Kana still wasn’t sure how she’d wound up like this. All she’d needed to do was find a daycare for Randall, and one run by someone the skittish wolf could trust. A simple job, right? But that scrawny little wolf, as usual, always seemed to complicate her life…
Randall had protested, of course – he was very attached to his owner. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the idea of being left somewhere without her, he was terrified of the idea. Most of the car rides around the city looking for an appropriate caretaker were spent listening to a lot of whimpering. It wasn’t easy, either – most places didn’t take adults. And even the ones that did…well, Randall didn’t trust men, at all. Kana didn’t think it would have been hard to find a daycare staffed exlusively by females, but, that had been harder than she’d thought. Randall could warm up to a male, sure, but Kana didn’t have that luxury – she had to find something by next week before work on that project was slated to start.
So it was something of a miracle when they’d pulled into the “Happy Days Kidcare” parking lot, and saw a sign on the window that it was exclusively an adult daycare. Something catered to Randall’s needs. Randall wasn’t exactly a special needs pup in the traditional sense of things, but, she was sure they’d be better equipped to handle the wolf’s peculuarities.
Kana got out and walked around to the other side of the car, where she unbuckled Randall from his carseat. He grabbed her paw tightly, then buried his face in her shoulder, whimpering.
“Oh, for goodness sake, Randall, just give them a chance, okay? There’s still another couple places we can check out if this won’t work.”
“Why can’t Amanda watch me?” Amanda, of course, being the fox that normally served as Randall’s babysitter.
“I already told you, Randall, my hours are going up at work for the next few weeks and Amanda can’t watch you that late. She has a life, too. And no, I’m not about to leave you in the house alone. You remember what happened the last time I trusted you alone, don’t you?”
“Then shut your muzzle, and follow me in. Just…give them a chance, please?” she said, exasperated. They’d already crossed off five places from their list – three of them Randall hadn’t been comfortable with, two wouldn’t make exceptions for a “bigger” puppy. Understandable, of course, but, still…
Randall flinched at the bell that rang when they walked in the front. Kana rolled her eyes. He could get so jumpy. She quickly checked his diaper – wouldn’t do to bring him inside, in need of a change first thing.
The place seemed warm and inviting. Primary pastel colors on the walls. It was only a few moments before a young female hyena came out of the back to the front desk. She looked down at Randall quickly – who, surprisingly enough, didn’t seem as terrified as he usually was.
“Well who is this little guy?”
Randall shyly turned away, and buried his face in Kana’s shoulder again.
Kana blushed, for some reason – she usually wasn’t bothered by his puppyish antics. “This is Randall. You can say hi, right Randall?”
Randall whimpered – but slowly turned his face out of Kana’s shoulder and gave a small, shy wave.
“Aw, that’s okay. We’re used to dealing with shy pups here.”
“You, um…seem pretty empty right now.”
“All our current charges are usually here after working hours. If Randall here is okay with me, I can help him get used to the others. There’s only one other staff here too, so, there’s just her and the other babies he’d be meeting.”
Kana nodded. That would be good. Wariness of strangers was not necessarily a bad trait, but abject terror of them was. Randall needed to learn not to fear…well, everything.
“He, um…he needs diapers, I hope that’s not a problem. He startles easily, and tends to, well…make puddles.”
“Not a problem at all! That’s actually a daycare rule. He’s not the only leaky pup here.” Kana looked over at a sign indicating that all charges had to be diapered while signed in to the daycare. She supposed that made sense.
“Could I, ah…stay with him here, a day, just to see how he handles it? I, um…I don’t want him to have a nervous breakdown or anything.” That was a lie, of course. She liked the pup, and just didn’t want to see him in distress.
“Not a problem! Are you planning on staying today, or…?”
“Actually, tomorrow, if that’s not a problem.”
“Not at all. Just sign a disclaimer here for you, and I’ll need Randall to sign here too unless you’re his legal guardian.”
Kana signed both without really reading them over. Who reads those long boring things, anyway? They gave parting goodbyes, Kana set Randall in his car seat (after checking his diaper once more – which she decided could wait until they were home ot change), and they drove back home.
“I…she’s really nice,” Randall said, wiggling his toe-paws. Kana sighed in relief.
“You think you’ll be okay there?”
Randall nodded. He knew having his owner there would help, too, not to mention him being the only charge during the daytime. The afternoon could get scary, but if Kana was there to help him, not to mention the nice hyena, he was sure he could manage.
Randall seemed a bit more confident when they walked in the next day. The hyena – now wearing a nametag reading “T.B.” – was there to meet them. She had Randall stick his clothing in a cubbyhole, which already had his name on it. Kana wondered how he’d handle it, but, he did just fine – after all, he spent most his time at home scampering about in a diaper. If Kana had paid attention she’d have noticed there was a cubby hole with her name on it, too.
She was so wrapped up in watching Randall – who was currently absolutely enthralled with a fox plush – that she about jumped out of her skin when she felt a paw take her own and start to lead her toward the back of the building.
“Wait, ah, um…” she stammered, a bit confused. “Where are…?”
“You said you wished to stay with him a day, didn’t you?”
“Oh. Yeah, yes I did. I just want to make sure he’ll be happy here. I mean, not have a nervous breakdown.”
TB nodded. “Then right this way!”
That had been three hours ago, now. And she still wasn’t sure what had happened. Why she hadn’t protested upon being put in a diaper, or having her pants taken away at that! She was normally a very dominant woman. Why had she folded? She wasn’t a puppy, either, that was Randall’s schtick. Well, that was mostly because of prior abuse, but, still. Randall was the puppy. He’d spared her no amount of giggling after he saw her returning from behind the curtain where the changing table was – although he’d stopped as soon as he caught her glare.
And then about fifteen minutes ago, she’d finally had to wet – which was rather embarassing, as Randall was still perfectly dry and showing no signs he even had to use his diaper yet. The bathroom door was locked, so there was no hope there…and the door leading to the cubby holes was locked too. For some reason, it hadn’t occurred to her to simply ask to end her stay here – she had to watch Randall after all! And she’d protested, of course, tried to get to the bathroom, but evidently that was just assumed to be part of the whole atmosphere here, because Kana wasn’t taken seriously. She’d attempted to explain the mix-up…but, she had said she wanted to STAY here, with Randall. Finally she’d just given up, and, well…here she was now, too mortified to ask for a diaper change.
Luckily, she wouldn’t have to. The Happy Days Kidcare was staffed by the very best.