I have owned horses my whole life, having come from being a boarder and riding the show circuit up north as a junior, then owning and boarding horses on my own property as an adult. Over the years many wonderful four legged friends have become a part of our family. Part of the gift of having animals in your life, no matter their size, is learning to be intuned to their body language. I realized very early on that it’s quite easy to tell if an animal feels threatened, is bored, anguished, lonely or most important, content.
Past Experiences with Dog Kennels
Before we bought our “country property” we lived in the suburbs. When I needed to board my dogs I took them to a very small “ma & pa” kennel. In 10 years I never had a problem. My dogs would actually get excited when we drove up to the kennel. Then we moved to the country and because of the horses we always had people helping out on the property and were therefore able to leave our dogs home when we went out of town. Over the years our dogs grew old and moved on as old dogs do. It wasn’t long before we got 2 new puppies to fill the void. When they were 6 mos. old we were going to be gone for a long week-end and, even though they were consistently housebroken, I didn’t want my barn sitter to have to worry about it. So, I found a wonderful, big, state-of–the art boarding facility to take them to. It was fabulous, with big suites and TV’s and all the other bells and whistles. My girls were very “laid-back “ and easy going so I was confident that they would be fine while away from home. On our return, when I picked them up, I brought home two very different puppies than I had left there 4 days earlier. First of all, the front desk gal handed me one of their beds – in a bag! It had been chewed into little pieces. Second, since I had not requested bathing ( for a good reason) I noticed that both of them had a strong urine odor on their body. They were timid and stressed. It absolutely broke my heart. Even as they matured they continued to exhibit some of the “stress habits” that they acquired that weekend. In my lifetime I have many, many times taken comfort in the motto, “Pretty is as pretty does” and once again I found that to be very true. With all its luxury and size, it obviously lacked the most important thing – individual care and attention. I believe that my girls were lost in the numbers.
It is because of this experience that we set out to build the facility that we would want our beloved pets to go to. We are purposely staying small to avoid the deafening noise and high activity level of larger kennels. We will be able to “help” the puppy that comes in and gets so lonely and stressed that it begins to tear apart it’s bed. We will notice if they have urinated, and get to it before they have to lay in it.
It is our goal at Leash & Bridle Boarding to make each visitor’s stay with us as comfortable and stress-free as is within our power. It is our promise to you to always remember that the animal you have left in our care is precious to you and a valued member of your family.