October is one of my favorite months. It means that Momma’s (Minnesota) golf season – including the revolving door of caregivers coming by and my endless trips to day care – is almost over. It also means that I get to celebrate my favorite holiday – Halloween!
Golf & Doggie Day Care
Although Momma also loves October (it is her birthday month and she enjoys the gifts, attention, etc.), she will miss the endless tee times, shopping for golf outfits, and cocktails on the 19th hole that the end of the season brings. I, on the other paw, will be happy to see things return to normal here (a term I use loosely when woofing about life with Momma).
This year, Momma, in the vain hope of becoming a better doggie momma, and fearing a repeat of last year when the house flooded – with me at home gated in the bathroom – had decided that I could not stay at home by myself for an entire day while she golfed. Therefore, she made up her mind – Momma would either find someone to “check on” (code for feed, walk and play with) me, or she would take me to doggie day care.
Luckily, Momma was usually successful at finding a victim . . . er, volunteer . . . to stop by. If not my personal favorite, Nanny Becky, she would enlist Bob, our next door neighbor, or any other person in possession of our house key or garage code to stop by. Don’t tell Momma – or our insurance company – that I woofed this, but I’m reasonably sure that Momma has lost track of who all does have access to our house which sounds a little risky to me. Momma seems unconcerned though (“Not to worry, Lina, I have that pet cam/surveillance system set up”).
When schedules jived, Momma would drop me off at doggie day care (advertised as a “camp”) on her way to the golf course. It is a top notch facility with great care, but Momma has made it difficult for me to fit in there.
First, there was the tour she demanded before leaving me there for the first time and the inquisition about another “camper” in the small doggie play area (let’s just say Momma has a lot to learn about inclusiveness and diversity). And every time we go there, there’s the embarrassing arrival. Momma – ostensibly to protect me from big dogs, but really to signal that I should have extra care – carries me in like a baby (causing many eye rolls among “camp counselors” and making me a laughing stock with the other dogs) along with my elephant toy (meant to sway staff and owners to the GOP) and a treat bag. She then hands me over to a wary counselor and instructs that after about two hours of play I should be placed in my “cabin” to rest – with the elephant! – and given my treats.
Her little production over, Momma finally high tails it out the door for golf. She often forgets about me then, but sometimes checks the live web cam to check on me (she’s paying for this after all). If I am not immediately visible in the play area and it isn’t my break time, Momma calls the camp and asks where I am. That practice came to a screeching halt one day, however, when after Momma’s incessant calling, she was informed that I had been placed in the air conditioned doggie lounge up front where I would be more comfortable and they could give me a little more attention. (“Best just to let sleeping dogs lie, Lina.”)
Even when she does see me in small doggie play area though, Momma can’t help but interfere. If I am – for one minute – just sitting by myself, Momma has a “little chat” with camp counselors about my interaction (or lack thereof) with other dogs. “Lina doesn’t seem to be very popular, does she?” or “Lina doesn’t seem to be playing well with other dogs, does she?” Momma will inquire. To which a patient camp counselor will assure her, keeping his thoughts on who really has social issues to himself, that Lina is just fine.
The last time Momma dropped me off took the cake. Before releasing me to camp care, Momma always asks the counselor (in whose arms she is placing me) what his or her name is – the easier to ask for someone specific when she calls to check on me. This time the girl’s name was Candi. Momma, trying to bond quickly, said, “Oh my gosh, that’s my middle name!” “Really?” asked Candi, “Candi or Candace?” It was Candace, but Momma thought Candy would better cement the relationship so she responded, “Candy.” “Really?” exclaimed Candi, “Do you spell it with an i or a y?” At first, this stumped Momma because she did not know how to spell a name she really didn’t have, but she quickly recovered and blurted out “y” – wouldn’t that be the most common after all? “Oh,” said a disappointed Candi, “mine’s with an i.” So much for bonding – although I’m sure Candi won’t soon forget Candy anytime soon.
An October Surprise & Halloween
Just when I thought we had settled in for the fall, I had my own October surprise – Momma went to Florida for more golf and Dr. Becca and Winnie came to stay with me for a week. (This October surprise should not be confused with Hillary’s – hers involved a man named Weiner and mine a weiner dog.) We had a lot of fun and the highlight of their stay was when Becca dressed us up in costumes and took us along to work on Halloween. Here we are – Winnie as Wonder Woman and me as a Princess (“Really going against type there,” Momma sniped).
I for one, am looking forward to winter. Thank you, Becca and all my caregivers for the quality time you spent with me this season!
Lina, Camper and Princess