Hot dang, I was right! We’re going to Happy Dogs this morning! As mom parks the car and walks around to my door, I can’t help but wag my tail just a bit faster. I love coming to daycare! I try really hard to mind my manners when she opens the door, but I burst out anyway. Mom loves when I do that. She always yells my name the way I like, too.
Mom walks me over to go potty in the side yard. I hope she has my leash held tight, those cars on the highway are scary fast. I sniff a bit to see which of my friends are here today… SQUIRREL?! No, can’t do that now. Gotta get inside so I can play.
We walk through the front door into the lobby and Katie greets my mom with a smile. I gotta make sure she doesn’t forget to say ‘hi’ to me so I give her a big bark just in case. After some human speak I didn’t catch, Mom hands Katie my leash and I finally get that pat on the head I barked for a minute ago. Humans are slow sometimes. You have to be patient with them.
I follow Katie back and I go into one of the little rooms in the hallway. These are pretty nice, the floor is quieter than the crates, but there isn’t anyone to bark at across from me today. So, I’ll just bark up so I can bark at everyone! As they bring more friends back, and the rooms fill up, and I know it’s almost time for the morning session.
As a veteran of doggy daycare, I’ve learned to keep my cool until the humans come to let us out for daycare play. Through the door of my room, I see some big friends coming through the hallway. I play with them sometimes.
I finally start to see some of my more petite friends pass by my room, and I know it’s almost my time. My door opens and Kacie calls me out. I say ‘hi’ with a bark and she gives me pats. I like pats. We walk around and through the indoor rooms. I used to get a little nervous when we would get to the hard, smooth floor, but now I don’t even worry about it. Kacie opens the back door, and out I go!
I can’t get to the gate fast enough. It’s only a couple of strides, but sometimes I forget and have to put the brakes on so I don’t crash into it. Looking in, I see so many friends. Smaller-then-me friends, same-as-me friends, even a couple bigger-than-me friends. I bark ‘hi’ to some of them as I wait somewhat patiently to go in.
Here she comes! Alison is my favorite daycare person. I bark at her and wag my tail as she approaches the gate along with so many friends. She makes them all give me space and opens the door for me. I step in and feel a few noses in my rear area. I let them get their sniffs and then I curl around and return the favor.
Oh. A new friend. I didn’t realize. I put on my best behavior, and we complete our greeting ritual. She’s a young one. I’d say about six months old. She offers a play bow, but I’m a little past playing with puppies so I give a polite grunt. She goes back to the other puppies she was playing with when I came in. There will be a few more friends entering so I go get a drink of water. I decide to explore the yard a little bit. Who knows what could have changed since yesterday? Gotta find out, and I gotta poop.
Once the last few friends are in the yard, I notice a couple of my friends starting the chase game. I sneak up and give a bark and they’re off! Yes! I join in the chase a little bit. Jogging after them, I suddenly realize: I’m too old for this sh@#!
What? Lethal Weapon is one of my mom’s favorite movies. I’ve watched it since I was a pup.
I mosey back to the water buckets and lap up a bit; it’s cool going down. I decide to watch the rest of the morning from the picnic tables in the back. Jumping up on them isn’t as easy as it used to be but I’ve still got it. The front table is nice, it’s getting a bit of sun this morning. I like how it warms my fur just enough when I lay in it. I watch those puppies rough-housing and learning bite control; my pals are still running their tails off, and I see a few other old friends relaxing like me as I slowly drift off.
I wake up to Alison calling my name. All of my other friends are already inside, so I get up and trot on in. I like being the last one in. I get extra pats since I waited so good. I follow her in and she walks me back to my suite. I walk in on my own and Alison gives me a treat so I know it’s okay to wait in here during lunchtime.
After a few minutes, Tyler opens my door. I know to wait though because he’s bringing my lunch! He puts my bowl down and scratches me behind the ear and under the chin. I take a few bites, but I’m not really hungry. I mean, I did sleep most of the time. I decide to save it for later and lay back down.
In the afternoon, we do it all again. Hanna gets me out this time. She’s still new so I have to show her how things work around here. I keep telling her stuff she needs to know, but she just looks at me like I’m barking for nothing. Maybe if I keep barking at her she’ll get it one day.
Outside, I bark, I sniff, I drink, I poop and pee. I play a bit more in the afternoon. Instead of running, I find my best bud and we mouth-wrestle for a bit. We’re both really careful not to hurt each other. Once we’ve both had our fill, we go lay down in the last sliver of sunlight until it’s time to go in. I’m so happy! Alison is sending me and my bestie in together!
We part ways and go back to our rooms to wait for our humans. It’s been a good day. I think I’ll finish my food now. Just as I’m getting settled back in, I see Kirsten coming with my leash and collar. I’m going home!
As tired as I am, I can barely contain my excitement as she buckles my collar and hooks my leash! I trot a couple steps ahead and sit for Kirsten as we get to the lobby door. I’m doing my best, but then I see her. Mom! I explode through the door and give her all the hugs and kisses I can! My tail is wagging so fast it’s difficult to walk straight as she takes my leash and we head out the door. I’m a happy Happy Dog.
By Tyler Bartlett