Being a pet owner brings with it a set of responsibilities, many of them close to the responsibilities of a parent. Having a pet means feeding it, being alert for health issues, and making sure you have someone to watch it when you need to be away.
Like parents, there’s a good chance you also have a job that takes you away from home. And because of this, doggy daycares have become quite popular.
This is an account of a woman looking for a doggy daycare and shared on Reddit by someone who goes by SwarmTendon. We’ll call her ST.
If you love dogs of any kind, you will love this story.
ST starts off by saying that the office where she works is dog friendly. And since it wasn’t the type of environment where customers ever entered, dog food and water bowls were kept in the most convenient place, which for them was the front door.
There were six people working in the main office. ST was a dog lover and wished she had one of her own, but there was a no pet policy where she lived. Of the six, she was the only person who didn’t bring a dog to work, and she admits this always made her feel left out.
To add another wrinkle, there was a doggy daycare across the street from the office. For a dog lover without a dog, her workdays must have been a form of torture.
The Day it All Changed for ST
One day a woman who ST describes as frantic blew into the office with a basset hound, which surprised her. She was used to associates coming into the office, but they typically had appointments, and they didn’t bring their pets.
The woman ran up to ST, asking if she worked there. When ST confirmed that she did, the woman continued.
“I wasn’t sure if you took walk-ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer.”
Completely baffled, ST asks who the woman had called, but that was brushed off as the woman carried right on with her explanation.
“Well, it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes, and I’ll be back in a few hours.”
By now ST is thinking that perhaps the woman had a friend that worked in the office, so she asked for her name. The woman gave her name and asked if she needed to sign anything. Completely confused, ST indicated that wasn’t necessary, and the woman left.
Leaving Otis, her basset hound, behind.
Otis Settles In
ST took Otis around the office, asking if anyone knew him or his hooman. No one had a clue who either of them was. This leaves her with some conflicting emotions. What if the woman never came back to claim her dog? But woohoo! Her wish had finally been granted, and just like everyone else in the office, she had a dog too.
Otis settled right in. ST described him as being “completely chill.”
“All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of.”
This seems to be right in line with what is normal for the breed.
The American Kennel Club says,
“[They are] often content to snooze on the sofa.”
And DogTime says,
“Around the house, Basset Hounds are calm and rather lazy.”
The Mystery is Solved
Even though ST enjoyed her time with Otis, she was relieved when his mom returned at the end of the day. She told ST she had been a lifesaver and asked how Otis had behaved. ST assured her that he had been a good boy and was about to ask why Otis had been left there for the day when the woman continued.
“That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity. I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?”
This is what they call a lightbulb moment. ST realized that the woman thought she was in a doggy daycare. And before we all call her names, let’s remember a few things. There is a doggy daycare right across the street. And there are dogs in the offices, with their food and water bowls at the front door.
And ST had a split second to make a decision. Point out the woman’s mistake—or not. Well, she had loved her day with Otis, and she did feel that she deserved to be paid for her time. So she threw out a number.
“That’ll be $20.”
When the woman screeched “Reaalllly?!,” in this very high voice, she wasn’t sure if it was because she had over or undercharged, but the woman paid and left. She pocketed her money and all in the office had a good laugh about what had happened.
But the Cat Dog Came Back
It wasn’t the next day, it was the following week.
The woman returned to the office with Otis saying that even though she had a regular place she used, ST’s daycare had been so much more affordable and much less crowded. And since ST was glad for the company, she didn’t say anything. She just took Otis to dog-sit him once again.
Having said that, she was puzzled by the woman. She didn’t understand that the woman couldn’t have figured out by now she had the wrong place. But she was happy to have Otis by her side, and she was getting paid to do it! Why mess up a good thing by asking questions?
She admits that at the time, she was much “younger and dumber.” This led her to keep quiet. And due to her continued silence, Otis became a regular at the office.
“Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.”
The Truth Comes Out
As is often the case, the truth finally came out. And in a rather unbelievable way.
The time came for the office Christmas card photo to be taken, and since Otis was in the office that day, he was included in the picture. They even dressed him in a Santa hat.
Who would have guessed that the woman who owned Otis would be the friend of one of the company’s clients? And, of course, that friend received a card and then displayed it in her home? Probably no one would guess that, but that is what happened.
So Otis’ owner shows up at ST’s office one day, holding the card. She held it up to ST and said,
“I can’t even believe I’m asking this but… is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it?”
According to ST, this all was said with surprise in her voice. For the first time, she wasn’t in a rush to get somewhere and actually paid some attention to her surroundings. Which led her to ask,
“Then who are all these other dogs?”
Although terrified, ST ‘fessed up. She was sure she’d either have to give all that money back or even face some sort of legal action against her for misrepresentation. But the woman just asked why ST had never said anything. Never explained that she really didn’t work for a doggy daycare.
ST told her the truth. That she went along with it because she just liked having Otis around. That she was the only one in the office without a dog, and how much she hated that.
The woman then asked a coworker to confirm ST’s story, which they did.
And then she blew ST’s mind.
“Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00.”
As she turned to leave without Otis, ST called to her and confirmed that Otis could stay with her. Her answer?
“Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?”
ST got to keep Otis as her office dog until his family moved away, which was around the time she took another job.
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