Oh, boy!!! He’s back!! He’s back!! Daddy didn’t see what the big deal was. He’d only been gone for an hour, but him and the rest of the family are always happy I’m happy they’re back. And I’m happy he’s back and thank God that terrible smell is gone. And now I only go to the attic when I have to.
Things are starting to settle down tonight, but then my family starts looking at a box in Daddy’s office and the box has light coming from it, but it’s not TV, then the strangeness starts. The family goes out and I wait on my cushioned white dog bed and take a nap. Then, they come back from something called Triple-A and they all have maps and something called brochures, and they all seem happy and if they’re happy, I’m happy.
Then, they say I, Bushington, need a reservation at a place called, “Pet Palace”. Then, I’m confused. The family’s going on vacation and I’m part of the family, and I want to love and protect them on vacation. But maybe “Pet Palace” is near where my family’s vacation and Mommy says that place is Madrid. I’ve never heard of Madrid, but it sounds nice. My family says there’ll be parties, dancing, singing, playing, and a lot of other things. The family makes they’re reservation and they make one for me at “Pet Palace”.
Then, all five members of the family pack their suitcases. Bob packs his red swimsuit, some blue and yellow boxers, white socks, five sweatshirts, five t-shirts, and a plastic bag filled with something called toiletries. I smell the bag and it smells nice. When Bob is finished putting his items in, I leap in the suitcase, so he’ll remember me. Bob sighs and takes me out.
“You’re going to ‘Pet Palace,’ Bushington, not Madrid”
Now, I’m confused. Daddy said we were all going on vacation in Madrid. He said the family was staying at “El Hotel” and I was staying at “Pet Palace”.
The day before they leave, Bob, Sean, Roberta, Mom, and Dad’s suitcases are at the front door and my suitcase, which is a white plastic bag from Walmart with my food, 2 bowls, Milk Bones, a pill, and 3 pig ears, are at the front door, too. Then, Daddy says it’s time to go for a ride. Daddy, me, Sean, and Roberta come, but they only bring my suitcase. We drive along and Sean pets me, but I think I know what “Doggy Palace” is , it’s a code word for taking me back to the pound. I put my nose to the floor and put my tail between my legs until we get there.
Daddy turns off the engine, Sean opens Sean’s door, Sean picks me up by my chest, and we go inside. I feel my body shake. Please God, don’t let my family abandon me. I’ll be a good dog. Please God. I see the red fire hydrant near the front door. All of us enter and I hear a wind chime. The reception area is clean and the floor smells like flowers.
There’s a room for humans to go potty, clean styrofoam cups, a coffee machine, red, yellow, and blue sugar packets, clean, cushioned chairs, and a TV with a video of dogs playing with balls and cats playing with yarn, but at least it’s clean.
But Daddy talks to the woman at the front desk, pays her, and gives her my bag. Sean, Roberta, And Daddy all hug and kiss me, but as they walk out the front door, I whine and whimper. I want to go to Madrid with you guys. I don’t want to be at “Pet Palace”. I want to be in Bob’s suitcase, but they leave me. They don’t even look back. I hear the wind chimes slowly decrescendo.
Then, the nightmare starts. The woman at the front desk takes my collar off and puts a blue collar on me. The secretary takes me to the back and it’s loud. I hear dogs barking, cats meowing, birds chirping, hamsters whining and the sound doesn’t stop. Then, the receptionist puts my bowls from the white Wal-Mart bag in my cage with food in my water bowl and water in my food bowl. Oy.
Then, from the corner of my eye, I see it, a rat. I bark at it so it’ll stay away from my food, but then I shake again. It smells like unflushed toilet. The lady unpacks the Wal-Mart bag and puts my stuff in my cage. “Pet Palace” indeed. I look at the black poodle across from me and see white foam dripping from her mouth. I gotta get outta here. I dig into the concrete floor until it hurts. Then, my back starts itching. So, I roll on my back, but it doesn’t work. I gotta get outta here.
Then, at 9 pm, a lady from the back with brown khaki pants opens my cage, puts a leash on me and takes me outside. Thank God. I’m outta there, even if it’s only for a bit. So, I’m smelling around, looking for a good place to mark as mine and suddenly I smell something sweet, but nauseating. I look around to see where its coming from and the lady walking me has a stick in her mouth with fire on the end. All I smell is her stick and my back itches, so I roll on the grass. The lady says, “Don’t do that, Bushington,” and pulls on my new leash. I mark a random pine tree and go back in. The stick stinks.
The barking and meowing go on all night and I can’t sleep so I gnaw on the pig ear to relax. My muzzle itches now, too. I hate this Palace. I wound up staying in this place for a week.
Then, one morning, a different lady takes me, takes my collar off, and fills a sink with hot water. She says her name is Sue. Sue pets me while she fills a sink with warm water. She puts me in the water and it’s nice. She massages the shampoo into my fur and I feel a bit better. She even clips my nails with a machine that grinds my nails so it doesn’t hurt
Then, one morning, the new nice lady takes off my new collar and puts on my old collar. Thank God. Then, they take me to the clean front lobby and Daddy, Mommy, Bob, Sean, and Roberta are there.
Oh, boy!’ They’re back! They’re back!! Please God let them take me home. Daddy asks the lady at the front desk if I was any trouble and the lady says, “No, no, Bushington was a good dog.” I wag my tail and my head is up. Daddy didn’t see what the big deal was, but I’m so happy I got my family back. I’m never coming to “Pet Paradise” again.