Life of Vi – Holding Down the Fort

When the family vacation isn’t dog friendly

By Rachel Simpson

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Unfortunately, Violet just isn’t fit for flying: she’s a little too big to sit under our seat, and a little too flat in the face to travel safely in the cargo compartment. That means we, with heavy hearts and a little self-loathing, had to leave her behind on a recent vacation. She wasn’t alone, of course: her grandparents dog-sat for us. But it did mean she had to find ways to overcome missing us. Because she does miss us, if not nearly as much as we miss her. Here then, is how Violet fills those dragging days apart from us.

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Busy Body:

With her grandparents, while the cuddles are still top notch, there’s no running the trails in High Park, and the games of tug-o-war are a little less vigorous, so Violet has to find other ways to occupy herself. (A girl can’t just lie around waiting for us to return!) To this end, Violet takes inventory of her toys, and plans a play schedule. Some toys are for sharing, like ropes and other tugs; some are for contemplative chews, like her pig. And then there’s Bunny, the permanently filthy plush rabbit she’s nursed since she was a puppy. Bunny makes everything better; and there’s a lot to make better when you miss people.

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Watch Dog:

No matter how busy she keeps herself, Violet is ever on the lookout for our return. Whether it’s staring out the window whenever she hears the honk of a car’s security lock, or scanning the horizon on her walks, Vi is always on the alert for any sign of her humans (even the little one she isn’t quite sold on yet). For our part, not a day goes by we don’t think about the moment we’ll finally materialize on Vi’s horizon—and she’ll goes from 0-60km/h in two seconds closing the distance between us!

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Fake ‘n Bake:

Violet is no fan of winter. She’s a huge fan of snow, yes, and running clumsily across Grenadier Pond when it freezes over, but she hates the cold, slush and salt. Really, our little Violet is a summer pooch, a sun worshipper, solar powered, and even though we can’t bring her somewhere tropical she finds ways to soak up some rays. It’s all about the little things when you’re killing time.

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Eating Her Feelings:

For Violet, there is no better palliative than food. In fact, she’ll even pretend to be sad just to get a treat. So yeah, while playing is good way for Violet to mark the hours until we’re reunited, and a timely snuggle helps too, her grandparents know that the best way to help our little dog overcome her feelings is by eating them. And she has a lot of feelings. What’s her favorite snack you ask? Easy: whatever it is you’re eating.

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Welcoming Committee:

Everybody likes to feel welcomed when they return from a trip, especially so by the ones we miss most. Violet has always come through for us in that regard: whether it’s coming to the airport to get us, or putting on her Sunday best and having flowers ready to meet our arrival. She’s a thoughtful little monster, to be sure. The best part of her welcoming ritual however, is when we’ve barely opened door and she does her best to knock us over and (lovingly) eat our faces. I suppose it’s bad practice to encourage such behavior. But then, we don’t want a perfect dog, we want our dog.