When Phil suggested a two-week holiday in Scandinavia, a tight little ball of panic formed in the pit of my stomach. Lila had only just reached her first birthday and had yet to experience the stark confines of a boarding kennel. The prospect of leaving my baby dog (and one so accustomed to her creature comforts) was unbearable. I wondered if I could find a way to express my reluctance without appearing deranged. I couldn’t.

Instead I called Rilten Kennels where our border collie Rosie had happily spent time in years past. I figured a chat with Philippa (who runs Rilten) might improve my outlook. Certain that I’d sound overprotective and neurotic, I tentatively explained that Lila had never been boarded, but before I could move on to the next thought, Philippa read my mind: “Why don’t you bring her here for a day? That way she’ll understand the routine…that you’re coming back.”