The chaos of the holidays was ending, and the majority of our furry friends had left or were going to be gone by tomorrow as the owners came to claim these canines that didn't want to leave the fun of Doggy Days behind. Some we were happy to see go, and looking forward to the sleep that we might get back from the restless nights of constant late night barking projected out of the hotel into our bedrooms. As the packs decreased in size it was also time for me to depart from Doggy Days.
There are many dogs that I will miss, but the owner's Romanian sisters are the two that I would take home for myself if I could. Despite their tough shell and distance to newbies at the beginning, we were actually quite good friends by the time I had to go. Instead of running away or barking when I came into a room they would either sit up and looked interested in where I was headed or even run over and jump up to greet me warmly. Earning their affection made me feel like an official member of the house.
And Artuse, the biggest St. Bernanrd you will ever meet. He is larger than most small horses I've seen, and has a deep stomach rattling bark that makes most of the other dogs quiver, but in reality he is nothing but a softy. Well trained, he doesn't even need a leash when you walk him, because he sticks close to you, in fact he usually knows the path better than whoever is walking him.
Though I won't miss the constant scrubbing of the floor covered in dog urine, and being pulled down a hillside by an eager puppy while the others pull in three separate directions, or the dog chatter that sometimes never seems to stop, I will miss this dog oasis and the village of Arogno very much.
Saying farewell to my new friends, helpers and staff, I made some open plans to see them again with the hope of crossing paths in another country again some day. Marcela and I spent one final evening gossiping and dissecting the work day together after letting the dogs out for their final late night bathroom break, and as I went to sleep dreading the early alarm that was to ring in a few hours I thought about how comfortable I had become in that home and how I might hope to return to Doggy Days again some day.