On the 20 February this year, I experienced one of the saddest moments of my life! I was about to go on holiday and had to leave my puppies Dougal and Bodie at the kennels for the first time. I felt completely OK with this concept until I arrived at the kennels and reality dawned.
As I turned around to look at the two pooches seated comfortably on the back seat of my car, I realised that they wouldn’t understand what was happening. All they knew was a cosy, pampered life and I was about to imprison them in what amounted to a cell. I couldn’t explain what was happening to them and I was unable to reassure them that I was coming back. I felt awful! The owner of the kennels was suitably comforting but when she closed the gate on their run, I could see two very sad faces and I didn’t want to leave them. But leave them I did.
Two Sad Puppies
I thought about those little faces every day whilst I was away. On my return, I rushed to the kennels and probably would have driven anyone off the road who had the misfortune to get in my way. I virtually fell out of the car outside the kennels and, had the owner not been there waiting, I might well have broken in!
Two Happy Puppies
As I entered my puppies’ ran they ambushed me immediately and came close to licking the skin of my face! They were so excited that I thought they would burst. But they were also in perfectly good health and did not seem to be traumatised by their experience.
When we all arrived home, the dogs walked through the front door wagging their tails with great gusto. Within a few minutes they were acting as if they had never been away. I was relieved to find that they were untroubled by their experience and did not appear to be holding my recent absence against me.
Agony for Dog Owners
I am guessing that all dog owners go through the same agony the first time that they have to kennel their pets. My distress all seems somewhat excessive now and I don’t think I will be similarly troubled when I next make the drive to the kennels. I won’t ever like leaving them but I won’t feel like a criminal!
Puppies in the Snow
Since I returned home, the freak weather in the UK has continued. I awoke this morning to find that six inches of snow had arrived during the night. The dogs had only experienced a dusting of snow previously and so there was another new adventure awaiting them outside. They had a wonderful time playing in the white stuff and those terrible moments when I left them at the kennels were finally banished from my mind.
Dogs are trusting and adaptable animals. I knew this and should not have allowed myself to worry so much about kennelling them. Perhaps it was ultimately a good thing that they experienced a period away as puppies. They should now be able to take my absences in their stride. Not that they didn’t anyway!