A Year of Kimchi

I can’t believe that it’s already been a year since I brought the little bugger home. Being a pet parent / sister meant taking on more than a few responsibilities. Sure, there are fun ones like play time, beneficial ones like Kimchi’s daily walks, and the ones that no one likes to talk about such as picking up poop.

A Year of Kimchi 1

But every step of the journey has been worth it.

A Year of Kimchi 2

Growing up, I never really had a pet. Like most kids, there was a goldfish or two, but never a fur buddy to go out and have adventures with. And to be honest, I never really wanted one until later in life.

Okay – so part of it was pet envy. Seeing friends post an endless parade pictures of their fur babies on social media fueled the desire for one of my own. But another, bigger driver, was wanting to get a companion for the rest of the family to share with as well.

A Year of Kimchi 4

It did take some convincing, but when I finally brought Kimchi home, it was definitely like finding that missing family member.

A Year of Kimchi 5Life with Kimchi definitely has its challenges, and pet ownership isn’t for everyone. I do often find myself scheduling life around her, but it has been worth it. For someone so little, she takes up a lot of heart space and I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Camp Run-A-Mutt (Doggie Daycare)

Earl and I are crazy dog parents. Well, maybe it’s mostly motivated by me, crazy dog mom. Yes, yes it was my idea to dress Wiggly up as a lion and us as her “lion parents.” Wiggly was born to be a doggie model – just look at that face in the Christmas picture!

wiggly 1 wiggly 2

Unfortunately for our little girl, Earl and I both have 9-5 jobs that get in the way of us spending all of our waking time with her. We worried about what she was doing all day every day without us at home. Turns out she sleeps. A lot. As in all day. One day we decided we needed to socialize her with other dogs so she wouldn’t go stir crazy at home or when she saw dogs out in public. Some of my previous coworkers have taken their dogs to Camp Run-A-Mutt, cage free doggie daycare, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.

With multiple locations all over San Diego, we lucked out with a location near my work making for easy drop-off and pick-up.  Registration is simple and can be done online ahead of time or at the location you desire. All you need to bring with you to register your dog is their shot record indicating they are current on the important stuff like rabies so as to not infect other campers and humans. On the day you decide to have your dog be a camper, they undergo a short personality testing as to ensure your dog is not a doggie serial killer. If they pass, you’re good to go and you can let your doggie roam free and make new doggie friends.

We took Wiggly to the Kearny Mesa location which boasts over 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space including grassy area, custom waterfall/splash pond, sun deck, and cooling misters (that does not sound too shabby!). But the REALLY wonderful thing about Camp Run-A-Mutt are these livestreaming videocams that let you watch your little one unbeknownst to them. So we watched. And watched. We even got Aileen to watch. To our surprise (and dismay), Wiggly is truly an emo, loner dog. On her first day of camp, Wiggly spent her time at a specific patch of grass along the fence (see below).

wiggly loner og day 1

Well, at least when we were watching apparently! On your first day of camp, you get a report card on how your doggie did with all the other dogs. Now, I’m not saying there’s fraud afoot because I’m sure Wiggly did all the things they said she did… but we never saw it. I’m definitely not saying we all spent our 8 hour workday watching our screens in hopes of exciting Wiggly action. Not. at. all.

report card

We chalked up her first day to first day jitters and it being a hot day. Wiggly at her core is a very lazy dog and can only handle about two minutes of activity and liveliness before she plops down for the day. We hoped for more activity on Day 2 at camp.

wiggly loner

But no such luck.

wiggly loner 3

Maybe she’ll do better on Day 3. *Fingers crossed*

Kimchi

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the season to reflect on the happenings and accomplishments during the year has officially started. While I have plenty to be thankful for this year, becoming a pet parent tops the list.

Kimchi 2The road to Kimchi, however, wasn’t easy. As a first time pet owner, there were a lot of factors to consider.

Even though lots of people recommended adopting from a pet shelter, I decided to go through the friend of a friend route. After talking to numerous shelter volunteers, I learned that lots of dogs there have separation anxiety. This wasn’t something I was ready or able to deal with. Working about half an hour away from home means that I’m not able to stop by during lunch or other breaks to. It was important to have a dog be able to home alone for a few hours.

Additionally, I felt more comfortable getting a puppy from the aforementioned friend of a friend. Knowing some people who had difficulties with dogs from Craigslist or other sites, it was comforting to know that Kimchi came from a reputable source.

No amount of prep work truly prepared us for having a dog in the house. The early wake up calls, constant clean up during the training process, and the jail break mentality of Kimchi was tiring during the first few weeks. However, once we started to get a routine down, it became easier.

It’s only been a few months since Kimchi has been part of my life, but now I can’t imagine it without her.