Tuesday Thoughts

Yesterday started the week on bittersweet notes. One of my friends made the always painful decision to walk her dog to the Rainbow Bridge. B, the dog, had a congenitally curved spine that caused arthritis in his back end. Until the last month or so, the rounds of swimming, chiropractic and laser treatments, and vet visits for pain meds had kept him going. His body just gave out and his eyes said “no more.” He’s running free now, and his human walks the tough and rugged trail through her grief. We, both human and canine, who knew B walk with her.

The day care center where Oakley has spent the vast majority of Wednesdays and many happy sleepovers is going out of business. None of the other properties in the area will work on licensing and permits with her. The landlord is rather Dickensian in his approach to business, a more articulate description and less likely to land me in legal trouble for public questioning of his character and highly personal preferences. I take comfort in the words of TV sage Maude Findley: “God will get him for that.” Or karma. I leave it to those forces.

Anyway, Oakley and I found a new day care center and sleepover camp for him. It’s run by one of the trainers who worked with him when he was at his most semi-feral self. It’s small, but well-staffed, clean, and quiet. He took off running with the other dogs while I spoke with Ms. R about the details. When we left, Oakley planted his butt in her driveway to indicate that he didn’t want to leave. I respect his decision. He’ll go for some half days and start on Wednesdays in September to get him into the groove. That part of the equation is solved.

My next task: paperwork for the new day care place and set a date for his first half day there. We’ll still go to the usual Wednesday place until the final day, and then it’s on to the next adventure.

Leaving It to the Pro

This Friday, Oakley will have a spa day.

Not as fancy as it sounds. He gets an extra day of day care with a break while the on-site groomer gives him a bath, then does his ears and nails. His coat landed on the hound-y side of his ancestry, albeit very fluffy by hound standards, and he just needs a good brushing once a week for routine maintenance.

Oakley loves baths. The problems are 1. getting 75 pounds of stubborness into the tub, 2. getting him to cooperate while his ears are cleaned, and 3. the nail trim. 3. is the worst. Somewhere along the line, he must have been trapped by a paw either under a crate or by someone grabbing him by a back leg. Despite a lot of work to desensitize him to paw handling, he’s still really skittish about having them touched, making nail trims are a tag-team event. Ms. Judi, the day care center’s owner, hugs him and talks him through Ms. Marcy’s wielding of the Dremel and clippers. 

But at the end of the grooming session, he looks and feels better, strutting around in his clean white coat and bandana. He gets to go back and play with his friends until I pick him up and fuss over him. He’s had a good experience; I don’t have to try and lift him or push him up the ramp into the tub; all is peaceful between us. 

We both relax on the sofa, happy to have had good days.