A Dramatic Family Reunion

For about two years, I was the caretaker of a little girl that belonged to a family friend. We would take care of her roughly three to four days a week and had to regularly deal with her parents who were split up. It was difficult dealing with them because they didn’t get along at all and stress seemed to always be heightened. If she would get a scraped knee, or a bruise, I always felt like I had to have this explanation to prove everything because her parents were hyper-vigilant. Living in the country, you just expect that your kids are going to have injuries sometimes from running around in the woods or getting into things. In general, kids get injuries no matter where they live. I finally decided that after two years of babysitting, I needed to stop. I told her parents that they would have to find someone else for a caretaker because I couldn’t handle the stress anymore and felt that I needed to concentrate on my own life and children. I decided at that point that I didn’t want to be responsible for someone else’s child anymore.

Then, last September, our dog Cynder had puppies. Those who follow my posts know that we kept one puppy (Bowie), and the other two have homes not far from ours. When Fig was purchased, his owner mentioned letting us see him again and I finally got the text last week asking if we wanted to dog sit for the weekend. The kids were elated and after discussing it with my husband, we decided it would be okay. We were going to see Fig again! How lucky could we be?

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Baby Fig with Rambo the cat.

When Fig arrived, it was as I thought–Cynder remembered him and it didn’t take Bowie long either. They did their sniffing and it was like old times again. The only issue was Winston (dad), because he never really got to bond with the puppies like Cynder and the other litter mates did. We decided for safety we would keep Winston away from Fig for the weekend–which was difficult–but it worked out okay. It was wonderful having the family together again, minus Lotus of course.

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Fig seemed to remember my oldest son the most. He kept giving him hugs and kisses.

From Thursday morning until Saturday morning, the pups ran and played in pure happiness. Fig is so massively energetic and cannot be slowed down. We were out on the trails and he was consistently meeting with our outdoor cats and looking for something to get into. He always loved the outdoor cats and our two 10-year-old cats (Rambo and Ishmael) still remembered him. They were best buds before he left and here they were having a wonderful reunion. All was well.

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Saturday morning we were hanging out in the living room and the kids pointed out that Fig had some blood on his left shoulder. It didn’t look so bad and I glanced at it thinking it wasn’t a big deal. As more time went by, I noticed that he was licking it more and it seemed to be getting worse. I got a closer look at it and it looked like a laceration about one inch long and seemed to be growing. I could actually see that the skin was completely separated. I immediately contacted his owner to let him know that we found a cut on him and I explained that I would clean it and keep an eye on it.

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Things seemed to get worse pretty fast. It started to bleed a little more and he seemed to be in distress. I noticed his breathing had picked up and he wasn’t wanting to get up and play anymore. I began to worry and thought there was no way I was going to send him home like this and risk infection. From the picture it doesn’t seem to be very bad, but after inspecting it more closely, it was a gaping wound and I could tell it was going to need to be closed. I started calling around to vets and because it was Saturday, most were closed. I found an animal hospital close to an hour away that could see him, the issue was I had to leave that instant. They were going to close at 2 pm and I didn’t have much time.

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My youngest son and I were on the way and I didn’t take the road closures into consideration. We had massive flooding last week and it became difficult to navigate. I ended up trying to drive down a closed road which was open to local traffic only, only to find that the next road that I needed to use adjacent to it was completely flooded. Not only that, there was a state police officer present and he decided to follow me the rest of the way to the animal hospital. I felt like I was on high alert. If I were to get pulled over now, I wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time. Luckily, I got there fifteen minutes before closing and they were willing to take him in.

The doctor came in to see him and knew right away that he was going to need stitches. The cut was bad enough that she couldn’t just give him staples, she had to do stitches and this would require sedation. I hurried outside to call his owner, who didn’t even know we were there at that point, to see if he would be okay with sedation drugs. I explained the cut was worse than I thought and the doctor told us that it would definitely not heal on its own. He said okay and Fig went into surgery. It only took about forty minutes or so and now he was being sent home with a plastic cone, pain medication, and antibiotics. In the end it ended up costing right around $240 out of my pocket.

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On the way home Fig got sick about four times. He was still falling asleep because of the meds and breathing weird. I’m not going to lie–I was worried about him all the way home. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that Fig wasn’t my dog anymore. If this were my dog, I don’t think I would be as stressed out. Fig belonged to someone else and I was in the position of responsibility for someone else’s loved possession once more–a position I said I wouldn’t put myself back into again.

We got Fig home and set up in a pen that would keep him separated from the other dogs. He was hating his cone, but pretty much slept for a few more hours as the medication wore off.

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I contacted his owner to give him an update. He let me know that he would be picking up Fig the next day when he was done with his business trip. He didn’t appear to be overly angry or anything, but I could tell that he was a little perturbed. Who wouldn’t be, right? I never once thought that we would be dealing with this. I mean, accidents happen, but why did it have to be Fig? After talking with my friend about it, I felt a little better. I also called my mom to let her know and she said, “Things happen in the country and he’s a dog.” It’s true that we’ve had minor injuries with the kids and animals before, but we’ve never had any injuries quite this bad. We’ve luckily never had a broken bone or cut that’s required stitches. Regardless, I feel like I did the right thing by taking him in to the vet. I certainly wouldn’t want to send him home and risk infection with this wound like it was. I would rather be safe than sorry.

I sent a text to his owner yesterday and he sent me a brief update. He was short and didn’t reply to my second message, but I understand. I don’t think he’ll be sending Fig to visit anymore, but I’m happy for the time that we had with him. I gave him big squeezes before he left and I know he still loves us. ❤ He should get his stitches out in five days or so and he’s on the road to recovery.

This whole ordeal has set me back a bit because my body doesn’t deal with stress well. Even good stress causes me to have a few days of chronic fatigue with aches and pains. Luckily, it only lasted for a few days and I’m feeling better now. However, I’m reminding myself, once more, that I don’t ever want to be in this position again.


What do you think? Have you ever been responsible for someone else’s child or pet and had an accident?

 

46 thoughts on “A Dramatic Family Reunion

  1. Nel

    I’ve definitely never been responsible for anyone else’s kid. At least not yet. As for pets, I have been responsible for people’s pets especially from working in so many kennels and doggy day cares. I’ve only experienced my share of scrapes and bruises and even death so I think I’ve just grown a bit of a stronger understanding when it comes to things happening with dogs cause they’re so rambunctious. I’d probably do it again though and I think Fig’s owner might surprise you in the future. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So true, Nel. He is very rambunctious, even more than our Bowie. Tons of energy! I probably couldn’t say no to him if he did ask us to watch him again. I love that pup so much. I just don’t know if the stress is worth it, if you know what I mean. I tell myself no way now, but maybe down the road I’ll feel better about it. I thank you so much for your support, Nel. You are wonderful and loved. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. starjustin

    I personally think the owner should be ecstatic that you did the responsible action to take care of Fig. I’m sure, even though the money is not the principal importance, he will pay much less getting the stitches removed. As you said Jen, a lesson learned. Fig is ok again and that’s all that matters now. 🐾

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree. I think he appreciates that we took him in and we did cover the bill ourselves. I’m really glad that he’s okay. I know it could’ve been much worse. Thanks so much for all your support, Mom! I needed it. ❤ Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg that’s so scary! I’m never had that happen to me and hopefully never will. The most I’ve had happen was my best friend (we lived together at the time) was out of town so I kept an eye on her cat. I woke up from a nap one day to see him bleeding from his mouth. I called her to see if she needed me to whisk him away to the vet but she put the pedal to the medal and raced home to take him herself. Unfortunately that’s when we found out he had an ulcer and kidney failure.

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  4. Ooh … nasty business that. Amazing how owners can ask others to take responsibility for ‘their’ children and pets and then get narky when something goes wrong. It’s probably best just to say ‘No thanks’ next time – once bitten and all that. Glad that Fig is okay now – and you too of course.

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    1. I totally agree. He was polite when he came to pick him up and everything went well, but I could tell that he was annoyed. I can’t blame him though. I will definitely think twice and take this as another lesson. I’m glad Fig is okay though, the poor guy. He is sweet. ❤ Thank you, Renee!

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  5. Let me start by saying YOU ARE AMAZING and I WOULD TRUST YOU WITH MY CHILDREN/GRANDCHILDREN/PETS! You did an outstanding job taking care of Fig. I hope his owner will see and understand this and thank you for being a wonderful and caring sitter. I use to work at a animal hospital and understand the stress of being responsible for other peoples pets and dealing with the owners unexpected or unique behavior.

    Take care of yourself and your sweet family. Overall, I’m glad everyone got to enjoy Fig’s family reunion. HUGS

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh Robin, you are so sweet. Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate it so much!! In the end, it was so much fun aside from the drama on Saturday. I’m thankful we had the time with him. Stay blessed and hugs back!! ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That is just awful! I am so glad you took him to the vet and cared for him like you would have if it were Bowie! Fig’s owner should be grateful not angry! I know when we were kids and got hurt when not at home my mom knew it was our fault and not the person’s watching us! Kids and pets get hurt! Its part of life!

    The closest story I have to this is I was babysitting three really drunk adult men (I was the DD) They were getting feisty and one was trying to pick fights at the bar. I successfully got them all home safely but then they decided to wrestle. One guy (call him B) was put in a headlock by another man (A). B decided to get out of the headlock by pulling his head out with brute force and almost tore his ear off. It was split completely open along the back where it connects to the head. I told them we need to go to the hospital. B couldn’t see it because it was his ear and he didn’t really care, but A kept telling me that B was fine and didn’t need to go to the ER. Luckily the third guy (D) agreed with me. After a bunch of convincing I finally got B and D into the car (A stayed home because he was angry and still didn’t think B needed to go) On the way to the hospital I had to call B’s wife and tell her I was taking him to the ER. I felt so bad because she was at a concert. She was willing to leave and meet us their but I managed to convince her to stay and have fun and that I would take care of it. I felt so bad, but she was super understanding (plus they were adult men so there was only so much I could do haha) At the ER the Dr told me I did the right thing and that he definitely need to get it closed up so that helped too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that had to be hard dealing with drunk men! I can say I haven’t been in that position before, well at least not with that many. I know how difficult it can be though. Good that you took him in! 💜

      I guess it made me feel irresponsible that Fig got hurt as if I wasn’t watching him. I mean I still don’t even know how it happened and that’s probably what made me feel the worst, but you’re right, kids and dogs get hurt. I’m over it now and just glad that he’s on the mend.

      I appreciate your comment! Thanks for the support and for sharing your experience. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my goodness Michenko you’re an angel! I’ve never been responsible for anyone’s children other than an evening babysitting here and there but that definitely can’t be compared to your work. I can only imagine the heightened stress that much have come along with it. You’ve done an excellent job taking care of Fig and treating him as your own. I’m so glad all is well now and I hope everything calms down for you soon! ❤ ❤
    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jen, you’re such a kind person. I wouldn’t ever agree to be a child’s caretaker, and though I have dogsat for a dear friend several times, she also understands that things sometimes happen. I would imagine that, once Fig’s dad has some time to process and get used to everything, he will realize that it was not your fault, and that yes, sometimes animals and kids get into messes and scrapes. The fact that you paid for Fig’s procedure from your own pocket and cared for him shows that you are a a truly decent person, and if Fig’s dad is too, then he’ll realize this was completely an accident. God bless you for taking on the responsibility of someone else’s kid, and someone else’s dog. I hope sweet Bowie is well, and I’ll be sending happy vibes to Fig. And hugs to you. Try not to feel badly, though I’m sure your kind heart is bothering you. You’re a good person and you did the right thing, and if having second thoughts about taking care of another person’s child or dog is the result, so be it. There is only so much we can do for others in this world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Vanessa. You always have the best advice and I appreciate your kind words. ❤ I felt like I was doing the right thing by taking him in and that made me feel better, but I still felt so guilty because the injury happened when he was here and I'm still not aware of how it happened in the first place. I think part of him understood and then the other part he was just irritated with the situation. I totally agree with what you're saying about how there is only so much we can do for others. I know I won't go back to babysitting, at least on a regular basis.

      Bowie is doing very well. Thanks so much for your support. I appreciate you so much. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so sorry you went through all this. What a nightmare for you. But I have to say, as a dog owner who is extremely picky about who I leave my dog with, I would feel completely comfortable having you watch my dog after that!!! You went above and beyond to make sure the dog was taken care of, stressing yourself out probably more than his owner would have. Things happen, it’s knowing that the person who has them will do everything possible to take care of them when something does happen that is a comfort. That could have happened on a walk with his owner, just as easy. But, I would never have let you pay the vet bill. You did your part! It’s the owner’s responsibility to pay the bill. It’s not like you hit the dog and caused the injury. See this is why Dog daycare places, and professional dog sitters, have insurance and contracts and stuff. I’m so sorry. It turned such a nice time into a completely stressful time. Sending hugs your way sweetie!!😘❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Donna, thank you so much! That’s so nice of you to say that. It lifts me up. I guess I felt responsible for him because he was under my care. I believe had I asked his owner to pay that he would have, but I just wouldn’t feel right about it. I think having insurance is the way to go and I contemplated this when I was caring for the little girl because anything could happen and I’ve read some real horror stories of people getting sued by parents due to injuries which is why I made the best choice for me by letting that go. I appreciate all your thoughts, Donna. You’re always so helpful. Thank you! ❤ Hugs!

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  10. So sorry you had to go through all that! You definitely made the right call taking Fig to the vet. Accidents happen, but luckily Fig was in good hands. 🙂
    The photo with the little pups and Rambo is too cute for words. ❤ Such a sweet picture. Despite all the stress, that's really nice that you guys got to have a nice little reunion. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh gosh, Jenn!! How awful!! Accidents happen, and that was definitely not your fault. You went way beyond what most other people would have done by taking Fig to the vet and paying the bill. I would be thanking you 1000x over and paying you back! I’m so sorry this turned out to be a stressful time 😕 I’d let you watch my dog or kids, no questions asked. I know you’d never hurt them and you are too kind hearted to let them suffer if they are hurt…you proved that. I know it’s hard not to stress over, but try not to. You might be surprised and Fig gets to come back! Hugs!! Lots of love! ❤❤😘❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thanks, Stephanie! I’m doing just fine and I’m over the stress of the weekend. I’m glad he’s healing and I do hope we’ll get to see him again, but maybe this time well visit him! 😄 Thanks for your positive comment, Stephanie. You’re a great friend and I appreciate your support. 💜 I hope you’re doing well and I’ll be answering your other comments today. Sorry I’m behind! 😉 Hugs! Xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! I’m glad you’re feeling better about it! I would have felt the same way you did, and I would have been freaking out too! I hope you can see him again. Aww, of course you have my support! I’m hanging in there…it’s a migraine day, woohoo! LOL! Every day brings some kind of excitement my way, so I might as well be positive. Don’t worry about being behind! You can’t be as behind as I am…and it’s fine!You take care of you..hugs! Much love! ❤ xoxoxo

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so sorry that happened to you, it must have been really responsible… as you might know, I have never been a caretaker nor raised any kids, so I can only guess, but I did have a situation where my older nephew had his hand caught in the door and he began to wail so hard… I was totally perturbed and perplexed, but my sister-in-law didn’t get angry. But all the same, I felt so bad… so I can only guess how stressful it must have been for you, but I am happy that you and your kids had a great time with Fig!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww! He for his hand caught in a door? That’s the worst. Kids and dogs do have accidents for sure.

      We had a great time despite the injury and I still feel very lucky to have had our visit. Thank you! 💖💜💖 Hope all is well!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I used to work at a doggy daycare, where the dogs played together in a big play yard. Our job, when in the yards, was to keep everyone calm and happy. Sometimes, the dogs would get rough, but generally, we never had issues. One particular time (not long before I put my two weeks in), I was alone in the yard with about 10 dogs. Two dogs got aggressive with each other. We were trained to spary the dogs with a hose to get them to split, if that didn’t work, we were to do what we could to get them apart. Luckily, the water did the trick and my coworkers weren’t too far away. Both dogs had some cuts, and because I was in the yard, I had to explain what happened to each of the owners. I didn’t do anything wrong, I did everything I was supposed to do, but unfortunately accidents happen. It was just a crappy feeling to know two dogs under my watch went home injured.

    Glad to hear Fig is okay. You did everything right and I’m sure the owner will cool down with time and realize this. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry you has to deal with that! Dog fights are so difficult to deal with. This is exactly how I felt because it happened under my watch just as you say. Plus the injury just made me feel bad. I’m fine now and I’m still happy that we got to see him, I’m just not sure if I want to be in this position again. 💜

      I don’t think his owner is super mad or anything, but mainly just irritated with the situation. Thanks for sharing your story! I appreciate it so much, Jessica. 😊 Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Poor little guy. I’m right with you on it being too much stress to take on these days. I could probably think of a ton of different situations in the past though that might make you feel a little better. How about the time I left my 7 goldfish with a sitter and returned to be told they ALL died?? Really?? And only a half hearted apology. Or there was the time I was housesitting and the roof leaked and their entire kitchen ceiling was on the floor when I walked in, talk about a freak out moment. I could go on and on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, how did the goldfish all die? Wow the roof caved? Yeah, I totally get it. I mean, stuff happens, but I just don’t think I want to be in that position anymore. At least not with living things. 😊

      Thanks for sharing your stories, Carrie. 💙 Take care…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And that my friend is a mystery I wish I knew. As I said we barely got an apology when returning and I know they were just goldfish but I’d had them for almost two years without an incident until that week. Was just a bit hard to believe they all went of old age at the same time like that.

        And as for the other, the roof had a leak that dripped down onto the ceiling in the kitchen which caused that to fall, the roof didn’t actually fall but still, plaster and whatnot all over the floor when entering completely freaked me out but they just shrugged it off as no big deal since they were remodeling anyway when we finally got a hold of them. Stressful indeed.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, that is wild! I’m so sorry you had to go through that and then in turn not even get an explanation. People have the gall I tell you. Glad the roof deal worked out though. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your stories, Carrie. ❤ Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Jen, you are such a sweet, caring person. You did so much for Fig because you loved him without even thinking about the cost to you in both your pocket and your health. The owner should have been over the moon that you cared so much. I agree with you, it is hard to take responsibility for someone else’s child or furbaby. They get stressed if something happens, then you get stressed etc. I have only cared for my relatives or thier pets. My daughter’s dog did get hurt once here, he got cut on something, but he really didn’t need medical care. As my son and his family take care of my dog Bigg while I am in Florida, I reassured them that if something happened to him, he is almost 16, I will not blame them. They are loving him and taking care of him as best they can and that is all anyone can expect. Just keep being who you are.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you, Carla. 💜 You always lift me up! 😊

    I probably stress more than the average person and I’m working on that. It just figures that this happened on my watch and I just don’t think I want to be in this position again. I think the fact that we don’t really know his owner made it difficult too.

    It’s wonderful that you have family to care for Bigg. I’m sure he’s going to be super excited to see you when you get home! ❤

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    1. Thank you, Teri! It was worth all the drama for sure. I’m feeling better about it now, but I’m unsure if we’ll be seeing him again. I at least have a clear conscious. I appreciate your thoughts. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, Shalini, and I’ll be thinking twice next time. It just figured it had to happen here–not that it would’ve better somewhere else–but just not on my watch. Thanks so much for checking out the post. Sorry it took me long to get to your comment. I appreciate it. ❤

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