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.
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.
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!