Saturday, August 25, 2012

Suite Vacation

This summer's family vacation is the first pet-free trip we've taken in several years. In fact, the last time we had a pet-free vacation, we only had one dog. So the decision to put the dogs in a kennel was not one made lightly, especially because Flash, our newest member of the family, had never been in a kennel. I don't mean since he's lived with us. I mean in his whole life.

Flash's previous owners, when they traveled, would either take Flash with them or hire a pet-sitter to come stay with him at their home. This means that Flash never traveled without his parents, and when they traveled without him, he never had to leave home. He just stayed in bed, watching television and woefully waiting for their postcard.

We researched several kennels in the area before choosing one that had a lot of room for running around, offered reasonable rates and, most importantly, had a suite available so that Flash and Bailey could board together. Bailey, while never happy about staying in a kennel, at least knows the ropes. To stave off my worrying about them both, I imagined a potential  conversation between the two dogs after their being dropped off at the kennel:

Flash: "Whoa! It smells amazing in here! I think I smell a poodle I haven't seen in years! Bailey, do you smell that? Can you smell Ginger?"

Bailey (to himself): "Weird. I don't remember this place. At least I'm not getting that nasty vibe I get at the vet's office. Hm. I wonder what it's all about..."

Flash: "Um, hey, where's Dad? Bailey? Did you see which way Dad went? I can't smell him anywhere."

Bailey: "Aw, crap. I know what this is."

Flash: "What? Waddya mean, 'aw crap'? What's going on, man? Where's Dad? I mean, it smells great and all, but I'm starting to get a little freaked out here."

Bailey: "It's all right, Flash. Calm down. I know what this is. They're gone."

Flash: "GONE? What do you mean, 'gone'? Oooooh! We have to live here now? But what about my bed? And my toys? Wait, Bailey? Is this because I threw up again yesterday? I didn't mean it! I just, I couldn't help it! And why you? What did you do? How could they just leave us? I thought they LOVED us! I didn't even get to apologize! I didn't even get to say good bye! WAAAAAAHHH!!"

Bailey: "Dude, relax. They're not gone forever. They just, they leave us here to play with these other dogs and stuff, and then they come back in like 10 minutes or 15 years or something and pick us up. I never did figure out how long they're gone when they go anywhere. I think it's to, like, make us appreciate them more or something. But hey, it's OK. Don't cry. At least we're together, right? Aw, are you gonna be OK?"

Flash: "Ooh, I think Ginger is in the NEXT CRATE! I call dibs!"

Bailey: "Alrighty then."

Yeah, I know my imaginary conversation between them sounds a lot like the way my sons talk, but it's what I know. Besides, the four of them are more alike than most parents can boast, so it's probably not really that far from the truth. But I'll send them a postcard just in case.