Having a dog means one more thing to think about when traveling. No longer can we just run off for a weekend on a whim, and taking Finn with us isn’t always an option thanks to a strict no dog policy at many vacation destinations (and I don’t think Finn would fare well on a cruise ship). Our vacation was planned well ahead of time and as it approached we needed to decide what we were going to do with Finn. First we called the breeder, but with both of Finn’s parents and one of his sisters they just did not have room for the little guy. Then, while spending a nice Sunday morning in Westwood we saw a few dogs for adoption along with a van advertising cage free dog boarding. A review of their website revealed that CageFree K9′s was part rescue organization part dog day care, so we decided to check it out.
When I called to get the details we found out it was best to have a trial run, to make sure Finn would handle it, before leaving him for a whole week. This seemed like a reasonable thing to do so we setup for the following Saturday. Finn got dropped off in the morning and while he went to go play we got a tour of the facilities. The place looked great, and all the people working there were friendly and seemed genuinely interesting in taking care of dogs. Still though, leaving him was nervewracking. How much did we really know about these people? We spent the day running errands and generally enjoying ourselves. When we returned, late that afternoon , the girl working the desk (who had also checked us in) starting telling us how well Finnegan did and how much everyone there loved him. Success!
A few weeks later we dropped Finnegan off again and left on our cruise. Finn’s mom checked in every chance she got (at least once daily if we could get cell reception) and each time the updates were positive. On the last day of the cruise we disembarked, hopeed in the car and drove straight to CageFree. Sure enough our little guy was just fine, albeit fairly dirty and smelly, and when we paid we went ahead and got a package deal (40 nights). Sure it is not the least expensive thing we have ever bought, but for the quality of care Finn gets there (they now know him by name and on Sunday mornings at their adoption will tell us how much they can’t wait to see him again) it is totally worth it.
July first marked the first anniversary of our life with Finnegan, a beautiful golden retriever. With this milestone I find myself reflecting back on all the things that have happened in the past year and all the things I have learned. There were the hours spent lounging on the couch or playing fetch, buying toys at the pet store only to see them ripped apart in mere minutes, exciting trips to dog parks and hikes and countless other experiences that I treasure. In an attempt to explain what a whirlwind at has been, and all the things I have learned I have complied a list of the ten most memorable moments, some fun and some worrisome, from the first year of pet ownership. Because some of them involve full stories I’ll be posting them serially over the course of the month. If you are a pet owner feel free to chime in and let me know how you dealt with some of these issues or what your favorite memories were from your first year of having a pet.