Pets and Vacation Blues

After almost twenty years of being dog-less – I have a dog. Looking back on the decision to adopt Oliver, I can wholeheartedly say, it has been one of the best decisions of my life. He never continues to make me laugh with his weird quirks – like an affinity for bananas, and his old-man style groans. And as he nears his ten-month birthday, I’ve even become a less nervous “mom”. Well… almost.

One thing has been looming on the periphery of my brain. Our annual vacation back East is two weeks away. I have been looking forward to this trip to coastal Maine, but one thing sours it for me – Oliver has to stay home. I am amazed by the amount of anxiety -- and guilt -- I have over leaving my furry one in Colorado for two weeks.

There’s no shortage of options for how to handle this. We are lucky enough that Oliver has adjusted well to the times he has had to board with his vet or at “dog camp”, and we also have good friends who will take care of him. Those stays have always been for a few days. We will be leaving him in the care of someone else for two weeks. And I can’t say I feel good about it. Am I being completely irrational? Oliver’s “dad” seems to be handling this situation with much more aplomb than I can muster. I feel like a jerk, a bad parent, and like I am over-thinking this, all at once for having such anxiety and guilt over leaving Oliver home. And to be completely honest – I will miss my dog.

I am curious --what do you do with your four-legged family member when you can’t bring them with you on your travels? How do you handle the anxiety? Is it ridiculous to have such anxiety? And how do you cope with missing a pet?

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