Eating, Playing, and Making New Friends: It’s A Dog’s Life

Since nothing says romance like spending the weekend with one’s in-laws, that is exactly what I did. Well, technically we visited my in-laws because it was a long weekend – the kids had Teacher’s Conventions and Monday was Family Day – but the former sounds funnier. It was a really nice weekend, and like the day after every long weekend, yesterday found me frantically catching up on various domestic duties.

Honestly, I know we are all in the same boat, I know this is the most tedious and mundane of topics, but does it ever amaze you the sheer amount of time spent doing things just to keep the household running smoothly? Laundry, for example. Yesterday I spent an enormous amount of time doing laundry, which only results in having to do laundry again today. I also went to two different grocery stores, took the kids to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup, and went to pick up the dog from the kennel. That, along with various meal preparations and resulting kitchen cleanups, comprised my entire day. God, I’m even boring myself talking about it. Domestic drudgery, I swear.

The bright light in my day was picking up the dog from the kennel. It was the first time he had gone to this particular kennel, which is actually not called a kennel at all, but a Pet Resort. The last time Barkley was boarded overnight was in December when we went to Orlando; I was picking him up from the kennel we had always used, and I happened to mention to the fellow working there that I would phone in a week or so to book him in again for this long weekend. I called and it went straight to voice mail. I tried back and it went straight to voice mail. I left a message and my phone number, and no one returned my call. This was around Christmas, so I figured things would be busy – dog boarders are notoriously busy over the holidays.

Something felt strange though, as I continued to call and get the voice mail. My husband and I were headed to Costco just after New Year’s, and I thought I would swing by the kennel to book him in, in person. I had a weird feeling, and sure enough, when we pulled up the sign was gone and a notice of closure was on the door.

First, imagine all the people who would be stranded for dog care during the holidays. Second, imagine all the unsuspecting people who would come to drop their dog off for boarding, only to discover that the kennel was closed. They did not inform any of their customers; I texted a friend who had her dog booked in at the end of January, and she had no idea.

Long story short, on many recommendations I booked Barkley into the Pet Resort and I am very happy I did. They gave him a report card when I came to pick him up, and it was glowing with praise for his friendly and social behaviour, and also his ability to eat no matter what the circumstances. He’s an A+ eater! Barkley had so much fun playing and making new friends was the comment on the report card. Just like when my babies gained the requisite amount of weight at their newborn checkups, and when later they passed dental checkups with nary a cavity, I felt a self-esteem surge at Barkley’s popularity at the Pet Resort. One might say I’m living vicariously through my dog, and taking credit where it is not due, but I will take a boost whenever I can.

Friday morning was foggy, and although to some of you that might sound like no big deal, we do not get a lot of fog on the Prairies. I had to drive Barkley to the Pet Resort, which is just west of the city. I have driven in snowstorms, blizzards, hail, and 90 km/hour wind gusts, but I have never driven in conditions like I did on Friday. The fog was so thick I couldn’t see the highway exit signs until I was just below them; I couldn’t see the cars 25 feet in front of me, and I couldn’t see the side of the road. It was so eerie, like I was actually just in a cloud instead of on the road. The problem was that although I knew approximately where the Pet Resort was, I didn’t know exactly, and I couldn’t see anything; no landmarks, no signs, nothing at all. If I hadn’t been worried about being hit by a similarly-disadvantaged driver, I would have pulled over on the shoulder to cry. As it was I kept telling myself to breathe deeply and to not cry. There was no way out but through, so to speak. I ended up taking several wrong turns in the small commercial district, and resorted to both calling the Pet Resort to try to tell them where I was – which was impossible because I couldn’t actually see where I was – and asking random strangers in parking lots how to get there. Turn at Tractorland, one fellow told me, and although I know that Tractorland is a giant yellow building, the fog was so thick I couldn’t even see it from the road. Finally I did end up in the right place, proving once and for all that even a blind squirrel gets a nut every once in a while.


  1. What a scary drive! I hate it when businesses/organizations fail to communicate. No one will answer my pleas to get June switched into a different Girl Scout camp session, not even to say sorry, lady, no dice, which I fear is the implied answer here. But I’m pretty sure the camp still exists.

  2. Sympathy on the foggy drive – I’m sure I would have given up and gone home in tears. But I’m glad to hear it was a good weekend with a happy ending!

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