I have had copious difficulties finding in home, over night dog sitters who want to hang out with my mental pets. But placing them in a kennel compounded my fears of their aggression with each other and their hatred of all things. (Seriously. All things. Including each other, loud sounds and plastic bags. Wait... that plastic bag thing was Lyn.) I was nervous about taking them to a place filled with all the things they despise -- strangers, other dogs and noise. However, I had to do it. It was time. I made the call.
I found out the kennel has individual spaces for each dog and then a giant common area for them to share. To play. To interact. With each other. My dogs are going to meet other dogs. A friend told me she went and checked it out for her dog. She said the people seemed really helpful and good with dogs with (ahem) "special needs" (read: mental health problems). I told myself it would be good for them, but secretly I felt like I was signing up my kids for fat camp.
I didn't tell the dogs they were going. I just bundled their things up and said "Car ride!" We pulled up to the door, strapped on the leashes and dragged them inside. Three large dogs ran to the gate to meet us. Vicki immediately started to vibrate and climbed up Ky's body. Madison jumped from the floor straight into my arms and dug her paws into my neck. Montel barked and then hid. I filled out the paper work and followed a lovely old man into the back room and into the
We were met at the door by no less than 10 dogs. They all sniffed and wagged. Our dogs looked terrified. Madison glanced at me like "What did you bring me to?" and Vicki tried to turn around before the door closed behind her. I felt like we were taking them into prison and they were about to figure out whose bitch they were.
A beagle immediately came to Vicki and bit her on the bum. Another dog "Pippen" came over to hump Madison from the side. Montel ran in circles with his tale between his legs looking for escape. So much for my fear of them being the aggressors. Maddy finally did tune Pippen in with a chomp to the face, but he totally deserved it.
In the end, I think they will do okay, but as I left I realized it was less that they were having problems letting me leave and more that I was having problems letting them stay. I felt like a mom dropping her kids off at preschool. Guilt-ridden, sick to my stomach and just a little excited to have freedom for even just a little while.