As every dog owner soon discovers, there are times when you just can’t be home to take care of your beloved pet. Whether it’s a long overdue vacation or a short weekend getaway, an overnight business trip or overtime hours at work, the question is always the same: What do I do about my dog? For some dog owners, a reliable kennel provides the solution, but others prefer a more personalized approach.
Enter the dog sitter.
Better yet, enter the dog sitter who takes the time to record his dog-sitting exploits in a journal, capturing the ups and downs, trials and errors, joys and sorrows of caring for the precious creatures entrusted to him by their owners.
Rockford freelance writer (and former dog sitter) Steve Trott has recently published the running account of a two-year stretch taking care of other people’s canine companions. “One Dog Gone After Another: Diary of a Dog Sitter” documents the lives of the dogs he came to know and love over the course of those two years. They include Duncan, an energetic Sheltie whose mission in life is to herd cars; Buster and Scout, the “odd couple” golden retrievers; Brimstone, a dog with a broken spirit, living in a broken home; tiny Liz and Mike, who, along with the family cat, shared the author’s bed each night; Kodak, a memory only, whose ashes he helped bury one golden autumn afternoon; Lucky, rescued (literally) from the floodwaters; and the author’s favorite, a small golden retriever named Hunter, who would eventually become his own, bringing his days as a dog sitter to a happy conclusion.
The journal begins: “I am not the most likely of candidates to write a diary about dogs. To begin with, I’ve never even had a dog of my own; a couple of turtles growing up, the standard goldfish, an aquarium full of guppies shared with the rest of the family, but nothing you could pet or put a leash around.”
Trott describes the book as more than just a diary about dog sitting. “I soon discovered that the diary format lent itself to the inclusion of other dog-related items as well,” he writes. “In a manner similar to my journal-keeping in the past, there were quotations about dogs from books I was reading, dog illustrations from sermons I heard, lines about dogs found in Shakespeare. Dogs were showing up everywhere, even in my dreams, so there are a few of those here as well.”
Trott is a former newspaper writer who has written for magazines and websites. He has previously published three collections of church drama, and has written several locally produced church musicals, including “The Day the Stones Cried Out” (Kentwood Community Church), “Upon A Midnight Clear” (Fair Haven Ministries, Hudsonville), and most recently, “Christmas at Mac’s Diner,” the 2010 Festival of Lights production at Calvary Church in Grand Rapids. He also sidelines writing or editing people’s life stories, putting their memories and memorabilia into a format that can be treasured by posterity.
“One Dog Gone After Another” can be ordered at Amazon.com and other retailers. Trott is also making the book available to area veterinarian clinics and kennels, arranging to share the proceeds with the clinics themselves, the Humane Society, or other dog-friendly causes. Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.SteveTrottOnLine.com.