I very, VERY seldom take time off since it means leaving my clients to fend for themselves (that’s a lengthy subject fit for another post), but when I’m given a chance to see a special dog who moved and left a hole in my heart, I GO, with my amazing clients’ blessings. I like to think it’s not every canine caregiver who has plane tickets bestowed upon her so that she can travel to an ex-client-now-friend’s home and reunite with her pooch pal. That this was done for me by Summer’s parents, Elyse and Tom, is so touching that there are no words. I’ve stayed in contact with many past clients, even facilitated play dates between their pups and the pack mates they so sorely missed, but I’ve never flown to see them, nor have I been invited to stay in their families’ homes purely for the fun of visiting. The trip I took to Summer’s phenomenally beautiful Florida home created a precedentthat I hope will become the rule, not the exception.
Summer’s reaction when she saw me get out of the car was hysterical. She made noises like a deranged wildebeest as she raced toward me, then she knocked me to the ground and covered me with sloppy kisses from head to toe. We didn’t film because some moments are meant to be experienced, not documented.
This home is like paradise…or rather is paradise. No need for metaphor or simile. It’s a cluster of Spanish-style stone buildings, which Elyse aptly calls casitas, that surround a tile and garden courtyard. I’m a lover of flowers, so the colorful, frothy bougainvillea and mandevilla were candy for my eyes. Tree frogs sang at night and lizards scurried by day (I’m not the sort of girl who’s skeeved by these creatures, they fascinate me!). It’s heaven on earth. I’m so happy for Summer that she’s traded hectic NYC for this.
It was a wonderful visit, but too short. After I packed my bags, both pups stuck to me like glue. Summer buried her head in my lap as if to avoid seeing me go. I scratched her ears until she felt better and then waved goodbye. But only until the next time.