Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Hunt for Day Care...

After our disastrous dog walker interview I decided it wasn't even worth trying to find another dog walker to come check us out. Astrea is far too protective of me when we're in our house, so it was hard for me to imagine a situation where hiring a dog walker would be easy. Plus, my real issue was Astrea being home all day alone. I take a lunch whether I need to come home and walk Astrea or not, but it's nice to have her have some company during the day. So, next step for us was finding a day care option.

Moving to the Bay Area, I thought for sure the day care options would be plentiful. Boy was I wrong. Well, that's not true. I did find plenty of day care providers, but most of them had hours from 8am to 5pm so they weren't options for me. Where are these jobs that only require you to be there from 8:30 to 4:30 because that sounds fantastic! Once I sorted through the day care options that had business hours that actually fit into a more normal working schedule that left us with two options. That's right - two. One day care was less than a mile from my office, the other was 15 minutes away, on the freeway, in the next city over.

Of course, my first choice was the place near my office! I called, no one answered, so I left a message. I called again, no one answered, so I left another message. And never heard back. So... there we were with one option left. I called and spoke with one of the women at the center, and explained to her Astrea's situation. She spent several minutes on the phone with me, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that there were two other blind dogs that attended day care at this location and they had done wonderfully. Astrea went to day care the entire time we lived in Folsom, so in the grand scheme of things, I wasn't afraid that she wouldn't like it - I knew she would, my fear was the interview. In order to be accepted to go to the day care we had to go do an interview with one of the staff members and meet a few of the dogs. With literally no other options left, I made an appointment for an interview and hoped for the best. The day of the interview I took Astrea on a long walk. I wanted her to be a bit tired in hopes that she'd be too tired to do anything that may get us rejected. Then I gave her a quick brush so she wouldn't look like a wild ragamuffin dog and headed out. The whole way to the interview I was giving Astrea a pep talk - although I'm sure the pep talk was more for me.

Reading her Acceptance Paperwork

I was worried for absolutely nothing. Astrea aced her interview. She walked into the center, sat nicely and said hi to the employees and then followed us to the interview room. I took her off her leash, she did a lap around the room and then jumped on the little bench and took a seat. She was totally unphased by our new location and the new lady in the room. When they brought in some other dogs to meet her, she barely reacted. Everyone did a little sniff, and then she sat and let them check her out. Astrea was almost bored by the interview process. Once the other dogs were returned to the pay area, the staff member that did our interview let us know that we passed and even called Astrea, "Impressive." I was so excited that Astrea got in, I took them up on the offer to let her stay for a couple hours to play, so she wouldn't be totally freaked out by her first full day there. When I went to pick her up she was so excited to see me, and had her happy face on the whole way home. Day care success!!


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