June 28, 2021

I meet your pup. I fall in love with your pup. I get to know you. I share your daily struggles, going to work and after your day is done. I know your loves, your dislikes, your struggles, your happy times and your sad times. I listen to you boast with pride and I am here for you when something doesn’t go right.

I play with your pup, I feed your pup. I make sure his poo is healthy. Is he eating? Is he drinking? Do I need to add pumpkin to his food? Chicken and rice? Wet food so he will eat? Does he have allergies? Let’s check.

Did he take his meds? Do I add them to wet food? Peanut butter? Cheese? As a treat? Do I need to put the meds down his throat at the risk of being bitten? He needs his meds. Did he take his meds?

Did he play nicely? Did he get scratched? Is he limping? Where did that blood come from? His toe, his tooth, his ear? Is he a puppy? Is he teething? Is he in the right playgroup? Too calm? Too active? Too big? Too small? Did he eat his lunch? Is he drinking enough? Did he throw up? Have diarrhea? Why? Is he nervous? Shy? Confident? Does he have separation anxiety?

I comfort him, love on him, redirect him when he misbehaves. Is he too tired? Too old? Too young? Does he have the correct vaccines? Do I have the owner’s phone number? Emergency contact number? Do I take him to the vet? Or wait? Do I tell the owner he has a tummy ache or wait a day with chicken and rice? What would the owners be able to do from Hawaii? Cabo? San Diego? Chicago? Will it ruin their vacation if I call? Will they worry too much, when I could just tend to them for a couple days with chicken and rice? Should I call?

I take your pup to the emergency hospital when I can’t get a hold of you. I cry, I worry. What do I do without the owner’s consent? The doctors are so understanding and helpful. I pay in order to get your pup medical care that he needs no matter what the cost.

I feel exhausted, sad, worried, happy, thankful of your trust. Upset when you are disappointed or unhappy for any reason. Trying to please. Trying to do my best every day. Come in at all hours to handle situations to ensure your pet’s safety.

I go to the store if you didn’t bring enough food. You have a family emergency. I fit your pup in even though we are sold out. I sympathize when you lose your best friend or lose a loved one. I rejoice when you have a baby.

I cry when you are not looking, wondering if I am doing everything I can. I worry. Will you be happy with my services? With my employees? With my pricing? My conversation? My expressing of concerns to help your pup and you?

Will you ever know what I have done to ensure your pet is healthy, happy and excited to see you when you pick up? Will you be upset with me if I tell you your pup acted out and needs training? Is it my fault?

Do you know that I have policies in place for safety reasons? Not to inconvenience you. Do you know I work before coming in for my morning shift and when I go home? Do you know I am on call 24 hours a day can get upwards of 20 phone calls a day when I am at home or on vacation about various items about you or your pup? We have overnight staff to ensure a restful night sleep for your dogs even though it costs us more than just conventional boarding where they are left alone all night.

We give extra lovin’ and sit with your pups. We clean and clean and clean. Still your pup catches a cold. You are upset. I worry. Do I get a bad review? I give blankets and pillows and love. I make sure we do report cards and have pictures for your dogs stay because you love it.

We have dishes, laundry, mopping, sweeping, cleaning walls, lobby, windows, playrooms, baths to do, bathroom to clean, customer service, paperwork, reservations, phones. And yes…eventually, we get to play with dogs all day.