Minnie goes to overnight camp

This trip was Julie and my second time away from home overnight together since we got Minnie.

Our first trip away from home, we left Minnie with the vet. Our logic was sound. We’ve been using these vets the whole time we’ve been in San Diego, and we’re very happy with them. And if something went wrong, well, Minnie’s already at the vet if that happens, right?

But leaving Minnie with the vet proved to be a bad idea. She seemed to have a rough time with it emotionally. In retrospect, the reason is obvious: It’s a vet. It’s a place for sick and injured animals. Minnie spent her time in a smallish cage, too close to other animals, and those animals were suffering. If they weren’t suffering, they probably wouldn’t be there. I don’t mean to overly anthropomorphize dogs, but they are emotionally sensitive pack animals and pick up on that kind of thing. Or at least Minnie does and is.

Spending the night at the vet was like spending the night at the hospital. Of course Minnie was unhappy about that.

So this time we sent Minnie to a proper kennel, Camp Bow Wow. It’s the same place we took her to for daycare a few weeks ago. Truly, she had a rough time then but we thought if she had time to get used to it she might learn to like it. And if not, well, we can’t live our lives around the animals more than we already do. If she failed to thrive in the boarding facility, we’d deal with that once it happened. Julie and I need to be able to leave the house together for more than a few hours at a time.

As I type this I’m still on the plane coming in for a landing but I think Minnie’s stay at the boarding place went well. The reason I believe this is because the boarding place has installed Webcams, and we’ve been peeking in at them. And Minnie seems to be doing great. At home she’s a shy and submissive dog and that was at the root of our fears she would not do well at the boarding place. But she seems to be thriving there. It’s hard to tell 100% — the video quality is poor — she looks like a 1980s-8-bit-pixellated version of herself — but we can see that her tail is in the air and her head is up and she’s zipping from one part of the pen to the other, checking up on all the other dogs and making sure they’re all doing what they’re supposed to be doing. (Well, actually, I assume she’s zipping — like I said, the video quality is poor. She disappears in one spot and reappears a second later about six feet away. I assume she has trotted that distance and has not, appearances to the contrary, teleported.) She’s not submissive at all — she’s downright bossy.

I had hoped to be able to pick her up tonight but it looks like my flight, which was delayed, gets in less than an hour before the kennel closes, not enough time for me to make it. So she gets another 16 or so hours at camp, and I get to spend some quality time with the cats. Assuming they even come out when I get home — when you’ve been gone a while, cats are all, “Oh, you? You’re home already? Well, I’ll come by and we can visit as soon as I wrap up what I’m doing.”

We’ve had cats as long as we’ve been married, but cats are self-sufficient on their own. We just have people come in and feed them and change their litterboxes. But dogs need attention.


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