However, little did she know that this was no ordinary day. This was Sophie's first day at Doggy Daycare at Central Bark. In fact, it was the assessment day to ensure she would get along with the other dogs and not tear them to shreds and steal their toys. Sophie was wild with anticipation as I put her in her car seat (yes, it's true) and we started the drive out to Central Bark.
Geno, the incredibly enthusiastic owner and a friend of a friend, greeted us when we arrived and put Sophie up to wait for the rest of the dogs to arrive. We went through the paperwork, I confirmed they would call me if something happened, and drove on to work.
At Central Bark, they actually have a Daily Activities schedule much like a daycare for human children would have:
- 7:00 - 8:00am Arrivals
- 8:00 - 11:30am Morning Activities
- 11:30am - 12:00pm Individual Attention
- 12:00 - 2:00pm Nap Time (lights out with classical music)
- 2:00 - 4:30pm Exercise
- 4:30 - 5:00pm Individual Attention
- 5:00 - 6:30pm Chill Out/Pick-Up Time
Sophie was in for quite a different day! When I came to pick her up around 5:30 PM, Geno went through her assessment with me. She had no problem with human contact (she loves everybody indiscriminately). As far as the other dogs were concerned, she was not so sure. Under the "Introduction to other Dogs" section, she fell into the following categories:
- Initial Contact: "Hey, what are you doing?"
- Comfort Level: "I'm a bit out of my element."
- Play Bow: "You want to do what??"
The good news is that she was not possessive and allowed the other dogs to share treats and toys. Overall, Geno felt that Sophie would be just fine once she got used to it and that this might be just the place for her to build up some confidence around other dogs. Phew!
Sophie's only comment at the end of a long day of trepidation and excitement: