My husband and I were married for ten years before Tori came along. Ten years is a long time to be married and kid-free. So, like many before us, we adopted “fur babies.”
That’s right. I said fur babies.
In 2003, we adopted a little black lab mix we named Kermit the Dog. He was both adorable and completely helpless. Prone to making messes in the house and waking us up in the middle of the night. He was, in fact, our baby.
And I? Was smitten.
I quickly became the type of person who buys her dog costumes to wear on Halloween (and Christmas. And Easter).
I became the type of person who makes her own dog food. From scratch. Or at least I used to be (these days he has to settle for grilled chicken breast on top of his gourmet dog food).
I even became the type of person who drops her dog off at doggie daycare.
For those of you not familiar with the concept, let me explain it to you. Every morning, you wake up, get ready for work and pile your computer bag, lunch bag and dog in the car.
You double your commute time so you can drop him off at a cutely named center (ours is called the Doghouse), and he spends his day romping with other spoiled pooches.
At the end of the day, you pick him up and get a detailed report of how his day was.
You hear about his bowel movements. His appetite. And yes, you even get accident reports (like when he “accidentally” gets nipped by another dog).
Then you take him home and he collapses into a heap on the floor—much like an exhausted toddler.
And of course, you pay for this lovely service. Not as much as you pay for your children—but enough to make a dent in your budget.
It is, hands down, just about the most yuppy-like thing a person can do (other than drive a Prius and purchase nothing but organic food from Whole Foods).
I was always slightly ashamed to admit that I did, in fact, pay for daycare for my dog. It seemed like such a frivolous thing to do. Then Tori came and money got tight so our poor mutt had to amuse himself at home.
But I took him back to daycare today. And you know what? I’m really glad I did.
The moment I said, “Kermit, you want to go to doggie daycare?” he started bouncing up and down and yipping short, happy barks. He grinned the whole way there, and when we got out of the car, he literally dragged me to the front door. He was ecstatic to see the owners and followed them out of the room with out a backwards glance.
And when we picked him up tonight? He was happier than I’ve seen him in a long, long time. It did my heart good.
So say what you will. That dog is going to continue to go to daycare. Not every day, but every once in a while. He is, after all, my first born.
Just be glad I don’t carry him around in my purse.