Today I had a meeting that Dottie could not attend, and as she is not quite past her separation anxiety, I thought an afternoon at daycare would be the best solution. Fortunately, I have low expectations for my dogs at daycare. Very low expectations. I gave up on Ella (Dottie’s predecessor and my first crazy Dane) attending daycare on her fourth visit, when she refused to get out of the car, then sat on the keys and locked me out. In the parking lot. And then refused to sit on the keys again to unlock the door.
Dottie’s apparent life goal is live up to Ella’s antics, and as usual she did not disappoint. I was cautiously optimistic, since I hadn’t gotten any panicked phone calls from the daycare all afternoon. I had taken all kinds of precautions – sent her records over in advance so there was no wait time, called to discuss her issues, arranged for a “high security” room to avoid any chance of escape, sent my dirty tshirt with her, etc. When I arrived to pick her up, I knew it hadn’t gone well when the woman at the front desk said “well, Dottie was a little bit nervous.” Turns out, well, Dottie tried to escape all afternoon, pooped numerous times in her “private room,” and somehow smeared poop all over herself, her toys, my shirt, and her bed. To the point that all of the above had to washed. (Lesson learned: don’t send your favorite tshirt with the crazy dog).
I apologized to the staff that she was so difficult, and the poor staffer went back to get Dottie (based on Ella’s behavior over the years I knew this was not likely to go well for her). Dottie came barreling around the corner, employee waterskiing behind her, and then leaped on me, just in case there was anyone within 500 feet whose attention was not already focused completely on us. I guess at least she (and the daycare) survived her first day.
(Don’t worry, Dottie and I are working with a professional trainer to eliminate these issues, not advocating this sort of behavior on a permanent basis)