Doggy Day Care Dilemmas, or #FirstWorldProblems

Yes, I know, I know. In a world where passenger planes get shot down by rebels, where small children can’t find refuge from bombing raids, and the US government is by and for the corporations and no longer by and for the people, pet care is not on a lot of peoples’ screens. I know that. When I watch the news or see headlines on Facebook, I feel as if I am drowning in some vortex of evil. We have taken to watching screwball comedies on Netflix rather than the news to stay half-sane.

The evil became personal a couple of weeks ago. After some 18 months of legal battles, the owner of Oakley’s day care center and sleepover camp lost her lease. The landlord refused to honor her right to demand a renewal because he wanted to sell the building without a tenant in it, even a tenant with a profitable business that was an asset to the community,and the judge sided with him because of the vagueness of the contract. Since no other place would rent to her, she goes out of business at the end of August. Mr. Whiplash has no idea what he’s done in the name of greed and inconsiderate behavior; therefore, I release him to the whim of karma.

Anyway…Choosing her center was easy. Oakley’s trainers sent their dogs there. Under her care and the interaction with dogs of different ages, he blossomed. This new one was a little trickier.

One place I considered is the same distance in the opposite direction from our home. Lovely, but the area that one is in involves driving on wide open roads in winter. After this last winters’ automotive ice follies, not an idea that I relished.

Another place was seriously short staffed, and the one handler had to kennel the dogs because he couldn’t keep an eye on all fifteen. It had the types of kennels seen in ASPCA ads. I grew very cold. Oakley would not be comfortable in one of those. No. Even if it is five minutes from my house. Just no.

I checked on the web for other places: this one affiliated with the vet’s office that damn near killed Orion–no. That place had very reasonable base prices, but it was an extra fee for paying attention to the dogs, and giving them meds if need be. Forget that.

And then I remembered that a couple of years ago, one of his student teachers, one who had worked with him in his most challenging times, had opened up a small boarding and day care center at her home about ten minutes from mine. Flexible hours; Saturday care by arrangement; rides home no problem if I work an event that will keep me until six. We went for a tour. Oakley gave Ms.R. a leaning and patting, then sniffed around her yard, and took off running with his new friends.

I think I know where we’ll be going on the first Wednesday in September.


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