Last night I valet-parked my puppy, and other tales of Dr. Becker’s visit to Sacramento

October 20, 2009 at 3:48 am Leave a comment

Fab40UseThe weekend with Dr. Becker here was great fun, but a whirlwind. Saturday I played hometown tour guide, showing off the history and neighborhoods of Sacramento when it’s at its best: When the City of Trees is sunny but not hot and the beautiful old sycamores and elms are just starting to drop their leaves. Because of last week’s massive storm the air is still crisp and clean, and from the valley floor you can see the Sierra Nevada, which was the norm when I was growing up but pretty rare now because of pollution.

The open house at VCA Sacramento Veterinary Referral Center yesterday was wonderful,  with everyone who turned up enjoying the talk and b00k-signing.

We had planned to meet another veterinarian for dinner after the open house, so I figured he could take Marty to the restaurant while I took Faith home and then caught up with them. She was at the open house all day, sitting quietly during the talk and being friendly to all otherwise, showing off her tricks during the signing and generally being as well-behaved as anyone could reasonably expect a 6-month-old puppy to be. (Note: The Easy-Walk harness is an absolutely godsend to anyone with a strong adolescent puppyhead whose brain cells aren’t yet fully connected. Faith knows how to walk on a leash, but has problems remembering what she knows when people want to pet her!)

But Dr. Kwane Stewart’s plane was late coming in to Sacramento, so we quickly re-worked our plans to meet him downtown at Dr. Becker’s hotel.

Except: What to do with Faith? She was pretty worn out, but she’d never chilled in crate alone in a vehicle for more than a few minutes.

So … I valet-parked the van at the downtown Hyatt Regency, where Dr. Becker was staying. I knew they put the valet-parked vehicles into a secure garage, and with the van locked, weather cool and windows cracked, I figured Faith be fine. Not a perfect plan, but OK.

The valet had a better idea. It was Sunday night and pretty slow, he pointed out. He suggested we leave the van under the cover right in front of the hotel lobby, where he could keep an eye on it while we were at dinner.  He clearly loved dogs, and he wanted to help.

And that is where the van stayed while we went around the corner to dinner, with the puppy-filled van not 30 feet from the valet and never out of sight.  FayBee had been fed, watered, pottied and was exhausted before we left the veterinary hospital. She squeaked and whined for a few minutes at the hotel — I later was told –  and then fell utterly and completely asleep in her crate.

I came back to a quiet van, a sleeping puppy and a beaming valet, who assured me he’d let no one near the van, which was still in the welcoming circle in front of the hotel.

You’d better believe he got a hecka fine tip.


pawThe sweetest thing that happened over the weekend was that while we were at the veterinary hospital, I got Heather’s ashes.  The staff was so kind, taking my car keys and slipping the ashes into the van so I didn’t have to deal with them until I got home. They did make me cry, though, telling me that they’d made an impression of Heather’s paw print with her name on the plaque.

I was very happy, in that sad sort of way, since I’d bought a kit to do the same, but the end came so quickly I’d forgotten I had it.

I’m so grateful to everyone at that hospital for the work they do. Over the almost 13 years of Heather’s life, she got the very best of care — and so did I.…

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Last night I valet-parked my puppy, and other tales of Dr. Becker visit to Sacramento Valentina The English Bulldog

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