my husband teaches History. Our kiddos are loving international schooling, and we have savored exploring our new city. We hope to begin exploring other regions of Asia during our school breaks, which is how you find our listing here today.
Our beloved pet AnnaDog is still adjusting to city life. While she loves humans, other dogs stress her out. We'd love to welcome a sitter who can keep life as normal as possible for her while we're gone. She's accustomed to our coming and going, but loves a good greeting and a walk or trip to the patio when we return from our outings.
Our Home & Location
Chengdu, China is the fourth largest city in China, with 15 million residents. We live in the neighborhood called "American Gardens" just outside of the third ring of downtown. We live in a sixth-story walk-up in a gated complex (though it's worth mentioning this is an incredibly safe city as a whole). Our apartment is a two story 4 br/ 2 ba. We use one of the bedrooms for a playroom, though we can move furniture and set it up for a king sized bed if needed. There is one other king-sized bed, a double bed, and a twin bed. They are all hard mattresses to our standards, but we have pillow toppers to soften. We have a small kitchen and laundry area with westerner comforts like a small oven and a clothes dryer. There are a/c units in every room and air purifiers in most (though these are not needed in warmer months). Two of the bedrooms have small balconies to overlook the neighborhood, and we have a rooftop patio as well.
The neighborhood has a lot of local cuisine and ample vegetable/ fruit shops and pharmacies. There is even a bakery and coffee shop we love. Chengdu itself has excellent public transit via bus or metro, and bike and ride-sharing options around the clock. There is an active nightlife, and plenty of daytime fun for families. The highlights we enjoy most are the various markets, parks, and temples, and of course the pandas! Chengdu is the heart of Sichuan cuisine, making it a Unesco gastronomical city. People are friendly, and the pace of life is a little slower than comparably-sized cities....
There are not many English-speaking residents, but most are more than happy to work with translation apps. For those visiting from other counties, we would like to invite you to join us a day or two earlier than our departure, to assist with any comforts and needs you might have. Chengdu is a large and diverse city, with a lot to explore. We continue to stumble on new treasures all the time. + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
WALKS/ POTTY BREAKS: Anna needs a short walk first thing in the morning, and typically get a longer walk in the mid-afternoon/ early evening. She will let you know if she has more business to attend to in the evening before turning in. We also have a "potty spot" on the patio with a patch of grass for times that she needs relief but not a full walk. Though not everyone practices it (so watch your step) we bag and trash her waste.
*When walking Anna, our sitters will need to keep an eye out for dogs and change to the opposite direction if we come across them. She is sometimes dog-aggressive and HATES when other dogs approach her off-collar (quite common in Chengdu). For this reason, we would ask our sitter to use a low-set static collar and remote to break her focus when she engages with another dog in an aggressive way. In our absence (and with a vet's recommendation) we prefer sitters to disengage and redirect her, rather than working on familiarizing Anna with friendlier interactions with dogs (as we do when we are home).
CALMING NORMS: Anna typically puts herself in her crate during downtime, but you will want to latch its door when you leave. If you need to coax her in, a treat and the command "night night" will do the trick. We have found that crating her in our absence keeps her a lot calmer, though she is housebroken. She is always at the ready, and will sometimes rest as guard at the door. Command her away from the door "outta there" and to her pillow with "place" and telling her "safe" if she growls at the next door neighbors* coming and going.
*She has been attacked by the next door neighbor dog twice (leading to her general nervousness here in Chengdu a great deal). we can tell potential sitters more about how we plan to avoid any further problems during their stay in a skype call, but it is important to know that this situation is a touch different, and for experienced sitters specifically....
FOOD AND WATER: We keep her food and water bowls full. She does not overeat when we are home and usually doesn't eat much when we are gone. If you notice she hasn't eaten for a day or two, she has been known to make exceptions to her hunger strike for a boiled egg.
Overall, Anna is simply a sweetie. She loves kids, tends to us like a nurse when we don't feel well, and loves shaking hands and behind the ear scratches. She will clean up crumbs and spills for you, but won't upset trashcans or clothes. After professional training and a few vet opinions, we accept her for the dog-awkward protector that she is, and hope that you'll find her as lovable as we do! + More info
December 2018 | Mark
September 2018 | Sally