I heard the warnings for months, but until the phone call finally came confirming she was on the way with the puppy, I just didn't pay much attention to my wife when she told me we'd be puppy-sitting for her parents.  I've certainly taken notice now.  It's almost like having a baby in the house again... if you could just put a crying baby in a pen in the garage.

I wore out my grandbaby. He wouldn't even wake up to move after having the laundry dumped on him. I was trying to keep him awake so he'd sleep more at night. Photo by Jamie Garrett

It may sound callous, but it's not that hot in there.  Plus, this dog has vocal chords and stamina better than most babies.  Call it separation anxiety.   Call it a puppy being a puppy.  Whatever you call it, we were out of this phase as parents.  Over the past five days the Shih-Tzu named Bogart has warmed my heart.  He's fun to watch as he explores.  The kids adore him.  I've even bonded with him on walks.

Maybe it's the fact that the puppy loves me and ignores my wife that I admire so much about Bogey (as he's called).  I've become the puppy whisperer.  I'm the evil guy that puts him his cage throughout the day & night, but still Bogey flocks to me.  I've begun to get the feeling that this is going to be what it's like to have grandkids.

It's a safe comparison, I feel.  This puppy (baby) has come into our home for a finite amount of time.  This puppy (baby) can't tell us what it wants, like or dislikes.  We don't have any sort of routine or communication down.  Yet we love this puppy (baby) like it was our own.  My favorite part of playing the "grandparent" is getting to spoil this puppy (baby).

I can't wait until Bogey gets home & acts up.  Bogey is going to jump on furniture.  Bogey is going to bark all night like it's his first night in the house.  Bogey is probably going to have stomach issues for a few weeks because of all the crap (not literally) he's found to eat laying around the house.  That's exactly the shape in which I find my kids upon their return from Grammy's house.  I love them for it, but it takes some time to get a child returning from the grandparents' house to get back into a routine.

Assuming his place in the child's seat, Bogey is one spoiled pup. Photo by Jamie Garrett

I don't do it to be mean.  I do it because that's what a grandparent (puppy-sitter) is supposed to do... keep them alive, keep them fat & happy, and keep them spoiled.  Nobody can argue with that.  It's just what needs to be done.  Too bad dogs aren't allowed to have sugar.  Otherwise, I'd be loading that puppy up with doughnuts & sugar for every meal of the day.

The role I'm playing as grandpa (puppy-sitter) is going to take that same sour turn it takes for every other grandparent.  Eventually mom & dad will be back to pick up the kids, and I'll be left all alone (with my wife & two REAL kids) in a quiet, empty house (again, see note about wife & two kids).  I suppose I can do what my granddad, Jim, used to do.  I can go down behind the barn, pretend to be fixing something, and "have myself a cry" as he told us he did every time we left for home.