Life and Pets

Dogs with balls….

I don’t mean tennis or Christmas balls either. We have quite a population of intact male dogs boarding this Christmas week, and this leads to a certain amount of extra commotion.

It could be worse. If we also had a female in heat staying here, those dogs with all the testosterone would never rest or eat. Dogs with testes have one thing on their minds on those occasions, and though they might be willing, obedient, or even gentlemanly dogs, otherwise, they are more of a challenge to handle.

I understand that human males are often squeamish about neutering their pets. I get that. But dogs who get the “snip”, especially when young, will be happier, more focussed on pleasing their people, often healthier and inclined to stay home. They will never be responsible for a litter of puppies (usually a good thing, considering the number already needing homes).

I raised registered American Eskimo dogs for several years, and therefore had intact dogs AND quite a few litters. As adorable and “planned” as those puppies were, the whole scenario does not appeal to me anymore. The shelters and pounds are FULL of pets, including purebreds and so-called designer breeds. I encourage people to spay, neuter and adopt.

That’s my stance and my rant. In recent years, I have been charging more for boarding dogs with balls, and for females in heat. This is not to discourage people from boarding intact pets, but it does compensate for some extra fussing, barking and other management concerns.

As you may imagine, we’re having a rather busy week at the Pet Hostel. There are frequent changes in the population throughout the Season, and so far we have not had to turn anyone away. We do not have any day of the year that we are closed, although I did try to convince one dog owner to bring her dog on Christmas Eve night instead of early Dec. 25th. I have not heard back from the customer yet.

I just realized that I forgot to give the horse a flake of hay at noon. Like many of us, he doesn’t, strictly speaking, NEED that lunch, but feels a bit forlorn without the snack. I’ll be back in this chair chatting to you in no time!


Okay back.

Fed the horse, let some dogs in and put others outside. I did that in reverse order just a few minutes ago, but I thought while I was upright and moving, I’d check on the guests and also grab Chai Latte at the Keurig machine in the building.

I groomed a German Shepherd this morning, and a little poodle cross. Then an elderly friend came by to borrow an airline kennel, and a regular customer came by to have his two dogs’ toenails all trimmed.

I shouldn’t rant in my public blog, but I’m going to. The man with the vastly overweight shih tzus managed to get a sort of drop-in appointment, but that was fine… it’s what I do. He was aware but forgot to warn me that his obese female dog had diarrhea under her tail… so of course I was wearing THAT after lifting her up to the grooming table. As well as clipping all the toenails, I also trimmed and washed the butt: no big deal, right? It’s what I do, too.

I casually mentioned what I’d done by saying that I had cleaned under the dog’s tail, no extra charge, to which the customer replied, “Oh yeah, I was going to tell you about that.” No thanks and no tip. But there you go, I’ll cheerfully do a little bit more than asked, for most people and most pets, because it makes me happy or it benefits the animal. I don’t actually expect a tip, either, but a simple “Thank you” is lovely.

We are so enjoying having Susan and Shelly here for a few days. They put up the tree yesterday and it looks beautiful. One mystery is that the mini lights worked all afternoon and evening, and then today they won’t light. I think this means that I have to stand there and wiggle every bulb to make sure the circuit is complete. At this time, I can hardly stand to be on my feet that long, so that will have to wait.

I seem to have plantar fasciitis again. It has been quite a few years since I suffered a bout of that, and I know it will go away. It’s actually no better if I just sit around, but psychologically it feels nicer to “rest” occasionally. Even so, resting doesn’t get the pets or people cared for, Christmas presents completed, wrapped, or sent, the baking done, or the tree lights working.

I might just close my eyes for a few minutes while no one is around. It was good to talk to you.

Merry Christmas, all!

Love, Ann


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