A DAy in the Life of a Canine Innkeeper

When will someone drop some bread or bacon?

When will someone drop some bread or bacon?

The alarm rings at 6:00 am. I stretch for a few seconds — I was not originally a morning dog! — get out of my cozy bed, put my paws on Ellen’s bed and gently tap her. Ellen then turns off the alarm and gives me a cookie for doing a good job. I have only overslept a couple of times in nine years!

While Ellen is showering and getting dressed, I move into the living room to take a short nap. Ready for another innkeeping day, Ellen, Piper and I walk 30 steps across the driveway to the inn’s kitchen, where Piper and I are the first to be fed breakfast.

After our breakfast, Piper and I head out to the garden, barking quietly at the kitchen door when we want to come in. Meanwhile Ellen is preparing breakfast for our guests. The homemade bread is in the oven, the muffins to go in later. Ellen prepares the fruit course and puts the finishing touches on the entree. I stay alert waiting for the kitchen timer to ring. And when it does, I find Ellen, tap her left with my paw (sometimes I am a little overzealous and nearly knock her over).

When my kitchen job is done, I move on to the dining room, where I greet each and every guest. Although I am supposed to be lying down, I admit that I do get up and pleasantly stare at the guests and their food. I am on a strict diet, and they are not supposed to feed me (Ellen is very strict about this), but I am an optimist and am always hoping the guests will drop a tasty morsel. Like most Golden Retrievers, I love to put my head on people’s laps, and I do this when Ellen isn’t looking, but don’t tell her that — I have a reputation to uphold.

When staff is cleaning up from breakfast, I take a long nap in the kitchen or join guests on the porch while they finish their coffee and read the newspaper.

Then it’s errand time! I always wear my service dog coat while we are out and about. Some people smile at us, like they do at babies. Others are rude and point at us, as if they have never seen a dog before! Our outings most often take us grocery shopping or out to lunch. I have my own special spot in most Lenox restaurants — the corner table on the patio at Church Street Cafe or in the back room or near the window at Bistro Zinc. This makes me feel as if I’m at Cheers!

While Ellen bakes in the afternoon, I nap until the timer goes off.

At 3:00 pm comes the fun part — greeting guests at the door with my most appealing wag. I even lead the way while the guests get acquainted with the inn. If the guests have a dog and if I like the dog after a welcome sniffing, I may follow the dog around.

While the guests are enjoying hot cider and pastries in the library or iced tea and lemonade with pastries on the porch, Piper and I enjoy our dinner and then a romp in the garden before rejoining our guests.

It’s a long and tiring day so in the evening, while Ellen is cooking or working on the computer, I stretch out for a long nap. And then it’s time to move my venue to the sofa in Ellen’s living room, my all-time favorite place. We enjoy a long cuddle, and then it’s bed time.

I am a working dog, and as you can see, I work very hard for my cookies! For some reason, though, Ellen says she wants to work as hard as I do in her next life! Why is that?

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