You may remember that back in March my DH adopted a puppy. Well, Mr. Darcy has, I hope, now reached his full height. The middle sized dog we compromised on is looking pretty big to me. I think that once adolescence is over and he fills out, the “middle sized” label won’t fit. Already he is big enough and strong enough that when he climbs all over me on the couch (he has a ton of both love and energy) I am hard pressed to push him away.
Anyway, with the holidays approaching, it was time to find a place to board Darcy. With our last dog we brought him to a place about 45 minutes away in the country. I decided to see what was available closer to home now. And, boy, was I surprised.
There are now a whole list of places where I can take him that are right here in the burbs. None of these are “small room and a narrow fenced run” places either. They are dog hotels. And they take day care dogs too. In fact, most of their business is from people who are just going to work, and who drop off their pooches for the day.
The dogs get to play with each other either inside or out in free range spaces. They get treats. They are divided by age and size, so a young “middle sized” dog like Darcy does not overwhelm an elderly toy poodle, or an elderly anything. If they stay overnight they get a nap mid day in their spacious private room that has a big dog bed and a miniature human bed (I am not kidding). I was thinking if they added a desk this would not be a bad place to use as a retreat as long as I brought bark canceling earphones with me.
I called one called Camp Bow Wow and learned that yes, indeed, they could take him the days I needed. However, first he had to visit for his interview.
They need to see him in action and be assured he is not too aggressive, it turned out. I nodded and took notes on how to set this up, while I watched Darcy chase the cat all through the first level of the house. Oh, dear, I thought. He may fail his interview and I will never be able to travel again. DH was going to have a lot to answer for.
The day of the interview I had no help with him, so I put him in a harness and clicked the seat belt through it. The next fifteen minutes were the longest in either of our lives. What wailing and whining came out of that dog. Nonstop, and so bad I stopped the car twice just to make sure he was not strangling back there.
All that ended when we got to Camp Bow Wow. He smelled the other dogs at once. His ears perked up. Hey, maybe this won’t be so bad, Mom.
He went off with the nice lady and passed tests one and two, then joined all the other dogs. He had to stay there three hours under observation. They have web cams set up, so I could watch him cavorting around on their web site. I am sure that I did not spend more than two hours doing that.
He had such a good time that he slept the whole next day. If I could get him used to that harness I might bring him for day care every now and then, just so he works off some energy. As it is, he is going to do an overnight stay soon, which I am hoping he enjoys as much.
I guess these fancy dog care places are the latest thing, since there seem to be quite a few of them around here. Then again, everything new comes last to PIttsburgh, so maybe everywhere else they are old news. I think they are a great idea, though.
Do you bring your pets with your when you travel, or board them, or have someone in to care for them?
Have you ever used a place like Camp Bow Wow? Did your dog like it?
Any tips for how to make car riding less traumatic for a dog?