On Saturday we're heading to Arizona for Spring Break... a glorious six-day vacation that began with me blurting out the following statement:
"Can we please get in the car and drive south until the car thermometer hits 85 degrees, and then stay there? Before I beat myself over the head with the ice scraper that I had to use JUST TWO DAYS AGO?!?! Thank you."
My guys become very accommodating when I start threatening self-induced concussions... So we booked a hotel a stone's throw from all that is glorious about Old Town Scottsdale (stores and restaurants galore, gleaming in the warm sunshine), and they have assembled a pretty little chorus line of tee times. And all in the land were happy and excited.
Except for... Dingo.
When we've gone on vacation in the past, Dingo has stayed at home and my wonderful sister-in-law, Deanna, has come over and looked after him while we are gone. Deanna is a TOTAL dog lover (she and Dave are cut from the same cloth) and, truth be told, she probably takes better care of him than we do! But after returning from a week-long trip to Mexico a couple of years ago, we found out that Dingo spends most of the day... and ALL NIGHT... barking. We knew this because, first and foremost, there was a raspy, seal-like croak where his bark used to be... and also, our neighbors had kindly informed us of the situation. (And they really were kind about it; my humblest apologies to our peeps on Fairway Drive!)
Since then, the new M.O. has been for Deanna to shut him inside the house at night, so he no longer keeps our neighbors up, and then she goes back over in the morning and lets him out. This has worked out just fine because, of course, the top priority was to make sure he wasn't a total nuisance to the neighborhood while we are away. But the last time we came back from a trip and listened to Dingo's croak for days on end, I decided this arrangement wasn't working out so well for his vocal chords... or for him in general! He's obviously lonely at home without us, and that makes me sad... and then I worry about him. So I told Dave the next time we go away for more than a couple of days, we had to have another plan.
For the first time ever, we're boarding Dingo at a kennel. For an entire week.
The kennel we chose comes highly recommended by several devoted pet lovers (including Deanna), so we feel good about that. The wild card is, of course, our Creature of Habit. We have absolutely no idea at all how he's going to react to the place... or, even worse, how he'll react to his humans leaving him in an unfamiliar place for an undetermined amount of time.
I have no idea how a dog's mind works. And frankly, I'm embarrassed to admit this... but the thought of Dingo thinking that we've finally kicked him out of our lives -- that he's been voted off Openshaw Island forever --makes me want to cry. For real. My eyes are full of tears right now as I type this!
As we're nearing the time of departure, I've told Dave that I just can't go with him to drop off Dingo on Saturday... because I don't want him to be mad at me for leaving him there. I admit it: I want him to blame Dave for the devastating, albeit temporary, abandonment.
I know. I know. I KNOW!! Apparently I've become one of those wackadoo pet lovers, dammit!!
Look... my brain knows this is best for him. And my heart is just hoping that he'll be so distracted by all the new sights and smells and goings-on that he could care less where we've gotten off to. I don't want Dingo to think that we've finally had enough of all his nonsense and naughtiness... because the truth is, we absolutely couldn't live without it. We couldn't live without him.
Which is why, with his 10th birthday approaching, Dave's looking for a reasonably priced time machine on eBay. NWOT preferred, EUC okay.
I'll be sure to post all the details about his time served in the PETitentiary... in the meantime, cross your fingers and pray that the Prodigal Dog will want to return home.