A couple weeks ago, I set out on a road trip to Las Vegas with Echo, my service dog and his companion Shasta. The journey took about 12 hours – including pit stops for the two dogs. I was heading to a conference on Veterinary Medicine. Because my dogs are bored by PowerPoint presentations, I had arranged for them to spend the days in a private dog-boarding facility while I attended the conference. I’d visited the facility the day before to introduce my dogs and to make sure that it was safe. The place was fine. It had a large fenced backyard with plenty of space to run, and all the dogs that were there seemed friendly. I asked the owner to not let Echo in the house because he’s like a bull in a china shop. At 100+ pounds, he’s so big that he often knocks things over and he occasionally helps himself to stuff that’s been placed on tables or countertops.
So, early on the first day, I dropped them off. At six o’clock in the afternoon, I returned to pick up the dogs. The owner met me in the driveway. She looked frazzled. She said, “I’ve been in this business for ten years and it never happened before! I left the house for an hour, and when I came back Echo had gotten through the first gate and was working on the second gate”. While she was telling me the story, I had the vivid image of Echo and Shasta, on the loose in Las Vegas. I could just see the two of them running down the Las Vegas strip them followed by a gang of half dozen dogs, dodging limos and peeing on the statue of Liberty, the pyramid of Egypt, and the Eiffel Tower. Dog break in Vegas!
I apologized profusely. I assumed that she was going to 86 the two renegades and wondered how I was going to find another doggie daycare for the next day. But then the owner said, “I’ll see you tomorrow morning. My boyfriend will cover when I go out”.
Next time I put my dogs in daycare, I’ll warn the owners that they are breakout artists. But I won’t tell their doggie classmates at obedience school about their escapade. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!