A perfect day for a dog

Dora’s perfect day

This is a post I wrote when fostering Dora the black Lab. She was adopted!

I am not exactly sure what a perfect day would be like for my foster dog Dora. I have only known her for six weeks.

Still, I wanted to try my best to give her a special day – a day as perfect as possible. Just for her. Hopefully she still has many more perfect days ahead.

Dora the black lab up for adoption

So, Sunday was Dora’s “perfect day.”

On any normal morning, I have to wake Dora up. She is not an early riser. However, on her perfect day, I came downstairs to find her bouncing around doing her version of play bows, all ready for breakfast!

Dora loves to eat, so we wasted no time. Some plain, natural yogurt and cooked ground beef were on the menu for Dora, mixed with her dog food. Her tail would not stop wagging!

Next, after I had eaten my own breakfast (scrambled eggs, which Dora got to sample), I took her outside to the grass while I drank my coffee on the patio. This was Dora’s time to have all my attention on her.

Dora has the most energy in the mornings, so after my coffee I loaded her and Ace into the car and we drove to Elmwood Park in West Fargo – windows down, of course.

Now, normally Dora can’t get in the car on her own. She won’t even try, and she makes it difficult if I try to lift her. However, for her perfect day, Dora jumped up and put her front paws in the car all by herself!

North Elmwood has parking spots right by the river. I picked this area because it has lots of trees and grass so even if Dora didn’t feel like walking much, she would still enjoy the park atmosphere.

It turned out that Dora did feel like walking (slowly) for a whole half-hour! I let her drag her leash around so she could go wherever she wanted (video here). She seemed to enjoy all the smells. I saw her look up at the trees several times. She also rolled in the grass and even walked to the tall weeds along the river.

After the park, Dora needed a nap! While she was sleeping I bought her a new dog bed of her very own (my animals do not share the beds well), and two bones.

Dora plopped down on her new bed for a second, but she was so thrilled about her bone that she carried it around wagging her tail for about 10 minutes. Then, once she realized there was nowhere to hide the bone (and that none of us were going to take it), she lied down for a good chew.

For dinner, more hamburger and yogurt for Dora. I also brushed her and sat on the floor with her during a movie instead of on the couch.

My foster dog Dora, the senior black lab

Dora the senior black lab for adoption!

Then, for the first time, I carried Dora up the stairs so she could sleep in the bedroom.

In six weeks, I had never once carried her upstairs. Every night, she’d stand at the bottom of the stairs and look up – “What about me?”

It’s too risky to carry her upstairs. It’s painful for her to be lifted, and if I drop her she could get really hurt. However, for her perfect day, I made an exception. That night, Dora got to be upstairs, too.

I did not notice her move once, the entire night.

What would you do if your dog could have a “perfect day”?

This post was inspired by the chapter “The perfect day” in the book “Going Home: Finding peace when pets die” by Jon Katz.

Update: Dora was adopted!

Dora the black lab

Dora at the park


19 thoughts on “A perfect day for a dog”

  1. This brings tears to my eyes, I truly wish we could adopt Dora, but living in PA would make that a bit difficult. She’s so lucky to have the best foster mom ever!
    I try to make every day my pups best day ever as I know that she was treated very poorly before she found us.

  2. Christie Lindemann

    The compassion and care that you have Lindsay, is admirable! I always get a lump in my throat when I read about Dora. I know that you are doing everything possible for her and I’m sure that Dora knows that. I believe that Dora was brought into your life for a reason.

    Buddy was next to me when I was watching the video and when you asked Ace to come, Buddy’s ears perked up and he immediately looked at my iPad! How great that he recognized your voice!

    Hope all is well!

  3. Howie’s perfect day would involve getting to be off leash at the park the whole time, with us following him, instead of him having to stay on our course.
    It would also involve getting to go everywhere with us, and maybe, just maybe, no Larry dog trying to get the good cuddle spot next to mommy.

  4. I’m glad I’m no the only one crying over the Dora stories. She’s so much like Emma dog. Made me extremely emotional. Thanks for investing deeply in your time, care, and love for miss Dora. I hope she finds a good home soon. It’s her time to be loved on and your perfect day sounded more than perfect.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thank you!! Dora reminds me so much of Emma as well. Thank you for suggesting the pain medication. She went to the vet yesterday and received some new meds. Hopefully she will start to feel better!

  5. I’m not currently in a position to have a dog, even a foster (my life is too unstable), but your Dora posts make me want to foster/adopt a senior dog when the time is right. Such a sweet lady she is!

  6. Thank you so much for your posts about Dora. I just know that you are making her the happiest pup in the world. What a wonderful gift to give to her when she needs it most. I made my Caesar sit on my lap while I read, so I could snuggle him when I teared up. Dora couldn’t have wished for a better foster mama.

  7. Lindsay,

    What a wonderful gift you have given Dora. I’m sure she enjoyed this special day you planned for her! You have, in fact, given her quite a few special days in the six weeks you’ve opened your heart and home to her. Thanks for all you do for dogs day in and day out, and thanks for sharing this heartwarming story. Thanks for the photos and video too!

  8. I am amazed at how great you are and how sweet Dora is! I’m in VA, or I’d seriously consider adopting her. I’m looking for the “right” dog to fit in with my 7 year old dog. This post made my day so bright, thank you!

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