When we first adopted Danny, he was, like Lindsay Lohan, a hot mess. He was stunning and full of potential and strawberry-blond, but he was easy to get ramped up and hard to bring down. He probably bit his leash more than Lindsay. Maybe not.
He didn’t know how to great other dogs, he didn’t know how to play with other dogs, and he didn’t know what our house rules could even possibly be. We took him to manners class, we took him to a class for reactive dogs, and we took him to a local dog daycare for five minutes, ten minutes, and 30 minutes at a time.
After a year and a half, Danny has become such a boringly fantastic dog that it can be hard to come up with blog posts. So we tried something new this week: a dog daycare where they didn’t know him, me, or his history. They did, however, require a seven-page profile to be filled out so that they’d have an idea of what to expect when he showed up for a day.
When I dropped him off, he was interested but not frantic with excitement. He happily followed a perfect stranger into the depths of the facility. This daycare has two playgroups, morning and afternoon, with scheduled rest time in between. I picked him up during the second playgroup, and he was grinning from ear to big, pointy ear. I asked how he had done, and the very nice guy told me Danny was a little shy and standoff-ish at first, but that he warmed up and played with other dogs pretty easily after a bit. No whining, no fear. He was inside the spectrum of normal dog-dom for this guy.
That is all I wanted for Danny – to be socialized and confident enough to do whatever, wherever, within reason. He still hates skateboards and lunges at blackbirds, but I play video games when I should be working and drink Scotch nearly every night. We’re not perfect, but we’re good enough to leave the house without getting arrested.