Dogs have masters, cats have staff

Our home has been turned into a well-organized crime scene. Jaz has settled into a nice routine: daycare on Mondays and Thursdays, grooming on the weekends, and terrorization of the cats in between. She’ll chase them from barstool to scratching post to sofa, until they surrender and disappear upstairs (where Jaz isn’t allowed). Sometimes, she’ll corner one of them, attempting to stick her nose in their fur and take a good whiff. But she’s messing with the wrong felines. If she thinks she can win this battle, she’s got another thing coming. Our cats are no pushovers, and, unfortunately for Jaz, they will not succumb to the mere threat of nuclear weaponry. For over the past year, they have realized that Jaz is a lot of bark and no bite, and that they hold some impressive ammo of their own…

In our house, somebody is always watching your every move!
You better watch your back, Jaz…

Namely, whenever possible, our cats play the sympathy card with mommy and daddy. Their big eyes and scurried trips up the stairs scream: “Help us! Please!” However, when they suspect we’re not looking, they’ll throw a punch or two to defend their kind. From time to time, our oldest cat, Nana, even builds up the courage to turn the tables and chase Jaz around the living room, or hit her on the head when she passes under the scratching post. Nasty little sneak-attacks! Moreover, when Jaz comes home from daycare, Nana will rub herself up against her, as if by transferring her scent, she is reclaiming her property… or perhaps this falls in the ‘kill ‘em with kindness’-category…?
Dogs have masters, cats have staff. Cliché but oh so true. Nana is working hard on making Jaz one of her minions, because she knows that it’s only a matter of time; eventually, we all cave.
Take last weekend, for instance. I was grooming Jaz, and Nana came down to revel in her misery. A shameless case of Schadenfreude. She pulled up a chair, and came to take a closer look at Jaz, who was on the grooming table, held up by her noose, unable to defend herself…

Our new grooming audience...
Nana: “Well, hello there, doggy…”

It could have been the perfect crime, had I not been there with them. So out came Nana’s most innocent face as she she purred and twirled around on the chair, meowed at Jaz a couple of times, and was taken aback by the sight of this other, gorgeous cat in the mirror… If you didn’t know any better, you’d think she might actually be growing fond of Jaz!

"Hey... are there two cats here?!"
“Ooooh! Look at her!”

Daycare… doggy-style!

September is here. Vancouver’s rain-season has started, the temperatures have dropped, it’s getting dark out sooner and all the kids are back in school (including myself – LOL). With all the excitement of the summer months in our rearview mirror, it was time to introduce Jaz to a new challenge: doggy daycare!
We’ve been talking to our trainer (Cathie Timascheff) about how to improve Jaz’s skills and confidence out and about in the city. Don’t get me wrong; she’s doing fabulous, but there is always room for improvement! Although we have come a long way, Jaz is still hesitant from time to time when it comes to new people or dogs, especially if they look or act a bit different… in comes daycare!

Everybody is curious
Look at those curious faces… everybody was very eager to meet Jaz!

Although Jaz is great with her playmates (you’ve seen some of them pass by here, here, and here!), meeting new dogs is a different cup of tea altogether. For us, it would be difficult to provide a steady stream of new dogs for Jaz to meet. But at the daycare we’ve selected (make sure you’re picky!), Jaz will be ensured of meeting new dogs all the time, while being provided with a safe environment to do so by the skilled personnel.  We were hesitant at first, which is why Jaz has never been to daycare before. We simply weren’t sure whether we could trust any of these places; what if they managed to un-do all the hard work we had put in?! But some research and great references helped us make up our minds, and I must say… I think it’s a godsend!
At daycare, the dogs can socialize, but as soon as someone is no longer playing nice, or things get too heated, there will be someone there to take action. Play is interrupted from time to time to prevent any upheavals, and the dogs are given schedule down-time so no-one overexerts him/herself. There are two large rooms indoor: one for playing/lounging with lots of beds and toys, and the other filled with crates of various sizes, so the dogs can have their naps. On top of that, there’s also a large outdoor area, suitable for potty, play and sunbathing. Sounds pretty sweet, doesn’t it?!

Here’s what Jaz’s first impression looked like last Saturday:First impressions
Very clever: Jaz gets to dip her toes in the water before jumping in the deep end…

Jaz only stayed for two hours, because we wanted to ease her into it. All went well! After the initial meeting, which went surprisingly well, she had a ton of fun getting to know and playing with the other dogs. When we picked her up, everyone was lounging about and seemed very relaxed and comfortable. Jaz’s first time at doggy daycare was a great success! For consistency, we’ll be taking Jaz to daycare twice a week for the next couple of months. This will allow her to gain a lot of new experiences in a very short period of time, making her even more well-rounded than she already is! Plus, she’ll get some awesome playtime in!
Time to turn the tables: Have you ever contemplated taking your dog to daycare? Or has your dog been already? What was it like? Would you go back y/n?