I learned from my mom (Darcy's MiMi) that Darcy was quick to learn how to escape the pen I had fashioned. Amazingly enough I am still surprised when she does anything naughty! We may have taken a few steps backward in the potty training department because she pretty much ran loose in my Mom's house all day! She got to be top dog and go fun places but... it was difficult to drop her into that little pen and walk away! At least I was leaving her in my Mom's kitchen which was familiar to both of us. Let me picture dropping her off at a kennel... NO THANKS! What a conflict of interest! Why is it OK for my clients to trust me/us with their pets but I'm unable or unwilling to leave my own dog? This is one of those situations I'm placed in with my job - the two sides of my brain just don't agree! The science and fact vs. the emotions. 10 years later and it doesn't get any easier.
Don't get me wrong. We have so much fun with dogs while they are boarding. 99% of them do really well, get into a great routine and have a terrific time playing with other dogs. It is fun to see them experience things and interact with each other. They are really cherished and loved during their stay. But... at the end of the day they aren't in our arms. They aren't in bed with us and we aren't making sure that everything is just so. I've spent EVERY minute of the last month with this little puppy and it's a hard transition to expect someone else to me the mommy.
So what I'm saying is I get it. I had the humbling experience of doing a house call euthanasia tonight. When I walked away from their home carrying the dog they had loved for 12 years it really opened me up to thinking about this. That pet was gone but it still took incredible trust for them to let me take her away. I don't want to pretend that it isn't a big deal. It is a big deal but it's still part of my life. For me to do my job there is pain. Sometimes it's just a tiny twinge when you have to leave your dog for the day or night. Sometimes it's a great big in your face pain.
Hopefully we won't have to leave Darcy for a while. In San Diego and Coronado there were dogs EVERYWHERE! The stores, restaurants and parks were full of reminders that Darcy was stuck back here in the cold! I'll post a picture of the fancy new collar we bought her and her first official jewelry! (I can't really believe how much thought I have put into that collar and name tag.) I bought her a pink leopard snuggly fleece at the street fair in Palm Springs. There were incredible handmade dog clothes and custom harnesses. We bought a fun book about going to the vet in a very cool store www.warmheartcoldnose.com. Fun dog toys and a sticker for my car ("wag more, bark less") in a San Diego pet boutique. I'm on my way to being a savvy traveler who brings the poodle along for the fun. I know she's ready but we still have to convince Dad!