Doggy Paradise

Cassie knows. She sees the suitcase and she knows. I’m leaving. The size of the suitcase – and the amount of food I cook and pack – seem to dictate the level of concern.

The YMCA duffel bag is a good bag. It means we’re headed to Doggy Paradise. You see, at our house, there are rules. Dogs do not get on the furniture. Period. Ever tried to share a couch with a Doberman? Share is not in their vocabulary. Lounge over every possible square inch of free space plus half your lap and most of your keyboard? Definitely. Share, not so much.

Cats can get on the couch, may sleep on the bed until I want to go to bed, and they never get on the counters or table. Right. So there are rules for Cassie, and there are suggestions for the cats. The cats ignore the suggestions unless they involve a locked door. The dog plays by the rules because she’s a dog.

An unspoken rule is that if I am baking copious amounts of goodies, am packing wine in the same bag as some dog food, and have the YMCA duffel bag, we’re going to Regan Black’s house.

Doberman on Couch photo
That’s Cassie taking over 3/4 of a couch at Regan Black’s house. The remaining 6 inches were reserved for a house guest who thought Cassie looked to happy to make her move.

And the rules are different there. In Doggy Paradise, there are toys with squeakies in them. And we may squeak them all day long. We may play fetch in the house. We are still not allowed to chase or tenderize the cats in any way, but that’s okay, because… dogs are allowed on the furniture. All the furniture. Any time they want.

People will select places to sit so they don’t disturb the dogs. Also, dogs get marshmallows there. Like I said, paradise.

A real suitcase is bad. That means I’m going somewhere without her. Unless it’s Thanksgiving and that’s Paradise on Steroids because it’s four days with Aunt Regan and turkey. And a bunch of teenagers who love dogs and want to spoil them past the point of rotten. What’s not to love?

Lucky for Cassie, just back from a girls’ weekend, the duffel bag is staying out for a repeat visit next month. She sees it, and she knows. Just don’t tell her about the college visits planned in July.