Let me preface this by saying that I look forward to Christmas cards signed by my friends and their pets. I love hearing all about their latest pet news. Pets are a very important part of my friends lives and an endless source of amusement and comfort to people I care about. I truly enjoy hearing about their animals and seeing pictures of their "fur babies" as many of my friends like to call them.
However, spouse and I always roll our eyes when our childless friends refer to animals as their "children" and talk about what a responsibility they are and how they have changed their lives. We smirk and give one another the "yeah right, just wait until you have your first human child then you will know about life changes". I cringe at the term "pet parent" and think my cat would find that term "soo condescending" and flick his tail at anyone who would presume to treat him like a child. That's why yesterday was so humiliating.
I took Miss Daphne our foster dog to a national pet store chain to have a spa day. You know, bath, pedicure, teeth cleaning, etc. We opened the door to the grooming salon and she began to tremble violently. I coaxed her in with a dog biscuit but it was plain that she was terrified. This sweet girl has been rescued from the pound twice and the salon must have smelled like another pound to her. Although we had an appointment I was told she would be ready for pick up in 3 hours. Three Hours! Poor baby! I asked the girl who took her to please call me if she was done earlier as she was so frightened and I left my cell number. As she took poor Daphne to the back room, I asked the other teenage girl at the counter if we were all set. She snapped her gum and said "Uh yeah, she'll be ready in about 4 hours."
I told her the other girl said three hours. If she'd be longer I'd like to cancel the appointment. "Uh yeah, ok three hours". I began to panic. Look, I explained, Daphne is a rescue dog. She seems really frightened. I don't wan't her to be stressed any longer than necessary. Here is my cell phone number (I repeated it again for her). Please call me if she is done sooner so I can come get her. She wrote down the number (again), snapped her gum and said "Uh yeah, ok" and I left.
Two hours fifteen minutes later I went back just to be sure. The two girls were lounging up front with another girl talking about where they would go drinking after they "got rid of the last d**n dog tonight". I asked gum snapper if by any chance Daphne was done. I could hear her bark for me from the back room and I began to shake. Not only was she done, but according to the boy who actually bathed her, she had been done for quite some time. He went in back to get her but the girl told him he'd have to wait because she had two dogs in front who might bite her if he brought her out before they were released. That's when girl number three hops down from the counter she's sitting on and gets her dogs. "Wait! Your dog messed the floor. I'm not cleaning it." The dog girl takes a paper towel, swipes at her dog's mess and leaves.
Finally, my poor poochie gets to come out of the back, through the urine on the floor to me. I get my bill and I can finally que up at the pet store cash register and leave. At this point Daphne is recovering nicely and I am very nearly in tears. I can't stop petting her and repeating over and over again, "What a sweet baby you are!" "What a pretty girl you are!" "Mommy loves you!" Mommy's going to take her baby home""Mommy' sweet baby!"
I think I've become a Pet Parent. I can see the cat looking at me now in disgust.