A weekend in the heart of Berlin looking after a big family (including a dog with special needs <3)
We just moved from Mexico to Berlin about a month ago, with our full family of 7: Three dogs, two cats, and the two of us. We did not expect it to be so hard and complicated, but we made it. We are kind of starting a complete new life: We both found new jobs here and decided to go for it, although we had to leave pretty much all of our stuff behind. Unfortunately, our senior basset hound girl has not coped too well with the moving. We are currently working on overcoming an anxiety problem she developed after the move. The fact that she is nearly 11 years old makes it harder for her to adapt, and we are training her to learn to be alone little by little. In the meantime, this means that, as a rule, she cannot be left without a human at all, because if left alone, she has panic attacks :-(
I am lucky enough that my employer allows me to take her with me to the office every day, so on a day-to-day we are covered. However, we soon have to travel and need help. At the end of this month we need to leave the city for two consecutive weekends to attend two different family events. We are looking for a sitter that is patient and understanding of an older dog needs, especially one who is scared like ours is. Salchi was my first dog and she has been with me for over a decade now. It is my priority to give her the best quality of life now that she reached an advanced age. Ah yes, we have also two cats and two other dogs. They only require the normal care any other well-behaved dog and cat could need....
Please bear in mind that this is a sitting assignment meant for someone who enjoys spending a calm weekend with lots of stay-at-home time. This is even more ideal if there are two sitters; it will certainly be much easier for a couple. Sadly, we are unable to offer our sitters the possibility of leaving the place without Salchi, so the activities that you can do to enjoy Berlin will have to be dog-friendly (she can travel in the subway and the bus, and we have a stroller in case there's too much walking involved). + More info
Our Home & Location
We live in the heart of the great city of Berlin. Our apartment is located in Mitte, walking distance to city highlights such as the TV tower and Checkpoint Charlie. We are only 200 meters away from the river sidewalk, and there are many parks and open space places to go to and enjoy a good walk. Supermarket is 500mts away, and there are a couple of restaurants, sandwich bars, a bakery an ATM and a dry-cleaners within a block from here.
The apartment is new, and so is the furniture in it, although we haven't finished furnishing it(we don't have a TV, or a couch yet). There are two bedrooms and two complete bathrooms, the place has an elevator and we live in the 4th floor. We have a balcony where you can go out to hang and/or smoke (which is not allowed inside)....
Subway station is 200mts from here and there are different bus lines stopping in the surrounding area. The place has high-speed internet and a desk in case you need to work from here. + More info
Responsibilities & Pets
The most important rule here is:
Salchi (the basset hound) MUST be in the company of a human at ALL times. Please understand that adhering to this rule is crucial for her well-being as she really handles it very bad if she is left alone. It can be a bit of a challenge, so it would be ideal if the sitter is joined by someone who can stay with her while the other one goes to the supermarket, gets a pizza, etc. If you need to go somewhere where dogs are allowed you can take her with you, but please bear in mind that she walks slowly and will get tired soon. We do have a strolling car so that if you feel like going out to give a long walk, you can walk the younger two and take Salchi in the strolling car.
The daily routine looks like this:
Morning: Feed the cats. Take the dogs out for a walk of 20-30 minutes. The two younger ones can hold it all night, but the Salchi will go to the designated area for peeing in the guest bathroom. This means that this area has to be cleaned on a daily basis. :-/ After the walk they will have breakfast....
Evening: Feed the cats. Sitter 1 stays with Salchi at home while Sitter 2 takes the younger dogs out for a long walk. They are very active so they need to get tired. Ideally they need to walk 50-60minutes if not they will start misbehaving as they need to let the energy out. After the walk they will have dinner. Fish the rocks out of the cat sandbox (they pee outside if the sanbox gets too clustered).
Salchi is also taking an anxiety medication 3 times a day, which needs to be given to her creatively (using ham, tomato, treats etc. to hide them). + More info
October 2015 | Patrick