Six hours, that's what it takes to tire him out. Like, I mean, really tire him out. Hooper spent six hours at Camp Bow-Wow today, his first experience with this so-called doggie day care deal. What a friggin' hoot.
Brenda has a bunch of deadlines to meet, and since she's been working from home, half her energy and time is spent managing Hooper during the day. So today we thought it might be a good idea for me to take Hooper off her hands and let her make some headway without poop and and chew-toy distractions. Now, Hoop's spent half-days with me in the office before, but knowing that he starts getting cranky and rambunctious around 3pm we thought maybe today we'd try a new program: morning with Rob in the office, and afternoon at dogie day care. It couldn't have worked out better.
To begin the day, my co-worker Mike dropped by my office with his two dogs Hoodabai and Snap around 9am. I'd met "Hooda" before, as he's brought her in in the past, but Mike's wife had both Hoodabai and Snap--their other dog, a beautiful Red Tick Coonhound--in the car when she dropped Mike off at work, and he wanted me to meet him. And so it was in the hallway outside my office that the three dogs had an impromptu meet-n-greet while half the office looked on from the kitchen at the end of the hall.
The rest of the morning was the usual ADD experience of work peppered with visits by co-workers (generally brought about by yours truly IM'ing co-workers to alert them of Hooper's office attendance) and checks to make sure Hooper wasn't eating anything he wasn't supposed to. But at noon, it was time for Hooper's life to change.
We walked down the street to Camp Bow-wow, the doggy daycare facility; and while Hoop sniffed and chewed, I filled out paperwork. A dog was brought out, and the two of them sniffed some more. Then the two of them went into the play area with the other inmates, and the warden came out saying Hoop had passed the "interview" with flying colors. Hooper was gonna spend the rest of the afternoon in a large indoor/outdoor area with about 15 other dogs, and all I needed to do was show up before 7PM to bring him home. And, as an added bonus, I could watch the proceedings on a webcam.
We've had Hooper for two months now, and we know that he has no off-switch. If a dog is in the room, he will play with it, so I was wondering how he would do in a room full of dogs without me to say "enough" and clip a leash on him. Turns out, he just keeps on going, and going, and going, until I show up to bring him home and the staff at the doggy daycare all breathe a sigh of relief. Seriously. The webcam--which is like crack for canine owners--told the whole story; the picture updates every three seconds or so, so you get this sort-of flipbook glimpse of the proceedings at the facility. The thing is, some dogs will change position a little bit each update, but Hooper would be in-frame one minute and completely gone by the next update, indicating a dog in constant and rapid motion. This continued throughout the afternoon, as I took continuous deep and long hits on the doggy daycare webcam crackpipe.
When I picked him up at the end of the day, the "camp counselor" was smiling ear-to-ear and said "Hooper was great, he played with with everyone, all day; he messed with the big dogs, and played with the smaller dogs, he didn't discriminate". Hooper emerged looking like a teenager coming down off an extacy high after an all-night rave, which is about the canine equivalent of doggy day care as far as I can tell. His usually shiny coat took on a dull patina of dog saliva and dirt. He sniffed randomly and had the eyes of a partier; he was in the throes of denial that the party was over.
When we got home, he slumped down and went to sleep, and for the remainder of the evening it's been as if we have a Pug in the house, not a Lab/Border Collie mix. It's been awesome. I'm sold.