I am ashamed that every week, twice a week, for roughly five hours, I put Eloise in doggie day care. It’s like I’m back to parenting a toddler enrolled in preschool, and I’m using those precious hours while the child is out of my hair to run errands or clean the house. However, in my case, the toddler is actually a 1-year-old dog who gets regularly walked twice a day and shouldn’t need much more than a fresh bowl of water and a place to nap in order for me to go about an average day without spending any extra money on servicing her needs.
But Eloise is different, and this is another source of deepening shame – that I consider her precious and exceptional. However, there is something about her. When I announce, “I’m taking the dog to day care,” I can just feel the relief and gratitude embedded in cheery goodbyes, like, “Have a good time, Eloise!” When I drop her off, I mouth those same words, only sometimes I feel like what I’m actually saying is something more along the lines of, “Good riddance!”