There once was a pup named Griffin. The place that he called home was with his mom and dad, but as the loving parents they are, they didn't want to leave their puppy home alone. And that’s how Griffin and I became quick friends.
People might think I have lost my mind when I refer to the dogs I take care of as my “buddies” and “friends”. But they truly are! We get to hang out together, I give them pets, and they are the best listeners to all my stories. All of my little friends are excited to see me when I go to watch and take care of them, but I am just as excited to see them too!
But Griffin is really one of my special buddies. While I have some other regular dogs I take care of, Griffin was the first one I got to watch grow from a puppy to the adult-ish (he doesn’t act like an adult) dog he is now!
When our visits first started, he was so tiny and would just hop around the front yard on his tie out. Chasing leaves, eating snow, watching the birds - he was happy no matter the season when we played outside! As he got older, his personality really started to shine.
Griffin was a little spoiled when he first came home, getting his own room all to himself. Complete with a kennel and little fence to give him more space! While he would be napping most of the time, it was always a guess as to how he rearranged the fence that day! His parents would set it up so nicely with toys and plenty of space but a few hours later when I showed up he would have the fence in a straight line out of his kennel because he tried moving it around! The door had to stay closed otherwise he would find a way to move the kennel and fence and get stuck halfway through the door!
Now when it comes to Griffin's toys he has plenty to choose from, but his favorite changes from time to time. Whether it be a tennis ball, a stuffed animal, or any of the toys from his BarkBox, he plays his little heart out with each until that fateful day it needs to be “retired” to the trash. One that he especially loved was his hedgehog that he would cuddle with and was actually the only toy that escaped the wrath of the puppy teeth. But eventually, even the hedgehog fell victim to Griffin.
One toy he refuses to play with since he first got it is a large bone shaped plastic squeaky toy. For some reason, he absolutely hates it and wont go near it. It was a toy one of his "aunties" gave him a little before he turned one, and still hates it today! If he was in a cartoon, it would defiantly be his nemesis.
One of his favorite toys that actually survived Griffin's wrath (unfortunately), is his Wobble ball! It makes a horribly loud and annoying noise when you roll it and it is pretty large but from puppyhood to today he still will chase that thing like there is no tomorrow! When he is in the zone playing with the wobble ball, nothing else matters.
The only drawback is the damage that he and it can cause. If it is dropped on your toe - ouch!! He will chase the ball until it hits the wall and then go on chasing it some more. If we played in the living room we would have to put the blankets all around so they covered all of the vents and furniture, otherwise the pair of Griffin and the ball would cause all sorts of damage.
The window seal that used to hold plants quickly turned into the perfect sunbathing and neighborhood watch spot. No mailman will go unnoticed ever again. With a bark that doesn't have a matching bite, Griffin loves to make noise while also wanting to make all the friends. Because that means more pets! When he was younger he could get up and fit no problem, but now as he has gotten older he can barely keep himself up there without falling!
Griffin has always loved romping around and playing outside. For the first year or so he had a tie out on his front porch so we could always watch what was going on in the neighborhood! The other neighborhood dogs always had something to bark at him from across the street. Squirrels quickly learned not to play in his yard otherwise there was an unwanted game of chase that happens. There was one time when we were outside playing a loose dog came up to us, thankfully Griffin and the other dog were friendly before I got Griffin back inside. It wasn't any of the close neighbor dogs, but I was able to eventually find his home he wondered away from.
One of his favorite games to play outside is peek a boo, where he uses the large tree to go behind wagging his tail as he wonders which side you go to before jumping out with his guess. Just like a little child, it is an endless game of fun for him!
Tag is another one of his favorite games to play! Sometimes, or most of the time, he likes to be chased and usually has a toy or stick in his mouth. Once I get him, I either give him big pets or throw his toy of choice. Between all of the sticks, leaves, and snow there is always something exciting to chomp down on for Mr. Griffin outside!
Don't even get me started about Griffin and his relationship with water! Sometimes, if all is too quite and griffin is nowhere to be found, youll find him in the bathtub! Most of the time he will bring a toy in there and just hang out. In the summer when it heats up, he is obsessed with the baby pool! It doesn't even need the water for him to want to hop on in and wiggle around. He will jump in right away if it is set out in the yard! Griffin will take his toys and toss them in the water to go diving for them! The first time he played in his pool with me I thought he was going to down himself because he would shove his nose under the water to eat it and blow bubbles!
Now if it is actually bath time, Griffins thoughts about water change drastically. No matter who it is doing the deed, he is unhappy about it! Pure torture. There was one time the backyard was muddy - so I brought him to my dog wash to get him cleaned up before his mom and dad came home. Let me tell you, for a dog who lives for his pool time, he had all sort of protests about getting cleaned up! While he is as cute as a button in the tub, this Golden Retriever says no to bath time! His parents have brought him into the dog wash when he gets dirty and even for them he also likes to be a little on the naughty side and try to get out of the tub!
As Griffin got older, he didn't need as many visits. His parents also talked about starting him in doggy daycare and it was a bittersweet moment. I wasn't sure if I'd see Griffin as much, or at all. It turned out, Griffin was a little too rambunctious for daycare so he didn't go as often as planned. It was a coincidence I had a friend who worked at the dog daycare he went to a few times so someone else knew the silly golden that I’ve watched grow up!
Now, Griffin is on his way to 4 years old. He has come a long way from the little pup that first came home in a box. There are still parts of his personality that haven't changed like his love to play games and pushing toys under the couch just to make you get them. While he isn't on my weekly visits of dogs, I still jump at the chance when Griffin's dad asks if I can do a play date! He will always be one of my special little buddies. Dog sitting is always entertaining and fun when Griffin is around!