Every other Tuesday, we take Samson to Doggie Day Camp at PetSmart. Why? Because he’s a Lab. If that means nothing to you, let me clue you in.
Labs have more energy than the sun. Especially Lab puppies. We got Samson when he was 4 months old. He was your classic cute, soft, cuddly little yellow puppy like you see in all the commercials. But underneath was a firecracker! This dog had more energy than we knew what to do with. I’d take him for hour-long walks every day and it wasn’t enough. CJ would wrestle and chase him and it wasn’t enough. As a result, he had to get that energy out one way or another so he’d get in trouble. We were at our wit’s end. You know Marley? Yeah, it’s like that book/movie was about Samson.
Then someone suggested we take him to Doggie Day Camp. This would allow him all day play time, so he wouldn’t be stuck in his kennel, and he’d be tired by the time we got him home so we could actually relax. We started with one day a week. That first night when we picked him up it was like a miracle. He was so tired, he slept the whole way home and all night once at home. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves! He was even still tired the next day! Alleluia and praise Jesus! Can I get an Amen!
So then we increased it to twice a week, every week. I tell you it made a world of difference. He was more cooperative at home and would actually obey! DDC isn’t very expensive either and for us, it was worth the $19 a day. Another added bonus – it got him socialized to other dogs so that he wasn’t Mr. Spazzy Pants when he encountered one in the neighborhood. All in all, DDC was a life saver for us.
As he got older, he didn’t need to go as much. Plus, we became a one income family and had to make some cutbacks. So we reduced him down to one day a week, every week. Now that he’s almost 5 (his birthday is Christmas Eve…all together now…awwwwww), he only needs to go once a week, every other week. And let me tell you, he knows exactly what day is THE day.
And today was the day. He came bounding out of his kennel and was raring to go. All during our morning ritual, he was looking at me like, “Are you ready yet? It’s Day Camp day! Yippee! Are you ready yet?” Then finally I said the magic words, “Ready to go for a ride in the car?”
I swear to you, he jumped from the top step to the landing in one bound. No joke. He was not about to waste time with steps! Course, he had to wait for the slow human to come down and he did a little dance at the bottom of the stairs while waiting for me. His eyes said, “Hurry up you slow poke! This is why I should be Alpha! You’re way too slow to be the Alpha!”
We got in the car and were off!
Most of the drive was pretty tame. Me listening to the radio and singing at the top of my lungs to sappy Christmas songs while he sat in the back and looked out the window. But, don’t be fooled. Samson knows the route. I take Harrison to 144th and then head over to Oakview Mall. As soon as we approached L St. he started whining and I could hear the tail thumping. Then I got across L St. and got in to the right hand turn lane for Oakview Dr. and all hell broke loose.
He started whining and panting and trying to jump in the front seat! Then he’d jump in the back, then in the front. If he were little it wouldn’t be a big deal but he’s 95 lbs of muscle so it’s kind of distracting.
This is what I saw when trying to look over my shoulder to merge:
And the whining was LOUD! And it’s right in my ear. I thought for sure I had a busted eardrum at one point.
But we finally got to PetSmart and it was time to get out.
(there was no chance of getting a still picture because he would not stop moving. He wanted out of that car and in to the store, like, NOW!)
We got inside at the same time as another guy who had 2 dogs with him: a yellow lab and a Great Dane. And boy was this Dane great. He was frickin’ huge! Probably out weighed me and Samson combined. His name was Zeus which seemed fitting. But Samson is an equal opportunity dog and he did not care that Zeus could eat him for breakfast and still have room for his other lab friend. Samson went ahead and barked and barked and barked at him. Zeus actually looked at him as if to say, “Wow, I admire your cojones brother. You’re a badass.”
They took Samson away to his happy place of playing and licking and humping and peeing freely. Plus he gets to see his girlfriend Willow, who is a Golden Retriever. They heart each other.
Samson has a nickname at DDC. They call him the Governor because when they load up the room, he has to greet and “shake hands” with every single dog that comes through the door. What can I say, he has political aspirations.
Tonight we’ll pick up the big guy around 8pm and he’ll be sleepy and content, dreaming the whole way home about his sweetheart, her flowing golden tail and how he’s totally gonna kick Zues’ ass at the polls.