Thursday, March 26, 2015

Kindness

Most of you who read my blog also read Katie's, so I am sure you are well aware of the heartbreaking story of their family friend Mark.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer and sadly passed away not many months after the diagnosis.  If you're not really aware of the story, Katie wrote a very lovely blog post last night that you can read here.  Today is the year anniversary of Mark passing away, so Katie asked her readers to do something randomly kind for someone today.

I racked my brain on what I was going to do all morning, as I was multi-tasking with some stuff in my email.  I wanted to double check Molly's reservation at the kennel for next month, and when I looked at the confirmation email I realized that they had the wrong expiration dates on her vaccines.  She is actually up to date on everything, which meant I needed to provide them documentation that her shots were current.  A light bulb went off in my head, and I realize that it was a sign of who I should do something nice for.

I have to give some background on our relationship with the place where we kennel Molly, which is pretty much the greatest kennel ever and I refuse to let anyone else keep Molly.  Our previous dog Natasha was insanely mellow and "go with the flow", so when we traveled my aunt and uncle always graciously kept her.  Tash was perfectly happy chilling out in the garage when they were at work, and then relaxing out in the yard or on their deck when they were home.  When Tash got too old to give a crap anymore about chasing my aunt's cats, she was allowed in their living room at night to watch TV with them.  And by watching TV, I mean snoring loud enough to wake the dead.

Molly is the polar opposite of Natasha.  She doesn't have an independent bone in her body, nor will she tolerate being shut away from where all the action is.  She completely panics if she is enclosed in a room.  She wants to be on a couch or bed next to a human at all times, and anything else is not acceptable to her.  I love Molly to pieces but I definitely wish she had a little more of Tash's "It's all good dude" spirit.  But Molly is her own little furry person so, we love her anyway.

Molly also had a hard start in life.  Greyhound racing is not pleasant, and while we don't know much about her past, there are certain things she does and reactions she has that lead us to believe she got hit a lot at the track, and also possibly had and incident with a starting gate. (she is terrified of the baby gate or anything she has to walk through/under)  Once she retired, she was passed to at least 3 different homes (2 foster, 1 supposedly forever home) within two years before getting to us.  We're convinced she was so aloof with us in the beginning because she didn't know what it was like to be in a home with owners who were going to actually love and keep her.  Not that the foster parents weren't great, but it's not like having a forever owner.  The reason I'm giving you this data dump is to illustrate why I almost had a nervous breakdown the first time we had business travel after adopting Molly, which honestly wasn't very long.  Between still feeling raw after Natasha's death and protective of Molly and her issues, I was just about to lose my mind with trying to decide where to kennel her.  I was scared the poor thing was going to think we were yet someone else who was going to abandon her, and that we might lose the little ground we had with her at the time.

Long story short, we went with this kennel after reading positive reviews and going for a kennel tour.  Every step of the way, these girls were so incredibly nice and patient with us, answering my thousand questions and making us feel at ease.  The day I dropped Molly off I had literally typed up a 2 page document of instructions, Molly's personality quirks, etc.  Instead of rolling her eyes or being like "THIS bitch", the girl at the front desk sat and read every concern with me, discussed them and made notes in Molly's file.  They took fantastic care of her while we were gone, tolerated me calling twice once a day to check up on her and Molly seemed very happy when we picked her up, so I know she was loved and doted on.  We've used this kennel ever since when we've had to travel, and Molly is a favorite of the staff.  Every time we've taken her and then pick her up, one of the staff follows me out to tell me how much they love her.  I can tell it's genuine, and it makes this neurotic helicopter dog mom's heart very happy.  These girls work very hard, and are always so kind and caring that it was a no brainer to do something nice for them.  They make something very difficult slightly easier for me (I still feel incredible guilt and get teary when we have to kennel Molly), and they treat my little diva with just as much love and care as we do.

This morning I went to a local mom and pop place that has THE best doughnuts and picked up a dozen assortment, then ran to Safeway to get a fruit tray and a thank you card.  I told the staff basically that they were amazing, that I forever appreciated what good care they took of Molly and that there was no one else we'd ever think of leaving her with.  When I walked in the girl lit up and was immediately like "Is Molly here?!?!"  (This is typical of everywhere we go, Molly is a rock star and people could give a shit about me or Eric!)  But I told her that I wanted to update Molly's vaccination records since the correct expiration dates were not on file.  When she was done doing that, I pulled out the doughnuts, card and fruit tray and told her that I also wanted to thank them for the wonderful job they do, that we forever appreciate how good they are to Molly, so I brought them a little treat for breakfast.  The girl looked absolutely stunned and then started thanking me over and over.  It felt incredible to see the surprise and joy on her face, especially since it was such a little thing monetary wise and took little effort or time out of my day.  Thanking the people who make my life easier is something I need to do more often.

So go out today and do something kind for someone, and thank those who make your life easier!

9 comments:

  1. I LOVE this story!! I've been having anxiety about finding a kennel for Joey. Jerry and I are going away overnight next month, and I'm not sure what we're going to do (Joey has that need to be around people ALWAYS, also). I really hope that we find a great place like you have! Great idea :) And considering it was doughnuts, I'm sure Mark would have approved 100%! haha

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    1. My advice (besides lots of Yelp/internet research), make sure you ask for a kennel tour. If they are reluctant, annoyed or unwilling to do that then don't put Joey there. This place was thrilled to take us back and show us everything, which was state of the art and clean. They even showed us their chart and method for making sure all of the dogs get their planned activities. All of the dogs back there looked very calm and happy. They even have a separate area for cats with a separate ventilation system so the cats don't smell the dogs and get upset! We are so lucky to have this kennel!

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  2. I am not sure what we would do if we didn't have family to take care of Millie when we are gone...probably never go anywhere!! Love that you got donuts and fruit..and from a mom and pop place :)

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    1. It's definitely very stressful, even now. It upsets me to have to have her "caged" again after an entire life of living in a cage. Logically I know we have so many activities scheduled for her at the kennel (play yard time, extra walks, a snack & snuggle) that she's not just sitting in her pen the whole time. I also suspect since she's a favorite that she gets doted on quite a bit. The pens are also really big and she gets access to outside, then the inside is air conditioned or heated depending on the weather. But, it still makes me feel so guilty and upset, especially when we bring her into the check in area and her teeth start chattering because she's nervous!

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  3. Your story about Molly's issues brought tears to my eyes. It's hard when we don't know where our furbabies came from and what has caused them to act the way they do. I'm so glad she feels secure enough with you and with the people at the kennel that you can leave her there and trust that she will be OK.

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    1. She's such a different dog now! She's always been great, but you could tell she was very uncomfortable with us being too touchy and huggy with her. If you got too close to her on the couch she would often growl. She was the exact opposite of Tash, for whom hugs and pets were the equivalent of a million dollars for a person. As time has gone on (and as she realized we were keeping her), she has turned into much more of a softie. She follows me everywhere around the house now, and demands pets from both Eric and I

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  4. Oh man what a wonderful way to thank the kennel! I love this!

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    1. They are great, sweet girls! So grateful for them!

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  5. Awww, I love this! It just goes to show that if you do good and you work hard then others will appreciate it. Good on you! (And good on sweet Molly!)

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