Dogs and the holidays, who knew it meant so much extra work? Well Christmas has come and gone. As always it came quickly and passed just as fast. There is never enough time to do everything you want to do. As I live in California and my family mostly lives in the Midwest, I always have to travel on Christmas. In my life before Max, this was never a big deal but now that I am a dog parent, traveling is a bit harder. Making arrangements for his care when I am away is not a huge deal. Max has a daycare that he attends on a weekly basis that does boarding as well. I love their philosophy on boarding as it is cage-free. Max would not do well in a kennel. He is so used to being around people 24/7 that it is important that he has that contact while boarding. Camp Run-a –Mutt has an unusual boarding technique. All the dogs are placed in a large room on dog beds and one of the staff sleeps in there with them all night. Genius!
This arrangement, however, does not alleviate all my guilt of leaving him. I admit that I checked in on him via webcam at least once a day. I am a bit envious of those dog parents that have small dogs that can travel with them because it would have been nice to take Max with me. My 8 year old niece was especially disappointed that Max did not make the trip with me. She has not yet met Max but recently finished his book and so wants to play with him! Over the past three years, Max has become not just my dog but my best buddy. I love spending time with him. He keeps me very active and social. It is amazing how much more outgoing I am when I have him by my side. So when he is not with me, I keenly feel his absence. Luckily, my sister has a dog so I did get some doggie time over the holidays. Her dog, Morgan, is a ball dog which is quite a difference from Max. His idea of fetch is me throwing the ball and fetching it!
I know that having a dog is not like having kids, but for me Max is the only child I will ever have. So in some ways I treat him as such and miss him like the family he is. I did a typical parent thing when I returned from my trip. I felt guilty and in feeling so made sure that I planned some extra special activities for him. He had a great day at his favorite place, Fiesta Island and we spent some good bonding time together.
Am I the only dog parent that feels this way? Have a great New Year!