A few years ago, a friend and I volunteered to pick up some dogs from a boarding facility and transport them to an adoption location for a local rescue organization's adoption day. When we arrived at the boarding facility, a woman named Jamie greeted us with a megawatt smile and such warmth and joy, such friendliness and gratitude, that I felt immediate comfort around her. She was hopeful and enthusiastic about her babies getting adopted that day. These two are my babies, she said as she helped us load the dogs and their crates, loving on them and wishing them luck for a forever home.
I would soon learn that all dogs are Jamie's babies. She's an animal lover to her core and she's a natural with dogs.
I began to take Dixie in a couple times a week for doggie day care on days I wanted to give Cheyenne a break from Dixie. Dix took to Jamie immediately and I knew that she was in good hands with Jamie. Jamie and I became friends. Sometimes I would bring her coffee and we would chat for a while when I dropped off Dixie. Jamie shared her dream of opening her own doggy day care place one day. She had big ideas, big dreams. I couldn't help but get caught up in her excitement when she spoke. She wanted to help the rescue organizations, so she wanted ample space for kennels. She wanted to work with the rescued dogs and get them socialized and trained and ready for adoption. And she wanted a certain kind of kennel that by design was environmentally safer for the dogs, keeping them healthier through lack of exposure to any illnesses. She wanted a veterinarian to open shop there. She wanted to provide a neighborhood doggy day care center with plenty of land for dogs to run and play during the day while their owners went to work. I could see her dream unfolding as she spoke.
Jamie opened that place late 2012. It has a reception area, a lounge area with couches and a television, where you can wait while your dog is seen by the vet. It has a huge room in the center that is divided into three large enclosures with short walls of varying height. This is the indoor play area separated into play rooms for, you probably guessed it, large, medium and small dogs. When she opened, I gave her a large poster of a black and white photo of Cheyenne. That hangs in the kitchen and always brings a smile to my face when I see it.
Dixie loves going to doggy day care. She cannot wait to get out of the car when we pull into the parking lot, and then she can't wait to get in the door. Jamie spoils her rotten and I love knowing that. She lets Dixie roam around like she owns the place. One other dog gets to do that as well, and that is Rufus, a big sweet boy whom Dixie adores.
All of this to say that when Jamie texted me this photo last week of Dixie and Rufus relaxing in the lounge area, I was not at all surprised.