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Should I say yes to babysitting a friend's kids for the entire weekend when they're seriously afraid of dogs?

I have 2 dogs who are crate trained, but it would be unfair to keep them in their crates 24/7 or even outside all the time. The girls are 3 and 7, and both girls shriek every time they even look at the dogs, which also freaks my dogs out. My friend and her husband want to go away for 3 nights for their anniversary, and I am one of the few people she trusts with her kids. I owe her big time. She used her "mommy's weekend off" to help me paint my bedroom. Of course, that's when she asked me if I would sit, so it became clear that she was calling in the favor. WWYD?

Answer Question

Asked by wishbearmom at 3:53 AM on May. 9, 2012 in Pets

Level 16 (2,882 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I wouldn't even consider it unless you could get someone to take your dogs. Even in crates the kids are going to be terrified. Having the girls there would be a recipe for a nightmare weekend for all. I think you'll have to find another way to make up what you owe to your friend. BTW, why isn't SHE worried about leaving her daughters with you when she knows they're scared of your dogs? Isn't that a little offhand for a mother?

    Answer by winterglow at 4:16 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I'm not sure she factored in the dogs; she's desperate for a weekend away with her husband, and her mother, her default babysitter, is in Alaska and won't be back by then.

    Comment by wishbearmom (original poster) at 4:29 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • if the kids are that scared of the dogs is keeping them crated all weekend going to make a difference to them? or will they still be scared cause they are there? i would talk to you friend and remind her of this. it is not fair to your dogs to not have the freedom they usually get for 3 days. if it was one overnight i might do it, but 3 days is a bit long.

    Answer by MooNFaeRie30 at 5:20 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • How far away are the two homes? Are you neighbors? Can you spend some time at the girls' home so they are not near the dogs that much? Then the dogs could be crated when the girls are at your home for meals, etc. Or could the dogs spend the day at the girls' house/yard? Just trying to think of ideas........GL

    Answer by whitepeppers at 6:46 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I wouldn't.

    Answer by Christine0813 at 7:51 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • How big are the dogs? Would your husband let you and your kids go to thier house, and take care of the dogs, if the dogs will not hurt the kids, perhaps before you even start, talk to them about the dogs not going to hurt them,, honestly I would try to find a solution, good friends are hard to find!

    Answer by kimigogo at 8:47 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I would take the time this weekend and get the girls and the dogs close and try to help them overcome their fear. This way they won't be afraid to come to your home and you will be able to take your friends kids a little more often. It may sound like a lot of work, but work with each child one on one and I'll bet you can get them to overcome some of their fear.

    Answer by coala at 8:57 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I'm divorced; it's just me, my 8 yr old DD, and the dogs. One is a medium-sized (25 lbs) boston/hound mix and the other is an 8 month old Boston terrier puppy. Her home is 20 miles from mine, so it would be difficult to load kids into carseats to drive back and forth between her house and mine. The only way I could stay at her house would be to find a house and dog sitter.

    Comment by wishbearmom (original poster) at 9:22 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I am huge dog lover. If it were me, I would do it. Somewhere along the lines these girls have been conditioned to be afraid of all dogs. One of my neices used to be the same way at those ages. Her dad used to always tell her "dogs bite". Find out where the core of their fears is and give them insite from there. I would educate them and entice them to learn about dogs and see if you could get them past their fears. If you have to set them on the the counter or whatever while showing them, you can keep them from the dogs. It is a conditioned behavior and the can be unconditioned - it just takes time and effort. I would have them give treats, help with walks and play with the dogs. Educate them about dogs. If it doesn't work it will be a challenging weekend but you will get through it. Your daughter can help as well. Once you win over the 7 year old the 3 yr will follow. Good Luck.

    Answer by LeJane at 9:38 AM on May. 9, 2012

  • I think they need to spring for boarding the animals and repay her in another manner.

    Answer by tasches at 12:54 PM on May. 9, 2012

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