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How Would (Do) You Handle This?

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  • How Would (Do) You Handle This?

    I have recenty moved into an apartment building in which there lives a dog. Well, lots of dogs live here (and cats) but this dog's owner is away most weekends and various tenants volunteer to walk the dog.
    I got "volunteered" to walk the dog one day a week because I couldn't come up with a quick enough reason as to why I couldn't.

    I like dogs. But one reason I do not have one is that they have to be walked.

    I walked the dog my first assigned time. All went well. Next weekend dog's owner was home so I was off. Next weekend I had plans during my "shift" but offered to walk dog early. Dog-sitter said, oh, no, walk dog later, when you get home. I went to dog-sitter's apartment to get dog; no one was in.
    I walked dog my next shift.
    This weekend, I got a message saying dog was at a substitute dog-sitter's apartment; pick dog up there. I showed up; no one was in. I left a note, and a phone message saying I'd shown up.

    OK, so my question is, would you keep on the list to walk the dog? Or think up some regular weekend activity which prevents you from taking your shift, and say, "oh, dear, I'm so sorry but that's the only free time I had on weekends and I just can't take another shift!" I mean, two out of four times I show up and no one is home and I really had other plans the second time.

    Yes, I'm looking for a way out. But should I just keep taking my turn?

    I will NEVER "volunteer" to dog-sit!
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

  • #2
    Do you WANT to walk the dog? Or spend time with it, really, at all?

    If the answer is no, then bow out gracefully. Life is too short to do something over and over that you're not interested in.

    If you enjoy taking the dog out and spending time with it, then continue and enjoy it.

    Just living in an apartment complex with a dog does not mean that you are now responsible for a portion of it's care. (Unless, oddly, that's in your lease!)

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    • #3
      I would hope it wasn't in your lease! Did you read the fine print?! (':

      It isn't your dog, you should not be responsible for it. I feel sorry for the dog though, for being in that situation. It sounds like the dog owner doesn't deserve to own his dog.. But what can you do...

      That being said, you are doing a very generous thing - so are your co-inhabitants - I've never heard of people "volunteering" to walk a dog that is not theirs. If it makes you happy, keep doing it. If it's not worth your while, then its' not worth your while. You say you're looking for a way out - tell them it isn't your dog and you can't be bothered with it. You shouldn't lie about it.

      EDIT: If it were me, I would have made it very clear that the dog does not deserve to be "swapped around on weekends" because the owner isn't around - and the owner needs to either start taking him wherever he goes on weekends or find the pooch a new loving, attentive home. Obviously, you need to maintain a good relationship with your suitemates/apartment-mates, so this approach may not be desirable - but it should still be articulated in some format.
      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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      • #4
        Just say "NO". Tell them, I'm sorry but I don't own a dog because I don't want to rearrange my life to take care of one. And if you want to be nice hand him a list of names of professional dog walkers/doggie daycare.

        Don't let people walk all over you. People can only take advantage of you if you let them. It's not mean to say no to that.

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        • #5
          Screw graceful, I'd flat out tell the "owner" that it's their dog and they need to make the proper arrangements to care for said dog or find an appropriate home for the dog. You are not the dogs owner, you are not being paid for this, this is not your job. Why the heck do they have a dog to begin with?!
          The one good thing about repeating your mistakes is that you know when to cringe.

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          • #6
            I am so baffled that this owner has conned everyone in the complex into free pet care!

            Yes, get yourself off that list! If you'd like, feel free to tell dead beat owner "Sure, I'll walk your dog, but I charge $15 a visit."

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            • #7
              Unfortunately, I think this is one of those uncomfortable situations where you just need to say, "I am sorry, but I cannot help you." You don't need to offer a reason as to why you cannot walk the dog - just say no. I've never heard of this situation before. It's very weird, but if you do not want to do it, don't do it.

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              • #8
                Get a broken record answer ready, so then when ever you are approached by anyone at anytime, no matter how unaware you are caught, your ready. Use the same answer every time. Gee I'm sorry (insert name) but I am booked up and just dont have a spare second. Keep it up till the tenant population realizes your a no go. Personally I think its rude to not value your time like that, when after all, time is one of the most valuable thing we have.
                Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sudden onset dog allergies?

                  Or Just Say No. Take your pick.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What a weird situation. How did this dog's owner manage to recruit all the neighbors into providing free pet care? There are dog walking services, after all....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      No is a complete sentence, but if you don't want to just say no, say "I'm sorry, it's just not convenient."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by carp View Post
                        What a weird situation. How did this dog's owner manage to recruit all the neighbors into providing free pet care? There are dog walking services, after all....
                        Right Carp?! My thoughts too.. what a generous populace.

                        OP, I would encourage you to tell the truth and tell them why - otherwise they'll find some OTHER sap to do it for them. It really isn't your responsibility and you shouldn't be guilted into it!
                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                        • #13
                          You don't *need* a reason.
                          Just say no.
                          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            The dog's owner works in the apartment office and I really can't afford to antagonize anyone in the office. I CAN afford the rent here.

                            Maybe one reason he's gone so much on weekends is that he just wants to get away from the place!

                            I know some of the other "volunteers" get tired of doing it but for all I know they feel the same obligation. Others, I think, actually enjoy walking the dog.

                            It's a sweet dog, no personality to speak of and overweight, and part of me wishes I could take him on 5-mile walks to get some of the weight off (both of us) but I am not up to 5-mile walks and wouldn't want to walk him at all in rain/bitter cold.
                            Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
                            People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
                            "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It would be "no" for me. The apartment complex worker can't require you to give free pet care for his dog. He needs to make better arrangements(like paying a pet sitter or better yet, take the dog with him). Don't make excuses, just say no, not able to do it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This is why I never liked splitting even PAID jobs with another pet sitter.

                                You're being inconvenienced. Too many cooks in the kitchen.

                                If you really WANTED to walk the dog, that would be one thing. Lots of options there. But you don't. So just say no. Just let the guy know that you're sorry, but this isn't working out. It's inconsistent and inconvenient when you don't know when/if/where the dog will be.
                                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  It seems like some weird social experiment, doesn't it? I'm sorry the office tenant guy is taking advantage of everyone.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Where is the apt complex manager? Does s/he know about this arrangement? Or is the freeloader the manager? Then go to corporate, confidentially.

                                    I am as gobsmacked as the other posters. And sorta wish I had this manipulative talent. Not really. I pay a pro dog walker!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                                      Where is the apt complex manager? Does s/he know about this arrangement? Or is the freeloader the manager? Then go to corporate, confidentially.

                                      I am as gobsmacked as the other posters. And sorta wish I had this manipulative talent. Not really. I pay a pro dog walker!
                                      Really, does the owner/manager know about this? It really sounds like the dog's owner is abusing his/her position of relative power to "draft" tenants into taking care of their responsibilities to their own dog. That's really sleazy.

                                      I love dogs, I do have them and I VOLUNTEER to walk an older neighbor's Pit, as I love the dog and it's fun. I would, not, however, be happy at being coerced into doing a good deed. It's even more of a problem that you are being inconvencied while semi-voluntarily providing this free service, since the dog isn't always where it is supposed to be when you go to walk it.

                                      Argh, I can't get over how the selfish and entitled way this dog's owner is behaving. Asking you to go pick the dog up somewhere else at the last minute?!? Just bizarre.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Wellspotted View Post
                                        The dog's owner works in the apartment office and I really can't afford to antagonize anyone in the office. I CAN afford the rent here.

                                        Maybe one reason he's gone so much on weekends is that he just wants to get away from the place!

                                        I know some of the other "volunteers" get tired of doing it but for all I know they feel the same obligation. Others, I think, actually enjoy walking the dog.

                                        It's a sweet dog, no personality to speak of and overweight, and part of me wishes I could take him on 5-mile walks to get some of the weight off (both of us) but I am not up to 5-mile walks and wouldn't want to walk him at all in rain/bitter cold.
                                        I say this with love. Grow a set.

                                        Seriously. This is not your dog, and you should not be cowed into taking care of this dog because you are afraid of reprisal from a LEASING OFFICE EMPLOYEE.

                                        YOU do not work for HIM. You are the TENANT. If he hints at some sort of retribution, smile sweetly and hand him your lawyer's business card.
                                        Lucy (Precious Star) - 1994 TB mare; happily reunited with her colt Touch the Stars

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