Vacation time is Here, No Need for Our Canine Kids to Despair
By Ruth G. Zavitsanos
It’s nearly summertime. A season when time can practically be ignored. No more alarm clocks, no trying to get home before dark, no watching the clock to get homework done before dinner, and unscheduled bedtimes. With time on our side, there is also a week or two planned for vacation. Kids are excited, parents pleased, and the preparation begins.
I pull out my suitcase and my oldest canine kid, Pebbles a black lab/border collie ,(7) puts on her best face of despair. When she sees all the suitcases being placed on various beds, she lays in a corner refusing to answer her name until I go over and offer in advance dose of TLC. My younger dog, Rocky, a mini-Australian Shepherd (1), is still a little clueless to the suitcase meaning the family is going away. He has been in a kennel once, last summer with Pebbles when we went to Hawaii. We were gone for ten days and during that time the kennel called him little squirt. (What?) Though Pebbles and Rocky are well taken care of and have enjoyed their “summer camp” as I called it since Pebbles was very young, they prefer their family to the other canine kids sharing their misery of being left behind.
This past winter we moved into a larger home with a huge fenced in yard. The canine kids did not gain any winter excess weight like most (including humans) thanks to all the running they did, not to mention frisbee and ball catching. When Spring arrived we planned to go away for a week during school break. Out came the suitcases and Pebbles’ dismay. My mother came by one day bringing, as she always does, treats for Pebbles and Rocky. As we discussed our vacation plans, she turned to the dogs and asked, “Would you like to have a nanny while your family is away?” Their tails immediately waved in approval. I got on the phone quickly canceling the kennel for our week away. My mother had always had dogs until her kids married and she took on the grandmother role to her grandcanine kids, too. I knew they would be well taken care of and hoped she would also enjoy their company.
When we returned there was no need to stop at the kennel, which we always do to avoid a very quiet and empty house, albeit, our own, but without their wagging tails and enthusiasm, it’s not the same. My mother left before it got dark, having the dogs fed and leaving a delicious dinner behind for us. Pebbles and Rocky greeted us, pleased but not crazed as they are at the kennel. In their eyes I saw their joy and a certain calmness telling me grandma was a welcome and a very giving caretaker. (Yipee, bark, bark!)
|Surfing Dog in Hawaii |
I called my mother telling her the dogs must’ve really “enjoyed staying home and being with her. They were happy to have us back and very content.”
“Oh, they are sweet,” my mother said. “They were very good. Always so happy to be with me. Of course, I always had treats for them even when I didn’t go to the food store. Pebbles got in trouble once for barking when I let them out early in the morning. I told her, ‘Pebbles you don’t need to bark at that other dog in the neighbor’s yard. Just go out and enjoy your big yard with Rocky.’ I scolded her, but I didn’t scare or upset her. And, she didn’t bark like that again. When the girl next door stopped to visit they both barked at the front door. I told them they were very good watch dogs. Rocky, he has a big heart, but he really loves Pebbles, constantly following her around, learning from her.”
Even now, nearly two months later my mother recalls stories about the time she spent with Rocky and Pebbles. “I told Rocky he has the best seat in the house for the Royal Wedding.” since that was the week the media deluged viewers with talk of the event.
|Rocky watching the Royal Wedding|
Of course my family and I were free to enjoy our vacation knowing our precious pets were having a good time, too. I know Rocky and Pebbles appreciate their grandma and the attention, care and love she gave to them in our absence. As for my mother, she also felt rewarded with their company. It was a week filled with fun, excitement and contentment. Now they accept her with eagerness when the suitcases appear, as their live in nanny is back on duty. Bon voyage!
Do you have someone you can entrust your four pawed family members to care for in your absence?
Any silly stories of how they behaved after leaving them behind?
Do they sense when you’re going?
They say Dogs have no real sense of time. Do you believe this to be true? I know my dogs really WANT that WALK NOW.
Mahalo, Ruth, for joining us today at SOS Aloha! In honor of Ruth's visit, I am giving away a Hawaiian print doggie bandanna to one randomly selected commenter (if the winner doesn't have a dog, the winner will receive an Aloha treat). To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about Ruth, summer vacation, and doggie care.
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, June 4, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll announce the winner on Sunday, June 5.
Kim in Hawaii