(Warning: This is about to be a long post with 500 pictures, but my Grandma Dolores said she likes the pictures, so I made sure to take a lot this weekend!)
I had the awesome, incredible, wonderful, luck to be Sunny’s Dog Caretaker on both Saturday & Sunday this week. When I got the email saying I would have her Saturday, I sent off a gleeful text to my dad, mom, and stepmom. Two minutes later, I sent them another text, in caps lock, saying I had her Sunday, too! I could barely contain myself at work. I wanted to go shopping right away to buy her a Valentine’s Day present.
(Side Note: As a Valentine’s Day present to myself, I bought 20 raffle tickets for RESCUE’s upcoming fundraising event, and also became Sunny’s official monetary sponsor for the month of February! That is money much more well spent than money spent at the movies or on candy or clothes or drinks at the bar.)
So what did I get her? Well, seeing as Sunny is on bed rest, I got her the closest thing I could find to a bed. Presenting her brand new, luxurious 3′ x 4′ Simmons BeautyRest dog bed, covered in neutral-toned microfleece! Talk about spoiling her! I basically bought her a twin sized mattress. In fact, after hauling it in to my apartment, I realized it sort of took up my entire living room:
I also bought her some new treats.
On Friday night– as usual when it’s the night before I pick up my dog– I barely slept a wink because I was so excited to show Sunny her new present! At 6:45AM I was anxiously parked outside Dog Days Daycare waiting to pick up my girl and then off we went. The moment of truth: what did Sunny think of her present!?….
Apparently, Sunny did not understand it was a dog bed. She seemed to think I had put like an octopus in the middle of the room for her to strategically walk around. After me demonstrating for an hour or so how she should lay on it, Sunny got the message.
Well, sort of.
She got the message that she should lay down. On something. Just not the thing I wanted her to lay on.
I hope someday when I buy my daughter her first Power Wheel’s Barbie Corvette that she does not react the same way Sunny was reacting to my grand present!
What to do next? I scooped her up off the couch and plopped her down on “Sunny’s couch.” Then I squished myself right next to it and let her adjust so she could cuddle with me, since that is her favorite thing to do.
She not only got the hang of lounging on the dog bed, but she really took the opportunity to make herself at home. Out of the blue came a pretty intense dream, which began with a big stretchhhhhh….
Then some galloping….
Then another shove to my face….
Before ending with this view for the next hour:
Oh well. As long as she’s relaxed right!? 🙂
After napping, we decided to go outside & enjoy the beautiful 80 degree weather! Sunny loved watching the boats on the lake, the bikers & joggers on the path, and all of the other dogs roaming around.
Around noon, we took off for Pet Club! At Pet Club, Sunny was the star of the show! Not one, but TWO families came to see her. I loved them both, but one family is perfect. PERFECT. I don’t want to jinx anything, so I will save the details on the family until she is successfully adopted.
Afterward, we spent our last two hours together reading magazines at the park. Sunny was exhausted by then! Who would have thought that 2000 belly rubs in one day could be so exhausting?!
After I woke up Sleeping Beauty, I dropped her off at Dog Days. Sixteen hours later, I was back again! Sunny may or may not have almost had a heart attack when she saw me. She legitimately bounded to my car. She jumped in the backseat with such enthusiasm that she whacked her head against the top of my car!
At home, after I lifted the princess onto her dog bed, she made herself at home, assuming her favorite spread eagle position, which is the most conducive to constant belly rubs.
I started trying to read my latest book. Trying being the operative word.
Sunny just wanted to cuddle.
I grew hungry, so eventually I gingerly moved her off of me & made some oatmeal. Which I then had to gingerly feed her because she did not eat it out of a bowl. She did not eat it off of the ground. She did not eat it out of a spoon. She did eat it out of my hand.
At 10:30AM we left for Pet Club in Paradise Valley. Sunny was her usual self– a friendly, happy, eager to please, social butterfly! One of the families from Saturday came to see her again, bringing their second child. Sunny soaked up all of the belly rubs she could get!
Afterward, we went to lunch at a dog-friendly cafe called Breadcrafters, with my mom. (Miraculously, Sunny and I had found time to research dog-friendly restaurants while she was kicking me in the eyeballs all morning.)
I thought the restaurant was okay. Sunny was not a fan of the restaurant because they refused to take her order! How rude!!
Eventually she gave up and laid down like the well-behaved angel that she is.
Knowing that it was very likely this would be our last day together, I had my mom snap a few pics.
With a final brief stop at Kiwanis Park where we cuddled in the sun, I had to drop her back off at daycare 😦
In the lobby, Sunny laid down at my side & wouldn’t move. Even after I tried to walk back with her to put her in her play area, she laid down again & refused to go any further without me. Eventually the man had to pick her up & carry her away, while she looked over her shoulder.
It still breaks my heart every time. I still cry every time. As rewarding as this all is, it is never any easier to take the dogs back at the end of the day. 😦
This time though, unlike the other times with Sunny, I wasn’t crying because I was worried she would never have the full-time love she deserves. Instead, I was crying because I know she soon will.
I know that I was leaving her today so that she could be picked up– and never left again– by one of the families we met. But she doesn’t understand why I left her. I could never convey this to her, no matter how hard I tried all afternoon. All she saw was her best buddy, who seemed to love her so much all weekend long, waving to her from behind the little glass window in the door, as she is carried further & further away, when all she wants to do is go back to her new dog bed in the car she finds by herself in the parking lot, no matter how many cars there are, at the apartment she knows by scent, even though all the doors in the hallway look the same.
I have spent more time with Sunny this year than with any of my friends or family. Weekend after weekend, she has been at my side. We’re each other’s stalwart companion. I honestly will feel lost without her come our first weekend separated.
I know I may not see her again for a very long time, since her adoption appointment will be this week and then she will hopefully be in her forever home right after.
But you know what? That’s okay. I’m not sad. I’m just heartbroken because I love Sunny. I love Sunny so much that all I want is for her to be happier than myself. And I know she will be happier than she has ever been, her first weekend at her new home.