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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Trusting Your Dog with the Kennel Operator

Many kennels have a bad reputation. Some of them deserve it.

You should visit the kennel before you leave your dog, if at all possible. It's important to meet the person who'll be caring for your dog and it's important for your dog to meet that person (or people). The dogs in particular should be able to, as I say, "get a whiff of the place." Then, they get to go home with you before returning for a longer stay.

My kennel is not pretty. I describe it as "highly functional" and "clean-ish." However, taking care of the dogs and seeing to their welfare is my priority. Evidence of this is my very not clean house and my dogs, who I have forgotten to feed a couple of times because I've been so busy with the kennel (don't worry, they reminded me).

Now if you meet the person running the kennel and let's say they have their shirt on inside out, look really tired, having some food item on their face (like chocolate sauce), and smell like coffee, don't let those things rule out the kennel. Sure, maybe it looks like the person isn't careful, but maybe they are just off their game. I've done all of these things. This summer. I'm not being proud, I'm confessing.

We all have our weak areas, sometimes more obvious than others. It's wise to be discerning about who you can trust with your dog and with your friendships. But, if they look a little weird now and then, give them a break. And if it's me, feel free to tell me my shirt is on inside out. That was really embarrassing.

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