Apr 24, 2011

Puppy Camp and Disney Camp

Our boys are out of school for the next week for spring break, so we are taking a Disney vacation.  Ten days at Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground.  Since we are going to be doing the parks, Joey is NOT with us for this trip.  Southeast Guide Dogs does not want the puppies exposed to the theme park setting.  Joey does very well in large crowds.  He does very well with constant loud noises.  We help him do very well in the hot sun.  But, put all those together along with all the other distractions a theme park has to offer and even the most highly trained guide dog can be overwhelmed. 
We were looking for a puppy-sitter that could take Joey for those ten days, then a week before we were to leave, our AC decided to set up a full-blown three week puppy camp with somebody in another puppy raiser group near us.  Two days before we were leaving on vacation, I called the guy that would be taking Joey to make arrangements to drop off the dog.  Well, guess who is in the hospital?  I am not in panic mode yet, but I need to get some other arrangements confirmed before I let the wife know that there is a problem with puppy camp.  She is really looking forward to this vacation and I don’t need to let her get upset.  I got a call from somebody else in the group that was going to be camping Joey to let me know they had a replacement home for him.  Since we were planning on leaving Friday morning for Disney, it was much better logistically to transfer Joey on Thursday.  I called the new sitter, Doreen, and it turned out she would be driving home from Orlando on Thursday afternoon, which would put her driving thru my area.  I made arrangements to meet her at a truck stop in my town, right along the interstate she was driving.  Any apprehension I had about leaving Joey with a stranger, disappeared when I met Doreen.  She was great with Joey; not allowing him to get too excited to meet her, playing with him when he sat and tried to control his excitement, rubbing his belly, etc.  She talked about other people in her group that would be handling Joey during the period.  By the time we went our separate ways, her with Joey, and me without, I knew Joey would be in capable hands. 
It has now been two full days without a dog.  I haven’t gone this long without a dog since we got our puppy almost a year ago.  He has been with me almost 24 hours a day.  Even when he was at his first puppycamp, I was camping another dog in his place that was so much like him.  These last couple days I have only told my boys “sit”, “drop it”, and “no noise” a handful of times.  I guess I kind of miss the big guy.

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