Liia is my little sister. Yes, she's a Bernese mountain dog, but she's still kind of my little sister. Mostly because I don't actually have a little sister.
See, my parents have left for three weeks on a pretty big trip. They've gone to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago de Compostela with a group of like-minded masters students. For my dad, it's a part of a course and an adventure. For my mom, it's the fulfilling of a dream and an adventure.
For the three weeks that they'll be gone, Liia needed a place to stay. We've tried the boarding thing. It doesn't work, not with her. See, she's a big dog. She's a big dog who is very attached to her people, not particularly well socialized with other dogs and a bit of a wuss. Put her in an unfamiliar, sometimes clinical place surrounded by other animals and strangers who don't know her quirks and you have a very big, very scared dog. Last time we put her in a kennel, the employees didn't know what to do so they left her by herself and only handled her from the end of a long pole. Since then, we've only boarded her with knowledgeable family friends.
Since the last time my parents went on a trip, the Husband and I bought a little house on a 150 foot lot. You may have heard something about that. You know what this means? Now that we have a backyard, we are a viable -- in fact, logical and free -- option for dog sitters. So, on Monday night, we welcomed Liia into our little house. She's never happy when my parents are gone -- it will take her a few days to start eating properly again -- but it's nice to see her happy-excited welcome when I come home.
I might have to take her for a walk tonight to give her a bit of a break from her annoying 'niece' though...