I’m on a trip and I miss my dogs. I wish there was a way I could call them and talk to them, but this is not a service my boarding hotel offers. I suspect I am not the only one that wishes this service was offered. When I had cats and a cat sitter who came to my house, I could call and talk to the cats as a message on the answering machine. Yes, I realize that sounds crazy to those that don’t have animals, but if you took a poll amongst my cat friends, if they were honest, they would admit to doing the same.
I have three dogs – a German Shorthaired Pointer, named Browning; a Treeing Walker Coonhound, named Tallulah; and an “Alabama Black Dog”, named Lady. (We told Lady that she was an Alabama Black Dog, so she wouldn’t feel hurt about not having a breed. We believe she is a cross between a Labrador and a Great Pyranees). In his early years, Browning went everywhere with us. He was the master of the hotel room – he even developed a “hotel voice” for those times when he needed to bark, but understood barking would likely end his traveling days. We would get two queen sized beds and he would get his own bed. We ate take out, since dogs can’t be left alone in a hotel room. And those stops at Starbucks meant a “pupachino” for Browning, along with coffee for us. But after Tallulah joined our family, and then Lady, Browning found that he now had to be boarded. He resents it.
On this trip, first he hid in the yard, when we were trying to get all the dogs in the car. We made it to the corner before we realized we did not have Browning in the car, and had to go back. I think he figured that if we took Lady and Tallulah to the doggy hotel and he didn’t go, we would be forced to take him with us. Browning is a plotter. But his plan failed, so all three dogs went to the doggy hotel. Tallulah and Lady know the routine and they leap out of the car, excited to get the show on the road. Not Browning. He refuses to get out of the car and my poor husband, who is already feeling upset about leaving them, is left to trying to coax and then haul him out of the car. Browning finally gets out and drags himself to the door – imagine dead dog walking, chooses to ignore that we have brought their beds, their food, and treats, so they will have as many of the comforts of home as possible while they are boarded.
While we are gone, we talk about the dogs. Things that we do that they would love, things that we eat that they would insist sharing. We talk about things they have done in the past and how upset they will be when they find out how soon we have another trip scheduled. I’m sure we discuss them more than they think about us.
If this time is the same as the past, when we go to pick them up, my husband will pull up to the door of the boarding hotel, and the dogs will run out and leap into the car, anxious to get home. When we get home, they leap out of the car and run around to smell what has been in their territory in their absence. Then they run in the house, acting like they have not eaten in days. They wolf their food and then they go to sleep, and I don’t hear anything from them for two days. We often wonder what is so exhausting about the doggy hotel. Do they stay up all night swapping gossip and telling tall tales of smells and hunting conquests? I’ll never know, because apparently what happens at the doggy hotel, stays at the doggy hotel.
Until next time – Elsie