I never understood the angst, the worry, the heart wrenching misery that passed the face of each customer that left their dogs to board with us. I grew up with and around dogs, and working at the boarding kennel had me around 20, maybe 30 dogs everyday. They were dogs. I didn’t see any reason for customers to be so choked up by being away from their DOGS for 3 days.
Then we got a puppy.
And everything became clear.
Leaving from the foster home (huge shout out to them for an awesome job!) the whole picture took place. What if our new puppy got sick? What if she got in the garbage and ate chocolate? What if she borrowed into her blanket and suffocated in her sleep?! All the irrational, crazy thoughts came flooding into my head in a flash, and I understood.
I was too young to remember raising my puppy when I grew up. She was 7 weeks, I was 6 years. In short, I didn’t raise her, my parents did. I didn’t worry about her shots, food, potty breaks, treats, training … my parents did. And even though I spent 17 years with that dog, and had spent the last almost 2 1/2 years in a dog kennel and dog sitting for friends, I was not prepared for the emotions that suddenly drudged their way up into my gut.
Worry. Angst. Nervousness.
All of my confidence was sucked away by a pair of muddy brown eyes. As my girlfriend and I welcomed her into our home, reality became about vet visits, proper dieting, safe potty breaks. Now, I understood why I had to console every pet owner that left their dog with us at the kennel. I understood that they were feeling what I was feeling, watching our new pup use her food dish and play with her toys for the first time.
This four legged wonder was more than just an animal in our world. They were loved family members. And now I belonged to a special club that I had once denounced and poked fun at, but now one that I have grown to appreciate: