The scheduling in my house is about to get crazy, so I decided to register Gibbs at Doggie Do Rite, a dog day care center in Northbrook. We call it sending him to camp - they even have a pool. Our dogs Dallas and Shadow were occasional attendees when it first opened. However, it is an expensive luxury, particularly difficult to justify for two.
The application form is about what you'd expect for anyplace responsible for the safety of a non-zero number of other people's pets. They also require the standard vet records. Then you make an appointment for an "assessment". Mostly, they want to make sure that your dog isn't a total terror.
Gibbs is not a terror. But he is a barker. And a jumper. And a leash-puller. Who hasn't played with another dog since he left his litter.
So we arrive for our appointment 10 minutes early. Because once you have your dog ready to go, you go already. My paperwork required one more signature, but was otherwise complete. My vet had sent the appropriate fax. And Gibbs was jumping on the director.
"We're working on that," I said.
"That's good. We'll work on it with him, too."
Doggie Do Rite doesn't allow people in the back, where the dogs play. The theory is that dogs are much less likely to get aggressive if their people aren't around to impress or protect. But I watched through the window as he was taken back to meet the other dogs. He pranced away and didn't look back.
They let three of the small dogs into the gated play area with him. While bigger than all of them, Gibbs went submissive and ran away. Tennis balls were introduced. He ran away. The other dogs started to play amongst themselves. Gibbs ran away.
The director came back to see me. "He's nervous. Do you want to leave him for the day and see how he does?"
Totally. I gave them his lunch and ran out the door.
I picked him up after work, and it seems he did fine. And do you want to see what he looks like now?
There is football on, and he isn't moving.