Saturday, January 28, 2017

Leaving your dog for the weekend is one thing, but an oversees vacation is something else!

Takin’ Off Without Tessie
With the excitement of planning a trip to Greece in November came the unexpected anxiety of leaving Tessie. We’d been away from her since she arrived in March, but this is the longest – and the first time she’d be at someone else’s house. The good news was this “someone” was my lovely and loving in-laws who would give her the very best care.
The worries ran through my mind: What if she thinks we abandoned her? What if she acts out and chews up my in-laws’ couch? What if she gets off her leash and runs off in unfamiliar, wooded land?

She has never been destructive – except for the time she (gasp!) rifled through a bag of laundry – so I did my best to set aside my fears. However three nights before our departure, Tessie woke us up in the middle of the night – a behavior reserved for the two times she had urinary tract infection several months back. I mentally prepared myself to take her to the vet the following day and hoped my in-laws wouldn’t mind creatively tricking Tessie into take her medication.
But the next day – and night – she was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary. Great, an isolated incident. Expect for the night before our trip when she woke us up yet again. She whined, then ran around the backyard like a lunatic. This is when I realized she also had anxiety, triggered by our suitcases. What terrible people we are to put our dog through such trauma, I thought, without a hint of sarcasm.
After reassuring her we’d be back and reminding her that Grammy and Grampy would take great care of her (can you tell we don’t have kids?), we dropped her off. Well, my husband did. I was too chicken to go, so I loaded her in the car and cried as I waved good-bye.

Comforted by the fact that my in-laws are amazing, I got into vacation mode. We arrived at the airport and it was almost comical how many dogs we saw pre-flight! Like a cruel, cosmic joke. All the people who loved their dogs enough to travel with them.
And of course, during our stay in Greece, we saw many dogs, including Diva and Giselle, my cousins’ fabulous Poodles. I couldn’t help but think of my sweet girl who’s wondering when or if we’ll ever be back. Grammy and Grampy’s daily updates and photos reassured us that she was doing just fine.

When we returned, 10 days later, we debated on whether or not to surprise Tessie at my in-laws’, but I was too worried she would combust from excitement. So my mother-in-law dropped her off at our house, and she bounded into our backyard where we were waiting for her. Whining with delight, she crowded us hoping for scratchies and rubbies, which we were happy to give her. She stayed close by for the next couple of days, thrilled we were home.

Not to say that she had a terrible time with Grammy and Grampy. She had an excellent report – she loved sitting in the sun porch where she could look out the windows laying down, she slept through the night just fine and she really bonded with my father-in-law whom she barked at a couple of times previously (and Tessie is not a barker).
Aside from her eating a plant leaf and vomiting it up, which we learned about a month later (thankfully), her stay went smoothly.  

This was a relief, but hearing how much my in-laws enjoyed having her is such a joy. They loved her company, especially after the loss of their beloved cat Pookie, and Tessie’s low-maintenance demeanor wasn’t too much of an imposition. She has since had a weekend stay with them, and it’s safe to say the feeling is mutual.
While we can’t take credit for Tessie’s incredible manners and laid-back energy, weare very proud parents. She received exclusive invitations from both sides of our family to attend our Christmas gatherings. This was our first one with Tessie, and I am truly grateful we spent it with such a special little girl.

Maria Poulos Pimentel is a New Jersey transplant now settled in New England.   Maria works in marketing and publicity by day and snuggles with her sweet collie/shepherd/husky Tessie by night. She was a reluctant dog owner at first, but she's quickly learning the ropes and discovering all the joys of doggie parenting. Maria will be sharing more of her adventures in dog love with PawsGo.  Tessie was adopted from Odie's Place in Massachusetts --

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