Frustrated...and Guilty!!

Discussion in 'Goat Frenzy' started by pennylullabelle, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Okay, believe it or not I will try to keep this short!

    I am out of the country for Christmas for one week. This is just day two...I left a friend who I really thought I could trust to take care of my home. I paid her, loaned her my car (she doesn't have one) and gave her gas $. I also board her horse and whether in exchange for chores around the farm so she knows my schedule, my policies, my feeding preferences, and my animals more then anyone else.

    Well, today I get a call from animal control. Apparently a neighbor called AC because another neighbor was firing a gun at two dogs on his property. AC confiscated the dogs. Since I keep my dogs registered with the county, current on rabies, micro chipped, and with tags with my numbers on them I was immediately contacted to learn my dogs were the ones being shot at! Luckily the guy was a really bad shot! I mean What the What!!?? They are puppies...3 and 7 months old. And they are with my livestock ALL DAY and are VERY SAFE. Did he think they were coyotes? What is wrong with people!? I wouldn't fire at a dog without FIRST checking if it was a danger! I have had different dogs on my property on 3 different occasions and never once considered inflicting harm because they were all friendly, easy to catch, and return to their owners...ANYWAY... AC has no problem calling my dogs over and taking them home. They called me and said I needed to come home and I explained I was in Quebec and that I would need to find out where the girl who was supposed to be caring for them was.

    I call her, she says "I got bored, so I left to hang out with a friend." O>>M>>G! If I had been there, I would have decked her!! I was SO angry!! I mean...sure, I know this could happen to anyone. But it didn't, it happened to her, with my dogs, while she was responsible. And it could have been avoided if she had either "sat" at my house which she was house-"sitting" OR if she had put the perimeter collar on the older puppy!! The collar keeps them within a 90 foot radios of the house. The younger puppy is too young for it, but she never leaves when the older one <Mercedes, the rott in the picture with my buck> is home. Back to the story: I demand she gets home and she agrees. About 20 minutes later I get a call from highway patrol telling me she has been pulled over for speeding and reckless driving and asking if she has permission to drive my car!! I was *this close* to saying no, but I needed her to get home to my pets. She FINALLY gets home and she locks my dogs in the house so she can leave again to use my car to take her boyfriend...who also has no work.

    Keep in mind I am really upset about 2 additional factors at this point. One: everyone else I can think of to call is out of town. My brothers, my parents, and my father-in-law. Though, my father-in-law was there recently twice and saw no trace of her so there is a good chance she has not been there basically at all since I left and my dogs panicked and left. I assume this because I leave regularly for a few hours with no perimeter collars on the dogs and they stay put. I assume overnight being left outside - these are indoor dogs - they got scared. Also, I am upset because I have had an inbred trigger happy hick neighbor kill two of my dogs before. This jerk let them out of their shed when I was not home, encouraged them onto his property, and shot them under the pretense that it is legal to shoot dogs on your property in this rural setting. He did this because these dogs, which were malamutes, would howl every night for a few minutes. They "sing" to scare off other predators - so when coyotes would come by barking and squealing and taunting the malamutes would howl to warn them off. It was extremely beautiful and very effective. My neighbor thought it was "annoying." I guess coyotes picking off his goats was better...

    She got back to my house and I called again. I wanted to apologize for yelling at her and take a moment to explain why I was upset and what I considered to be appropriate behavior for taking care of my home and animals while I am gone. We'd discussed this before, but apparently she forgot. I explained that the more she was there, the lesser chance of something like this happening again. I also explained that she MUST put the collars on when leaving the house, and that if she will be gone for a long period the dogs need to be in the garage where it is warm but easier to clean if she leaves them long enough to go "potty" inside.

    Now I just feel so frustrated and guilty. What was I thinking leaving my 2 dozen pets for a week? And with a girl I know to immature...even if I thought she could handle it...? And two are pregnant! Oh I would never forgive myself if something happened to one of my pregnant goaties...then it's not just her, it's babies too! Oh and one of my new young goats...they wouldn't stand a chance without proper care. Ugh! And of course I can't get back home, it's the week of Christmas and I live across the country and I have no car to drive back. Everything is booked or rented...

    Oh, and to add insult to injury my check to Olivia at Capriola for Isis got sent back to my house as "undeliverable" and I have no way to get one out to her. Poor Olivia has had to put up with so much stalling from me! I lost my checkbook (well, the same girl who is house sitting put it in a drawer in my house and didn't tell me...which I didn't realize until after I canceled the book and ordered more), I got snowed in with no mail service for 4 days, then my new checks that were scheduled to arrive the 14th (I paid an additional $30 for rushed secured delivery) didn't arrive until the 20th! Now this! I'd be lucky if she doesn't give up on me and sell Isis to someone else. I know I would!

    I am also frustrated because I told her very specifically to go into the doe's pen and MAKE SURE the doelings were able to eat before the big girls could shove them out. She tells me that she doesn't do that... "Oh, I just put some hay on two sides of the stall and the little ones eat from one pile and the big ones eat from another..." I explained to her that I had put as many as 4 separate flakes in each corner and the older girls would all but chase the doelings from pile to pile being bullies. She just gives me an "oh." And I can HEAR it in her voice that she is going to continue to just throw the hay protect the young girls...

    Am I overreacting? How would you feel? Would you put this friend on the "block" list? How much bad can happen to my doelings the the seniors are pushing them from pule to pile? Keep in mind they will still eat, but not *as much* as they should...

    Thanks for letting me vent. I needed it.
  2. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    Oh I am sorry things arent going perfectly for you and you have this stress :hug:

    one thing I have learned over the years of raising goats for 13 or so years and taking vacations is that "no one will treat them like you do and just because they dont treat them as you do, does not mean its the wrong way to feed or care for them. Also that a day or week out of their normal routine will not kill them"

    The little girls will get more aggressive for their food -- two piles should be enough and eventually the big girls do get tired of going back and forth and they all settle down to their spots.

    as to your dogs -- not thats irresponsible and should not be taken lightly.

    Im surprised you gave her gas money when she is already using your car, that was very generous of you. I take care of people's animals and part of the payment goes into getting to their place, its up to me (my car and my gas).

  3. KW Farms

    KW Farms Moderator Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2008
    Wapato, WA
    Oh gosh! :hug: No, you are not overreacting! I would be pissed if this girl was acting this way while she's supposed to be watching my animals too! There is NO excuse for getting pulled over for driving recklessly and there is no excuse for not keeping an eye on the dogs and making sure they don't get into trouble. If I were you I would just cut off all communication with this girl once you get home, she obviously doesn't care very much about you or the animals if she's acting this way. I know most of us here treat our animals like kids...this house/pet sitter is just like a baby sitter, if you "get bored", you don't just leave and let dogs run loose, etc. Geesh. Hang in there i'm sure everyone will be ok when you return. :hug: When are you planning on coming back?
  4. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    well I've gone through this type of thing before...twice actually. We go on lots of trips so I have a friend take care of them, seems like lots of animals suddenly die when i'm gone, and I dont think its from a broken heart... needless to say I'm training a new person for the job
    :hug: :hug:
    I --personally-- wouldnt hire her again, politely tell her that you need someone more responsible caring for your animals..especially when your not around. You need someone who care about them more than to just let them outside...your neighbor...sounds kinda scary, no offense intended.

    sorry your going through this trouble, I know its really hard leaving the animals, but if we didnt we'd just be hermits! :wink:
  5. RunAround

    RunAround New Member

    Feb 17, 2008
    I am so sorry you are going through so much. :hug: One thing I have learned is to just never go on vacation. I had a friend almost kill one of my goats because she left the chicken coop open and the goat boated on chicken grain and i almost lost her. 1 week of living in the house before she came around again. So ever since then I haven't really been able to trust anyone but my mom to care for the animals.

    The dog thing and car thing would have made me flip my lid!!! Thats just irresponsible!! :angry: I wouldn't let her watch me animals again and i would give her a time limit in which she needs to get her animals out. She is just using you.
  6. Idahodreamer

    Idahodreamer Senior Member

    :hug: Yeah, like Stacy said, a week or two out of the ordinary for the goats won't hurt them as long as you know, you don't have 'oh my gosh, forgot to close the gate, all goaties have escaped!" scenarios going on. > HAVE ... HAD ... THIS HAPPEN. :doh: <
    I would have strangled her over the phone about the dogs though . . .no offense to your friend, but someone actually shot our dog while we were on vacation. He was a springer spanial named Jake I learned to stand up by as a toddler.
    As for the check, i'm sure olivia will understand. :D she's a wonderful person.
    Have a wonderful "relaxing" :ROFL: vacation.
    wish i could go to Quebec. :D
  7. Lawanda

    Lawanda New Member

    Jun 11, 2009
    West Virginia
    Too bad you didn't pay her half and leave the rest for later. Then you could not pay her the rest! I think I would not have anymore dealings with her either.
  8. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Aw you guys are so wonderful :grouphug: I am so glad I found this forum.

    Stacey - thanks, I think even though her care will be a fraction of the value of what I would provide everyone *should* be okay. Afterall, ignorant owners everywhere provide even worse care. But!

    KW - I definitely feel like she doesn't care much at all. This isn't like...whoops I forgot to turn off the thermostate, or forgot to lock the back's...whoops, almost got your dogs killed! I'll be back next Monday (the 28th).

    Alaska - I've known this girl for almost 10 years. And she's older then me! Though more often then not age does not mean maturity. But she has been around me and my animals for a very long time and knows I am a stickler for doing ONLY what is BEST for each of them. I mean I went through a war and a half trying to get her to stop feeding her whether grain until I could find a suitable feeding schedule which included good levels of AC. I caught her...twice...out there with handfuls of grain! She acts like it's an attach on her or her whether when actually I am trying to prevent health issues or problems later in life by educating myself and finding the proper amounts of the proper nutrition for each animal in my care. With how I have felt today I would *almost* rather be a hermit!

    RunAround - I definitely won't be letting her watch my animals again. As for her pets - she has no where to take them and no way to care for them. So, since I care too much about them I might just take possession of them and tell her to kiss off. I'm just not sure. I don't want to be angry when I make my decision. But I am WAY too kind, it is in my nature to FORGIVE again and again...

    Idaho - it's beautiful here. We are in Montreal. Amazing. I have considered moving here...not sure my goaties would be a fan of all the snow though! And of course every head would HAVE to come with me! Once I get a pet I am attached for life. I'm sorry about your dog. I wish this were not legal...maybe people would think twice. I am scared of the neighbors pitbull - I have a pitbull, I LOVE the breed, but this one is a poorly socialized and barely trained very aggressive dog. I might have to act if she got onto my property. But I'd rather get in trouble for that then have my dogs shot and have the shooter face no consequences!

    Lawanda - I know right! I just threw away $200 so someone could put my pets at risk and joyride all around town. :doh:

    I have some REALLY good news. My very best friend insisted she g by tomorrow to check on things. I am so relived to have a set of eyes at home!! Knowing my friend is going to go out there warms my heart about our friendship :love:
  9. StaceyRosado

    StaceyRosado Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    as to not having dealings with her again - thats kind of harsh in my opinion. some young adults just need to be taught the value of someone's trust. Letting her know how disappointed you are in her lack of responsibility maybe something she never would have thought of and could cause her to think more in the future.

    I want to believe that I would have done better.... but really I cant say if I would have (depends on this young woman's age). We are all always learning and maybe there was an assumption she knew what was asked of her when to her it wasnt as clear.

    I think passing judgement on the girl right now should be up to pennylullabelle and not us.

    well it looks like you were posting as I was trying to
  10. SDK

    SDK New Member

    Jun 26, 2008
    Yucaipa ca
    i think your being polite about it.. of course.. i'm about as hot headed as it can get when it comes to my animals

    as a person who house sits frequently.. everything she's done is unacceptable. she's getting paid to watch your animals YOUR way. not her way
  11. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    I will say this...I made VERY clear every detail I wanted her to follow. I discussed them with her several times and even made sure I had her full attention as she tends to do that "oh, something shiny" staring off into space oblivious "uh huh uh huh" sort of thing. But...Either she didn't listen, didn't remember, or didn't care. I am not sure which, or if it's all. But I do appreciate the need to be diplomatic and not hasty. I need to really show her how upset I am and hope this improves her carelessness. I just thought she knew...she hears me talk non-stop about my pets and knows I am basically obsessed. And she knows I am dead serious about every aspect of their care. Her horse colicked here a few days after he got here. I poured a lot of money into getting him help and watched him almost nonstop for 3 weeks until he was better providing fluids, feed, and meds. I assumed, perhaps wrongfully so, that she would so the same for me.
  12. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Not to sound prejudiced or anything, but there is definitely a certain "type" of person I look for to take care of my animals--preferably someone that's very consciencious and somewhat anal. Someone that will go out of their way to make sure things are done just so.

    I get the impression that you kind of knew that this lady wasn't the most reliable or responsible before the entire ordeal. I'm not sure how you expected her to give your animals top-knotch care when she does not even provide her own animals with that kind of care. As the saying goes--"You can't blame a dog for being a dog".

    I'm not trying to be critical--I just call 'em as I see 'em. You were probably stressed trying to get ready to go on vacation and she was the only person you knew well that was available--past events and experiences were probably overlooked. That's okay. I have been there too. You live and you learn, I guess.

    Hope you can get everything straitened out. :hug:
  13. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    FRF - You're right, I knew she had her short comings. That's why I feel so guilty - I just think I should have known better! On one hand, I've known her long enough to see she gets things right sometimes. And we all make mistakes. So, I assumed everything would be okay and she would rise to the occasion. This was my assumption...and you know what they say, I am an ass for doing so!
  14. irisflowerz

    irisflowerz New Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    As a person who is in LOVE with goats, but also loves to get a chance to vacation, I have often thought it might be fun to hire myself out as a "goat sitter". With some knowledge about goat care, and the lack of jobs in my area.....I think it's an interesting idea to work with other goat owners to come stay and take care of their goats when they want a little vacation too. All it takes it a little time to learn another goat owner's routine. Hmmm..might have to look into this more seriously. A 40-year old goat owner and enthusiast is going to take much better care of other's goat's than a teenager or young adult with little experience. Not to mention, it would be an opportunity to get to see the U.S. in different areas.

    *thoughts are churning*
  15. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    Gina - How far are you willing to travel? hehehehe
  16. irisflowerz

    irisflowerz New Member

    Jan 2, 2010
    If an owner is willing to pay travel expenses, I don't mind travelling anywhere.....grin.

    I just dont' have the means to travel far on my own income at the moment. That is why I have just been batting this idea around.

  17. GotmygoatMTJ

    GotmygoatMTJ New Member

    Now this has me worried some.....Because we are hopefully taking a vacay during Spring break and we are going to hire a sitter....Who ever gets the job will definitly have some high priorities. The last time me and my took a vacay we went to AZ and left my dad and brother in charge. We made everything so simple for them, made it to where they didn't even have to go in with the goats, and they still did a half-A**ed job. :wallbang:

    Who ever goatsits, horsesits, dogsits, and catsits for us will either have to live near us, or use our guest room. Will not be allowed to use our vehicles and will get paid half now half later. I will also make a list or better yet put a stinking dryerase board in the feed room for them so they read it! Dad and brother will be here to make sure the job gets done so I am not too worried.

    Sorry you had to go through that. :hug:
  18. Dreamchaser

    Dreamchaser New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    Camp Verde, AZ
    Oh man that stinks. I'm sorry and completely understand! I have had animals die while I was away. Nobody ever takes care of your animals like you do. I have a hard time dealing with that!
  19. bheila

    bheila New Member

    Jan 9, 2009
    Kent, Wa
    Yup, your friend is TOTALLY irresponsible :shocked: I would never ask for her help again. Going house/pet sitting is like a vacation for me because I love the animals I sit for. I'm very anal about how my own animals are cared for so that's why people hire me :greengrin: I have one family that I pig/cow/chicken sit for and I always scoop up the pig poop and clean all of their water troughs every day. The owner always tells me I don't have to scoop poop but I can't help it, I feel guilty leaving their pens full of poo :help:

    Back to your OP...I would never leave the keys to my vehicle nor leave money for gas. I agree with the others who have said they would pay half and then the other half when you got home...if the job was done correctly :chin:
  20. pennylullabelle

    pennylullabelle New Member

    From this whole thing I've learned two big lessons. 1. This person is not a friend, not by my standards. And I do not need her in my life. I came home to much more problems. Somehow she'd unplug all the accessories to the fish tank so it was dark, cold, and basically algae mush when I got to it. I'm amazed no one died. Thought it was like a discovery adventure finding them all in there. She decided to move all of my water heaters to different plugs because she got tired of having to hit the reset button on the surge protector that the horse's heater is in. The horses knock the heater out all the time which blows the circuit. So, naturally I set it up so that if they do that it only blows a reset switch on one power bar as opposed to killing everyone's heaters. She didn't like that and ran them all to the same outlet, blew the breaker, and when I got home all my water troughs were frozen SOLID. 50 gallon ice cubes. I chipped at them with a pick to see if I could get water from the inside. None. And to add insult to injury she left my hose outside and it was also frozen solid. She left my dogs in my house, though I asked many times for her to put them in the garage because they are puppies and will get into things (when I left them in the garage they tore up a piece of what she you thought it'd be better if they tore up my house? response). Of course they chewed, shredded, and peed and pooed all over...

    Now, onto lesson number two. Leave my brother in charge and don't schedule another vacation where he is out of town! I know I can trust him because even though he is a car guy and I am an animal girl we both have the same -do it right the first time- attitude and he would pay attention to details. He was out of town the same week or he would have been my first choice even before all this happened.