Boarding our Dogs While Mama and Papa are Away

Buddy Taking It Easy

King, an earlier photo

Difficult though it is, sometimes boarding our pets is necessary.  When I look at those eyes as we drop them off at the Kennel, my heart sinks. I remind myself  they will sleep a lot and be treated well.  But five days in a dog’s life, compared to the total time they are expected to live, is long. We have an older Chocolate Lab and a 6 month old Yellow Lab.  We We brought them home last Friday.  The older one, an adopted dog at age 5, Buddy, sulked a bit, but he is a sedate dog.  The younger one, King, raced around, licked, tried to crawl inside us with excitement.  He is big enough now to create a balance tipping thump if he makes a direct hit!  We think we are making headway in training him.  But exuberance is something hard to measure and create behavior modification without damaging their wonderful spirit.  Wish us luck!  Pointers willingly accepted, not as in dog breeds, but as advice.  (smile)

I am comforted by the memory of our former precious lab, Nicky, who showed great excitement and couldn’t wait to be turned over to the kennel, run by our veterinarian.  They do walk and play with the dogs.

Progress: No more office garbage raids when King opens the door.  He is now allowed to enter and sits (after some show of exuberance) quietly on my throw rug.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurie Ryan
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 17:32:37

    I don’t have any training advice, as it’s been a while since we had dogs. We do have a cat, though, and are leaving for 14 days later this year and I don’t know yet what we will do. I’m fretting over it. He’s 3 and has never been boarded and I kind of hate to do that to him for so long. So say a prayer I can get a family member to come stay here for a couple weeks while we’re gone. 🙂

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  2. Kate MacNicol
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 17:29:43

    It’s so difficult to leave my dog now that he’s older. When we lived in the city we had this fabulous eccentric little lady who was a fabulous dog sitter. She knew all the breeds, their quirks and loved each dog she kenneled. She preferred to call it “camp” and her little SUV was the “camp bus.” She’d pick them up, drop them off and kennel all for less than ten dollars a day. I miss her. She’d make a great character for a book. Your dogs are darling Marion. Good luck with exuberant energy.

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    • mspicher
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:32:14

      Good morning, Kate! I can imagine the difficulty in leaving a “senior” dog. The best solution might be to find a house sitter who is also a dog lover. Sometimes the Universe smiles and provides just what we need when we need it. The dog sitter you had in the city sounds like a gem and would be a big loss.

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  3. goingroundandround
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 16:36:30

    Glad little King isn’t getting into the garbage anymore! Did you train him to sit on the rug, or did he choose it as his space? How did you teach him to leave the garbage alone?

    It’s nice that your pups have a good place to stay when you go away. We haven’t needed to board our dogs in a long time, and it was hard to leave them. Poor sad babies! Our dogs can’t stay with Grandma and Grandpa because they have a cat now, and Jackie and Dillon aren’t “cat people”. They are thankful that their daddy isn’t much of a traveler (he stays home with them with I travel)!

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    • mspicher
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:28:43

      Thanks for tuning in on the puppy adventures! King chose the rug as his resting place. And the garbage? He trained me! I keep the bathroom door closed. Yes, we are fortunate to have a good place to board them when the need arises.

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  4. Angela Wallace
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 13:59:03

    I hate to travel, so no worries for my kitty. I actually pet sit for people who go out of town. I spend the night and take care of their dogs so they don’t have to go to a kennel. It’s nice that they get to stay in their familiar environment, but they still miss their family. One dog I take care of never eats the first day her family is away, even though she likes me.

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    • mspicher
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:21:40

      Hi, Angela. Our former dog Nicky, would not eat for a day when my husband left on a business trip. But our current brood are always looking for food, no matter what. I hear you about traveling. It can be hard work.

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  5. patriciasands
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 10:51:54

    Our travel plans don’t allow for pets at this point. It’s not fair to them! So as a former pet owner (at one point two dogs, three cats and a pet squirrel – all at the same time), I love hearing everyone else’s pet stories. Keep them coming!

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    • mspicher
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:12:35

      Patricia, pets do add complications to travel. I’ll wager you have some stories to tell about the menagerie you once had … and the acquisition of the squirrel!

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  6. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 10:44:11

    We have a new black lab puppy too. She’s about 4 months and adorable, but a terror. I can relate!! If you’re like me, you could write every day on your blog about all the horrible and adorable things she does!

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    • mspicher
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 08:08:49

      Ha, Jillian, we have a two month lead on you, as King is 6 months old. He is such a love, but remains a challenge. Husband takes both dogs to a pond, and he is swimming now. The first time, he followed the older dog into the water, and soon discovered his legs left the bottom. His initial attempts to stay afloat were wild but successful. He is now a pro. Enjoy!

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  7. tamerietherton
    Aug 15, 2011 @ 09:53:17

    We’ve got two dogs (which funny enough, I blogged about today!) – an Aussie and Jack Russell, so I totally get the exuberance thing. We crate trained both and that worked wonderfully for us at first. Then, we took them to a fabulous dog trainer and she would tell me to set play times for them and nap times. If I needed to write? I’d take them out and throw a ball for 20 minutes and then put them in the crate for an hour. It got to be that I would take them out more often for shorter periods and instead of the crate, they’d come sleep in my office.
    Of course, Zora is 5 years older than Ganon and had all this down by the time he came along, so she helped train him for us.
    They’re both wonderful, well-behaved dogs now that rarely get too exuberant.
    Good luck!

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    • mspicher
      Aug 16, 2011 @ 07:49:28

      Thanks for the input! I’ll check out your blog. When my husband is home, the King and Buddy have more of a routine. Currently we have my daughter and family visiting from Alaska, so the household is operating outside their normal routine. They are loving the play with the grandchildren, 10 & 11.

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