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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had to go away for the 4th of July weekend. I asked the 12-year-old girl two doors down to feed Lightning twice a day. She's done it before and it worked out well (for short trips away I stopped having someone stay at the house because I think it is actually less stressful on the animals). She's always been very responsible. Well apparently that went out the window the day I left. My neighbor Linda was concerned that Hannah might forget and called her parents to find out if she'd been feeding Lightning. Apparently she had decided she didn't want to do it. She'd been over there at least once, because she took the money I left for her. But her dad (actually her grandfather--it's complicated) fed Lightning a few times and Linda did it several times. Lightning seemed okay when I got home (in fact he hadn't eaten his dinner which makes me think he might have gotten more than two meals a day for at least a couple of days), but I am LIVID. I'm waiting to calm down before I address this. Every time I go out of town, I have to talk myself out of calling my housesitter/dogsitter every day to make sure they've remembered to feed Lightning. I should never have trusted a 12yo girl, no matter how responsible she's seemed in the past. Just needed to vent, but if anyone has any ideas on how to handle this, please post them!
 

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At least you have such caring neighbors other than the 12 yo girl! I'm glad Lightning didn't suffer too terribly while you were gone. Other than missing you of course! As for how to deal with the 12 yo girl. I don't have any suggestions for you. Sorry. I'm glad you decided to calm down before addressing the problem. That'll probably help the situation. Good luck and tell us how it all shakes out.
 

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I babysat neighbor pets when I was that age, and once when I went away to camp a couple of days before they returned, my mom took over. We assume that when you give a kid an opportunity to do something like that, that they have their parents as back up/oversight. At least your dog is okay. I guess no one has explained to her that reputations start now, not when you turn 18.
 

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I'm sure you would like to ask her if it seems right for her to accept payment for a job she didn't do.I would ask her if she feels that is being honest and what if no one else had fed him while you were gone. How would she feel if it had been her dog that no one decided to feed while she was away.
 

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I agree-- learning opportunity here. such as following through w/commitments one makes. or learning to say 'no' if one really doesn't feel like doing the commitment. or finding someone else to take over if one cannot fulfill a commitment... etc... good luck w/that, and i'd be mad too!
 

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I have taken care of my friend's dogs since I was that age, every summer. I even had to give one dog insulin shots! They live basically a block up and over from me so it wasn't too difficult.

I think maybe you should ask her or her parents why she wasn't doing her job. And then maybe suggest that her "payment" be split up with those that actually took care of the dog!

Glad you do have someone that cared enough to help out, that is great. And that he seemed to be ok about it all after the fact. But still sucks that she took the money and didn't do her job. Heck, even now, when my friend's parents leave me money, I leave it there until the last day-sometimes they aren't positive on which day they are coming back and I don't want to be paid for days I don't care for their pets.
 

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WOW! I don't blame you for being livid! I can't understand why the girls parents didn't insist that she do her job. How did she think Lightning would get fed? Maybe she knew all along her Dad would pick up the slack.
We too went away a few weeks ago but had the opposite happen. Our daughter still lives with us but since she works and we left Friday morning our neighbour and best friend said he would come over later in the morning to take Paisley out in the yard with him while he worked on his waterfront, which he did. The rest of the day proceeded as normal but Paisley wouln't sleep with my daughter or sleep in her bed in the kitchen so our daughter put her to bed in our bed. The next morning they were announcing storms so our friend not wanting Paisley to miss out on her walk came over at 6 a.m. to take her before the rains came. To make a long story short he of course couldn't find the dog -- so he woke up our daughter who in turn had to wake up Paisley. Now Paisley is one of those dogs who likes to sleep in until at least 9 or 10 or even 11. Neither Paisley or her human sister were too pleased at the early wake up call, but Paisley had her walk and went back to bed till noon.
 

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I would speak to the girl in front of her parent and ask why she accepted the job and took the money when she didn't want to do it. Mention that most people get paid when the job is finished not in advance. This way the parents know what happened.
 

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I completely agree...as a parent of a 12 yr old girl myself...she would have been held to her obligations and I would have followed her each time to be sure it was done....:mad:

We also have a very sweet little girl who lived across the street (she has since moved this summer) but she took care of our inherited dog for 5 days last summer....we didn't pay her until our return and even brought her back a 'suprise' gift for helping us out....

I am glad Lightening was taken care of by someone who was thoughtful enough to check on him.....what a nice neighbor...
 

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If you waited to pay her when you got back, she may have followed thru on her obligation, but then again, maybe not.

At any rate, I agree that she does need talked to about this, and bubbad had some good questions to ask her.
 

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It is possible the parents didn't know ,didn't you say the grandfather did some of the job?12yr olds learn to test the waters and lie easily.Judge Judy alwasys says,"How do you know when a teenager is lying? When their mouth is open." She is close enough to teen. Maybe she isn't really a bad kid but she will be quickly if left to get away with things like this,
 

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I agree with Bubbad. That's why I suggested you talk to her with a parent present.
 

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I'm not really surprised that such a young girl would not understand the importance of following through with something like this. I would talk to her and the parents together about it though. Sorry that things went down the way they did.
 
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