Dogs and Life / Life and Pets

Things that go bark in the night…

I fully understand that (almost) three dozen dogs does not a huge boarding kennel make. Some of my acquaintances/friends/peers in the business would laugh at us, being relatively “small potatoes”.

Even so, this is, according to my memory, a record. I used to think that I housed record numbers at Dunster, more than 20 years ago, and I was beyond reasonable capacity a few times, but my numbers always included rescue dogs, puppies for sale (sometimes rescued or purchased litters), and (gasp) breeding pairs. I don’t breed any dogs now, and rescue very few (sorry), so today if I have 34 boarders, they are helping us pay the bills.

Yesterday, Gary and I crossed paths on our home turf, and he said, “I’ve been thinking that about now you are wishing you had a few more kennels.”  He certainly was right! For all the times that we have several empty pens, it would be heaven to have more options for a weekend like this one. Unless I plan to retire soon, and I do not, ordering some more chain link dog runs seems a fine idea.

What makes our treasured guests bark? A scolding squirrel does, the cat walking smugly by, the guy in the next kennel digging or otherwise having fun or enjoying a treat, thunder, a female in heat (not only the intact males are on high alert), a cow belching in the field nearby, coyotes yipping and howling, human beings moving in the house and yard, resident dogs strolling by, cars driving in and driving back out, or vehicles on the neighbours’ driveway.  Also, many bark for the train travelling the distant track across the Valley, and emergency or police vehicles tearing down the highway. Particularly, each human who visits every dog in turn gets the whole population in an uproar.

It is starting to storm and I hope it doesn’t last. A hound puppy is baying steadily, other dogs vocalizing too, and my words of admonishment  are doing nothing. Just now I was ready with the air horn, but the pup had stopped on his own. Another dog has taken up the cause! Poor Gary has been trying to rest: I wanted to make eye contact with him before I used the air horn! I do not want to give my supportive and long-suffering husband a heart attack.


Jayda was just here for the day, and for a “break” for myself, I walked her down to the highway when I knew her people were approaching. My reason was partly selfish… then the whole kennel was not in an uproar because of the truck pulling in.


So then, one would think that I had a spare, empty kennel, eh? Not so fast! The phone rang an hour later; some young fellas had found an older border collie running from the thunder. Now she is posted on Facebook, and I expect her owner will be found soon. If not, this poor dog is going to get groomed by me; she isn’t thin, but she is in need of a bath and matts trimmed.


This afternoon I had a “nails only” appointment for Jack, a little shih tzu. His family says that he screams and cries for every aspect of grooming, so I was mentally prepared. The only sound he made, actually, was a squeak when I clipped a dew claw that had grown right into the pad of one hind foot. There was a considerable hole in the flesh, but I didn’t think it looked infected. Still, it must have bothered the wee dude … how could it NOT? He had been licking the area; this nail clipping was overdue.

Jack Sharp

After Jack went home, I groomed Pal, a very small border collie belonging to one of the Festival goers. Pal has silky fur, delightful to comb and trim. He’s elderly, but seemed friskier after his spa treatment.

Pal Halverson

Pal’s sidekick from the same family is “Shorty”, a little girl Yorkshire terrier cross. This is not a great picture of her, as I didn’t know how to fix the “red eye” in the picture. She looks a little creepy, but she is actually a wonderful and appealing-looking dog.

Shorty Halverson

I got bitten again today. It was not a serious bite, but bruised my knuckle. I scolded the dog, who, I believe, had mistaken me for another dog trying to move his food. I’m not excusing him, but I don’t want to make too much fuss and then lose a customer. So I’m not tattling.

These two beautiful souls are visiting:

Sasha Olsen Riley Olsen

This is Sasha and Riley. They were among the most well-adjusted doggy guests of the whole weekend.

I think the kennels look quite lovely, especially at this time of year. Each space is partly (some almost totally) vine-covered, providing shade and a pleasant appearance, again in my opinion.

Vine covered runs

I did get some more garlic cleaned today. Lady, as usual, helped a lot. She is sleeping “downwind” from the briskly blowing fan that is directed at the garlic for better curing.

Lady Helps with the garlic

This little hound cross arrived last night and only stayed until this afternoon. His name is Cambridge, and although he was quite vocal, he was biddable and sweet.


New to our kennel scene is Gus. When he first arrived, Gus seemed like he would snap at me, and I was warned that he could be “aloof” with humans but enjoyed other dogs. Gus and I are now pals, and he also has made some canine friends. Shelly and I think that he looks somehow “undoglike”. I can’t decide what he does look like, but he is cute.


This is Cedar and Lady both enjoying some exercise out back. The owners and I are throwing balls for both dogs.

Lady with Cedar Wolfe Lady with ball

(Don’t you love how the outhouse looks right now?)

This is Maggie, who comes to stay every Festival weekend (once per summer). She is a sweetheart.

Maggie MacDonald Maggie MacDonald

It has been a long day, but I can’t complain. I’m achy and super tired, but everything is under control. I was dressed, had made coffee, and was out the door at 5:30 this morning. Some of the dogs had started to bark, so I thought that I might as well attend to them.

It is time for “bed check” now. Then it’s time to check MY bed.

Love you!

~ Ann


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s