Dogs and Life / Life and Pets


Last night, in an effort to quiet the frenetic barking in the outdoor kennels, I brought four dogs, all belonging to one owner and household, into the kennel building. As this was 10:30 , I shut the doggy doors in the other indoor-outdoor spaces, and gave the four newer star boarders the biggest kennel. That space has no “doggy door”,  just a people door, but these dogs had been outside full time for days. Just for good luck, I let them all out to see and anoint the new outdoor run, while I put down bedding for them.

This morning I was greeted by the acrid odor of excrement. Those dogs had evidently emptied their bowels and bladders, not only once each, but all night long. Then I realized that the largest female was in heat, so there were droplets of blood evenly distributed through the space. It appeared that all of the dogs had moved around in the mess quite a lot.

I was glad I hadn’t eaten yet! I stepped through the kennel and let all the dogs outside to the secure enclosure and contemplated the dreadful situation. Although there is no shortage of paper towels here, I thought how many ROLLS it might involve to solve the problem. Oh, I didn’t tell you … almost all of the stool deposits were from soft to watery, pooling and getting tracked through. Ugh.

My solution was to grab a cat litter box that was half full of wood pellets (which is what I use for that purpose), and some of the pellets had become sawdust. I thought, “What will it matter if I use “used” cat litter to sop up all of this filth?”. So I threw it down and around, and very soon had only solid, dryish waste to deal with! Hurray! Then it all came up using my poop-scooper from outdoors, and got dumped into a 5 gallon bucket.

The bedding, of course, went into the washer with detergent and bleach. I was gagging.

It only took about an hour to pick up the “sawdust”, etc.,  and then sweep and wash the floor thoroughly. The odor was almost completely gone by the time I did all these things. Now, almost four hours later, I felt ready to eat and to drink more coffee, and now I’m happily chatting with YOU!

The dogs are outdoors again, and the intact male has not been quiet for five minutes. We have another intact male boarding, and they are communicating with each other. That there is one dog in heat keeps things in an uproar.

I believe there was such commotion and mess in the kennel due to a combination of factors, none of which have anything to do with disease. Just “un-ease”!  The four dogs were brought here in an emergency (a crisis of their owner), and though I think they are basically house-trained, they are in an unfamiliar environment, with a change of food. Then … the hormones are happening too. Wouldn’t you know it? I made a “deal” with the owner, thinking it was a kind thing to do, and now these particular dogs have been as much work and aggravation as any.

Beside the kennel that caused me so much grief this morning boards a cute wee doggie who suffers a neurological disorder. He is not in any pain, is in good body condition, and is gentle and respectful always … but he drops feces and dribbles urine frequently. He is not even aware of these functions, it seems. While I was cleaning up the neighbouring space this morning, “Patchy” was looking at me with his sweet and innocent look (awaiting his share of attention). He IS innocent, but of course the whole time, he is leaving little gifts of excrement; I knew I would have to deal with that as I do several times per day. While I groomed him yesterday, he released a huge volume of loose stool, and I made no comment as I cleaned that up from my table. Then I started clipping again, and the urine was running over my hand. Ugh, and more ugh. I think I need a vacation.


Does anyone you know ever say that a dog groomer (or dog boarder) just plays with pets all day long? My own stepmom said that. There’s an element of play and nurturing, and the good feeling which comes with that … but as I’ve shared, it’s not the whole picture! I think all my friends simply know better.

On the other hand, this career is my calling. Maybe I could have been a vet, but then the rest of my life would have been so different, and knowing what I know now and feeling as I do, I would NOT want that! Here are a few of our other guests:



Jack and SmokeyJack

The last four, top to bottom: Festus, Buddy, Jack, Jack with Smokey.

We have Woezel staying with us…


And Rory, aka Lootie:



Pet Hostel - Kifaa


Other doggy guests, and sometimes kitties, come and go, and I don’t always have time to take photos. I do enjoy sharing the ones I get though!I didn’t write about the events of the past weekend in our Valley. You probably saw on National television (many people say that it was international …) that five Alberta men on snowmobiles were killed in an avalanche on Friday. It is so tragic, and though the chaos is over for our own Search & Rescue people and other emergency responders, there are many left to grieve and try to recover.

I am going to make a different Blog entry with pictures of our little grandaughter. Gary’s daughter and her husband made this pretty little baby for all of us to love. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking of her, and we do not live close enough. When I DO post pictures of Juno in a new post, they will show up “ahead” of this one … but stay tuned in case I get busy and don’t do it right away.

Love, Ann



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