"Hi, I'm dropping Orion off for Summer Camp. Oh, I'm sorry, that's what I've been calling it but he's here to do the day camp and sleep over till Sunday," I lean against the counter of Best Friends Pet Resort. Orion jumps up and puts his paws on the counter. The two Great Danes stand up and grumble. "Oh sit down," the woman behind the counter says. I'm looking around while they pull my records and see a picture of a labrador on the big screen, advertising camp. Huh. Looks just like Orion. Then I look at the tag, "Orion McLoughlin" Haha. It is my dog.
"Ha! That's cool!" I say gesturing to the image.
"I guess he's not still 40 lbs?"
"No, not even close. He was last here when he was about seven months old. He's more like 60-65 pounds now. He goes to the Meet Up groups here."
"Okay, and is he neutered?"
Orion's sniffing the floor. I'm trying not to feel sad that it's the first time I'm having him sleep somewhere else by himself.
"Go ahead and fill all this out, initial here for him not having food allergies, no medical needs...and then pick one of these to initial, either a. do whatever necessary to save your pet and you will assume responsibility for the expenses or b. Fix him up to, and then fill in the amount you don't want to exceed."
"Um, well, I'd kind of like to have someone call me if something happens where I'd have to make such a decision," I say, hand frozen above the sheet.
"Oh we will try a bunch of times, then we'll try your emergency contact."
I sign do whatever need be done.
"So then put down an emergency contact here."
I scroll through my contact list looking for my friend Pam's number. Pam and I have similar concepts about care for our pets, plus, she's almost always able to be reached. I write her number down. Then I write down her mobile. Then I write down my Aunt Nancy's because she has dogs that she adores too. Two emergency contacts.
I am still staring at the line.
"Hon, in all my years working here we've never had anything happen like that."
"Okay. Good. I don't want to be stressing about that all weekend."
"Just make sure you tell your emergency contact what you want and that they are your emergency contact."
"Okay," I say, and hand over his blanket, antler and dinosaur. Orion goes happily behind the lady to the play area.
"Do I pay now?"
"No, when you get him, that way we know you'll come back."
What a horrible idea! To leave your pet??!
I walk out, get in the car. Orion comes up to the fence and barks three times. My lip pops out in a pout. "Go play, you'll have fun and I will see you Sunday," I say. He barks once, then turns around and books it for the pool. I smile. So my dog. Then I grab my phone and call Pam.
"Pam, you're my emergency contact. Just remember, Orion's emergency fund is whatever I have in Apple Stock okay?"
We chat for a bit, and then I'm off packing for my first music festival.
Things will be fine.
And they'll send me pictures.