For those who may not know, I currently am employed for a doggy day care that was founded in Boulder, Colorado, named Camp Bow Wow. We are a nationwide corporation, with locations all around the United States, and one location in Canada.
Camp Bow Wow Boulder is the most successful of the branches, bringing in over 100 dogs a day for daycare service alone.
This venture of mine to work in the doggy day care industry has become on of my biggest blessings, and sometimes curses, as the job has allowed me to get in touch with my more vulnerable side and to get back in touch with my animal fanatic side.
Since I have begun this job, my love and my appreciation for animals, specifically dogs, has grown into a new-found obsession and addiction, as I cannot ever walk past a dog and not pet it.
Every dog has a story, and I have met over 500 dogs in and around the Boulder County area. I feel that it is my job to learn and discover their story. Beyond this, it is my job to learn to appreciate, love, and cherish their story, their existence, and everything they bring to this world.
I have found that with the love of the dogs that I have been able to let go of an immense amount of pain, anger, shame, and resentment, and have learned the importance and the impact that love, joy, and vulnerability can have on an individual.
I have found more reasons to open up to life and give it another chance, even though I feel like life may have done me dirty.
This week, at work, I found myself at peace, even though I found myself frustrated during different parts of the week.
The dogs that were present at Camp Bow Wow Boulder this last week consisted of a very ecclectic group of dogs, none of which were my three absolute loves, Auggie (August West), Nordy Knapp, or Piper Huber. However, the greatest thing about this job is the opportunity you have to meet and form relationships with the assortment of the 100+ dogs that attend Camp Bow Wow, either regularly or irregularly.
When my favorites are not in attendance, I do feel some sort of sadness and longing of their presence, however, it is a great opportunity to place my focus on the other amazing dogs, that while I do love so dearly, but may not be in my “Top 5 Favorite Dogs” list.
It is not that the other dogs are not just as wonderful, hilarious, and comforting to be around, it is just that every person naturally forms incredible, unique bonds with certain dogs that just simply cannot be explained.
These days that I find myself branching out of my normal routine and friend group are some of the most exciting and most rewarding days, as dogs that may usually fade into the background of your dog yard become your focus of the dog yard.
Not to mention, I use these days to strengthen bonds with dogs that I feel a good friendship with and to also use my unbiased attention to give dogs that may seem anxious, tense, nervous, or even isolated from the other dogs, extra love.
It is no fun to ever see a dog experiencing a panic attack, or even being overwhelmed by the loud, crazy, and unpredictable environment of doggy day care.
It is incredibly rewarding and fufilling to be able to calm a dog down, just by not-so-simply petting the dog and going out of your way to use various techniques to give this dog extra love, extra attention, and extra care.
And, even if it does not seem like your presence and your love is helping them – trust me, it is. Every single pet, every single attentive action, etc. counts! It may sometimes take weeks, months, or years to truly see a dog come into their own at our doggy day care, but it is incredible to witness and to experience a dog finally learning to feel completely comfortable and in their element at doggy daycare.
The last thing you want is to watch and to have to experience a dog literally being tortured by their attendance at doggy daycare, as our daycare promotes being a place “where a dog can be a dog.”
It feels good to know that your presence made a difference in that dog, and they will never forget it, even if you do.
This week, I made a handful of new friends, strengthened some bonds, and went out of my way to bring comfort to those dogs that truly needed it.
I truly refocused my perspective on attempting to give back to my job, as much as they have given back to me, including my coworkers and my team, my dogs, and the pet parents.
This week, I focused on truly working on being selfless, taking some risks at work that I thought could be beneficial, attempting to show my passion for the dogs outwardly, and showing a strong work ethic.
It is much easier to explain, or to claim, that I truly enjoy these dogs and kiss the ground that their paws walk on, however, it is much more different to actually go out and execute my actions showing how much I appreciate these animals, my team of coworkers, and the blessing to be able to work with these wonderful creatures.
Hardwork and a certain level of focus and positivity can truly become a gamechanger, as all these unnecessary complaints and negativity that used to flood your brain, no longer truly present themselves in your thoughts.
Hard work does not come easy, otherwise it would not be called hardwork. I am not going to say that every morning I woke up this week that I was ECSTATIC at the thought of going into a long 9-hour day at work, however, I do know that pushing yourself beyond mediocre pays off much quicker than you know.
Hardwork is fufilling for all parties involved, but mostly importantly, working hard is very fufilling for me and one of my many ways that I am able to feel good about myself.
This last week would not have been possible without my amazing team of coworkers, either, who continuously go out of their way to talk to me, offer me advice, give me rides to work so I don’t have to waste money Ubering, buy me food for lunch, leave me leftovers, and do me so many favors.
For me to take full credit for my hardwork would be completely selfish, as my coworkers are truly a different kind of breed of awesome.
I have found that each and every member of the team is truly amazing, truly patient, truly hardworking, truly unique, and truly selfless. I did not just find this out now – obviously, however, working with such a team, that despite their own problems, worries, etc., go out of their way to assist me in being successful and alleviate some of the burdens I face, is truly humbling and truly inspiring.
Our doggy daycare job may seem like such a FUN & EASY job, however, there is so much more to it. In fact, this is one of the most difficult jobs that I have ever had, as it constantly keep me on my feet and I always find ways that I can improve, or do better at my job.
This job is truly unpredictable – the only predictable factors of this job is that daily we intake over 100 dogs and our hours of operation. Every other factor is completely unpredictable, as we can never anticipate or predict how many dog fights will occur, if a dog fight will occur, if another dog will get hurt, if a parent will be upset with our services, if a parent will catch one of us taking care of their dog in a way they do not like when they are watching our lives cams, or if a dog will be in a good mood, or a bad mood.
Not to mention, this job is completely overstimulating, and over the sound of the 100+ dogs barking in unison, or sometimes in your ear, and over the sound of our music that is usually specifically chosen in order to calm the dogs down, one can barely hear their coworker standing less than five feet from them.
With dogs running, napping, tanning, walking, and playing all around your 30+ dog play yard, your eyes are constantly occupied and your attention is completely forced to be on the dogs, keeping them safe, and making sure that the dogs in your yard are not upsetting or hurting other dogs, as well as taking note of certain dogs that may be causing chaos within your dog yard.
Finally, this job is much more dangerous than one would imagine, and while trips to the emergency vet, or even the emergency room, is quite rare, one should always expect to get injured at this job. With dogs flying everywhere, or having to break up dogs fights between small, medium, large, or even extra-large dogs, it is impossible to avoid an injury at this job.
At this point, I am fairly used to get banged around by these dogs, but last Thursday, I faced a semi-serious injury to my left ankle. Even small tasks like sending 30+ dogs into another playyard can result in a serious injury, which was what happened with me, leaving my ankle very bruised, swollen, and cut up. It was very painful and I am still pondering going into urgent care, as my ankle is still in quite a bit of pain.
My injury was as a result of transferring my dogs into another playyard, something which I do very often during my shifts, and I could do in my sleep.
I always stress the importance of the dogs leaving and entering a play yard one-by-one, which may be asking for a lot, but should truly be executed. The dogs did not leave the dog yard one-by-one, instead the entire dog yard managed to practically leave the dog yard and enter my new dog yard all at once. Of course, they happened to be charging at me, and about 5 or 6 dogs just happened to place enough force on my leg, resulting in me slamming my ankle against a metal pole of the play yard.
All injuries, overstimulation, and unpredictability aside, this job is something that I truly hold close to my heart. I found new passions and new obsessions, all of which encompass animals and my appreciation for them.
Below, I have included a gallery of this week’s adventures with my Camp Bow Wow Boulder Campers!
[Experience Camp Bow Wow on a more personal and up-close level – like, no one else has seen it before]
Look at how cute they are when they are begging for treats!
These dogs have become the foundation of my world. They are very important to me and my love for them is undying.
I’m blessed, stressed, bruised, and confused, but I still love them.
They are my greatest and my most loyal friends.
Hope you enjoyed!