The plan was: Zenzi would enter the small dog daycare into an ex-pen. From there, she could observe and be approached within reason. They would introduce a similar personality dog into her ex-pen when she seemed comfortable with the environment. If/When she made friends, they would remove the ex-pen and let her mingle with a friend. If she got overwhelmed, she could return to the ex-pen and try again later.
When I dropped her off at 10:30am, she was a little hypersensitive to the sounds of the place. People entering, dogs barking, paperwork shuffling was all suddenly very loud. She acclimated to that pretty quickly, and when the paperwork was in order, off she went with Amanda (the trainer). I felt like I was sending my toddler off to pre-school for the first day. I watched her enter the ex-pen. She was gently wagging her tail, calmly observing, and comfortably taking pets from Amanda, who sat next to her. Off to work I went.
I called on my lunch to check up on her. The man at the front desk kindly informed me that she was a pleasure in the daycare -- not too crazed, and at the moment was just relaxing in the sunshine. She had been a little shy at first, but warmed up quickly. Whew!
I got to spy on her through the center's webcam after lunch. She was cruising through, tail relaxed. She didn't seem to be hanging with anyone in particular, but she didn't seem worried, either.
I picked her up around 5:00, everyone in the lobby said, "Ooooh, you're here for Zenzi? She's SO CUTE!" I smiled. Shortly thereafter, when someone had gone to collect her, Amanda emerged to give me a more detailed report. She said it only took Zenzi about 5-10 minutes to start mingling with everyone, and seemed completely comfortable the rest of the day. She didn't ever play/wrestle with anyone hardcore, but she was content to be curious and mingling. I was delighted with the news.
When Zenzi first came out, she didn't recognize me at first. When she did not 2 seconds later, we had the best greeting in the world. The kind of mutual hugs and kisses, me kneeling on the ground to her level. The sort that made everyone around us go, "Awwwwe..." Off we went home, assuring everyone we would be back next Tuesday.
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