After every trip back home or…anywhere, actually, we have this two to three week period of getting our two dogs back on schedule. Why so long? Well, while we are on vacation so are they. We send them to this lovely kennel in Kandala (which is a former Hill Station) hours outside of the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. The man who owns it is a dog lover and has made sure that the dogs have plenty of room to run and play and he even has doggie bungalows for the pooches to sleep in (much nicer than crates). They even get home-cooked meals. Our dogs love going. They have a grassy garden to run in and friends. I am certain that to them it is like going to the dog park back home but they have the added bonus of food and staying over.
Upon their return we expect them to sleep the better part of a week. They, like us, had a busy social calendar while on vacation and they come home exhausted. Week two finds us having to navigate cat/dog relations. More of an issue with the cats than the dogs. The dogs come home ready to play with the cats the cats on the other hand seem to abide by some weird 3-day rule. The Rule being: you were gone for more than three days and we aren’t certain that you are the same dogs. One week of puffed up, hissy, Halloween cat stances and whiny dogs. Catnip and treats do wonders to speed this up…usually.
Week three involves me navigating a perpetual sulky Sheba who is no longer exhausted, and is bored with trying to win over the Halloween Cat impersonators and wants constant treats and trips to Hagan Das for ice cream and to schmooze with people on the street (she has a fan club). As I am typing this she is lying behind me and whining and doing the hiffy-huff stuff she excels at. I am ignoring her. I know the minute I stand up she will run for the door and then sulk when I don’t grab her leash.
Lily, our other dog, is younger than Sheba and recovered from vacation quicker and thinks she is a cat and is therefore more concerned with winning back the love and affection of her fuzzy cat BFF’s and tries to snuggle up next to them and protect them whenever the doorbell rings, which is often and so the cats are more annoyed than friendly which makes Lily whiny.
In the interim, I play with Lily since the cats won’t and I am certain that we both look ridiculous because Lily doesn’t play like a dog. There is no tossing a ball or a toy for her to fetch, she wants to play cat tag, which is this weird stalk, pounce, run game that the cats play with Lily and each-other. I will take this moment to mention that Lily is a medium sized dog (55 lbs.) so when she plays with the cats she doesn’t exactly pounce; she paw tags. She paw tags when she plays with me as well and so I stalk and tag her and then run away and hide and then she stalks me and on and on it goes until I am tired or as happened yesterday I slipped and fell. So…I am bruised and sore and surrounded by two sulky dogs and three very chilled out cats thanks to catnip.
Normally, I would be thrilled that in a few days it will be back to business as usual but we are headed Stateside soon and that means back to the Kennel for the dogs and the cats get to run the house and torment the pet-sitter and we get to do this 3 week thing all over again. Until then, lots of sleep music on YouTube, treats, catnip and conversations with the fur kids which is very much like trying to reason with a two year old.
Photo: Lily and Sophie “Maybe she won’t notice I’m here”