Monday, August 25, 2008


Nine years ago, when we first moved to Denver, I had the unfortunate experience of working, briefly, at a child care center and adopting the name Mister Curt. I was only there three or four months, and although I loved my classroom of four-year olds, it was a grueling job and the organization was one of the worst I've ever worked for. It was easy to make the decision to leave, but difficult to leave the children, many of whom I still wonder about. I took many memories away with me, but the thing I remember most was the look in their parents' eyes when they left them with me the very first time. All I could do was reassure them that I'd keep their children safe, make them laugh, impart a bit of wisdom and see to it they left looking forward to returning. And many times, as they walked away, I'd see them peek in the windows one last time trying hard not to press their faces against the glass as they wiped tears from their eyes. Those moments were beautiful and although I said I understood, I don't know that I really did.

Tomorrow is a big day for Duncan and me. Because our apartment is being painted he doesn't get to stay home so I've arranged for my friends Sarah and Andy to take him for the day. It doesn't sound like that big a deal, but, with the exception of Ken and my mother, I've never left Duncan with anyone else. I took him to their home last night so I could get a general sense of how he'd feel being there, to see how he and Kahlua, their dog, would get along and to spend time with their kids, who all loved him on sight, and of course, Duncan loved all the attention. Sarah and Andy were kind to me, but laughed at my nervousness and the impending separation anxiety which will no doubt hit me hard tomorrow morning when I drop him off and drive away, leaving Duncan panting and whining in their window. Sarah reassured me that I can call and check on him throughout the day, but I know it won't be enough. I'll worry for him and worry for them, fretting over whether he's chewing on toys or digging holes or peeing inside (none of which he does). I'll worry that someone has left the gate open and that he's wandering the streets unsure of which direction to go. It's in my nature and there just ain't enough Xanex in the world to make that go away.

I do know that our walk tomorrow will be all the more precious for the time apart, both of us out of our elements. Crazy, I know, but even craziness matters.

Think good thoughts for us. And hope that they keep him safe, make him laugh and leave him with a desire to return.


Greg said...

Oh, you have that Worst Case Scenario brain like mine, sounds like! Condolences.

I am sure the day will go fine for you all, so just keep breathing and know that everything will be great.

(Well, unless the Secret Service has decided to start policing you all because of the nearby convention.)

Peacock And Paisley said...

I get it. I get what Duncan means to you, I get what can go wrong even when you have no thought of it. It's happened to me quite a few times. The best advice I have is to think ONLY completely positive thoughts about Duncan and your friends, constantly, all day long. The upside is that you're leaving him with friends and not strangers. Honestly, it's nice to know that you love your (animal) companion as much as I love mine!

Thor said...

Hi Curt!
I hope everything goes well and you both have a good day!Think pawsitive! I am so happy to see how you love your doggie! My family too!:)


Lori said...

Dog-people totally get what you're feeling! Anyone who doesn't understand that these fuzz-butts are JUST as important to us as kids (more so?) never will, and we can't explain it to them.

"Pawsitive" thoughts for the day!

caboval said...

Curt I know how you feel! I only approve of "auntie sue" taking care of my babies. I couldnt even bear it when I took Joey to the groomer and left him there for 2 hours! And I cant even speak about the day I left Joey at the vet all day for the "boy operation". I cried like a baby. But everything turned out ok and just think positive! Sounds like Auntie Sarah and Uncle Andy love Duncan too!

Anonymous said...

There's many a time I've driven away in tears as we've left our girl with someone else. The good news is that now she so looks forward to going back to her favorite sitters that she cries all the way there and leaps out of the car when we get there with barely a goodbye glance.

We can relax now, knowing that they're going to call us with a daily report on all "the important stuff" - where she slept and how well, how many times she pooped and if it was "normal", if she ate her dinner/breakfast... you know the kind of thing!

I know all the reassurances in the world won't stop you fretting and worrying, but at least you can know that we all understand!

Jyoti (aka Ruby's Mum)

PS Tod (Ruby's Dad) and I often comment to each other how much Duncan might enjoy any one of the places we take Ruby!

Chris & Mackenzie said...

I don't think you'd be normal if you didn't think these thoughts and feel these feelings. Duncan will be fine, you'll make it through the day, and it will be a happy reunion.

Either way we'll send you some good vibes, you know, just to take the edge off. :)

Chris & Mac

Curt Rogers said...

I am grateful to all of you who wrote such encouraging comments to me throughout the day. It seemed that each time I checked my email there was some new pat on the back or empathetic word of wisdom waiting for me. I could not have made it through the day with my sanity without you.

CJ said...

I'm glad that I'm not the only worry wart and that you and Duncan survived.