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summer camp for dogs and daughters

02 July 2011

OD is off at a three-week summer camp in Canada.

Every year, she travels north and east to canoe, enjoy Tim Horton’s donuts, swim in a freshwater lake, bathe in insect repellant and use multi-coloured currency bearing the likeness of the world’s most famous corgi owner.

So MW and I are alone with Luna in Northern California where they’re hardly any freshwater lakes. It is just the three of us until our Great Dane puppy goes to her own summer camp (aka the kennel), while we fly up to Toronto to pick up her sissie from camp.

Camp or Confinement at 30,000 ft?

We might have even booked a ticket for Luna and showed her off to Canadian customs but for United Airlines’ greed. The cost of flying a dog as checked luggage is now $250 each way. It was $50 only 15 years ago. That’s a rant for another day.

Hanging out with just Luna, though, is a remembrance of our life before children (or child in our case), as well as a harbinger of life to come should OD head off in a year to Great Dane-free life at boarding school. The house is quieter and visitors hear very few songs released after 2005.

Dogs and Redecorating

luna discovers what people mean when they say "let's redecorate"

White Whiskers

Luna’s had a bit of fun while she’s been the focus in our home.

MW is updating OD’s room from a pink décor fit for a 7-to-11-year-old girl to a blue and white look more suitable to the social aspirations of a new teen.

MW was rolling some white primer coat on the walls. Luna had never seen paint before. A rush to investigate followed. She dropped her head to study the paint tray. She sniffed and peered. She peered a little more closely. A little too closely, in fact.

After a warning exclamation from MW, Luna lifted her head, revealing newly-whitened whisker tips on both sides of her face. She looked like she’d just returned from a salon visit. The highlights looked cute against her predominantly black face.

Summer Camp for Dogs

She’s probably going to have more fun when she goes off to a canine version of camp – residence at a kennel. At least, we’ve found a kennel that promises to be more camp than incarceration. Guests have four scheduled play sessions a day. There’s air conditioning. There’s grass. There are dogs of all sizes and levels of playfulness. And she’ll have the familiarity of her mattress and bedding from home. We’re taking her own food along, too. (And expecting some kind of discount as a result).

All this for just $30 per day. We’ll be gone 15 days so summer camp for our dog is going to add up to the cost of what would have been several lovely wine country dinners. Maybe not the French Laundry in Yountville, CA, but these never-to-be-eaten meals would have been a big step up from Chipotle Grill. Alas.

What else would we spend this money on? Mortgage prepayments? SEP and 401K contributions? A family vacation at Christmas? Instead, our daughter and dog will have a terrific time getting wet and sharing dorm space with new friends. MW and I will be sharing pasta at home.

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