Well I’m backkk! 🙂 I had a lovely family vacation in the Dominican Republic and I enjoyed 7 days of sun
and alcohol and dancing and water. While I’m sure you’d love to hear about all of that, I wanted to write about my pre-vacation-panic about what to do with my beloved Leroy. Now, many people may not believe that Leroy comes with a list of issues challenges. I will give you a brief rundown.
1. Can NOT be around cats.
2. Difficult to walk on leash.
3. Takes a few days to acclimate with other dogs (and honestly, I only trust myself in this department).
4. Food/bone/toy aggressive around other dogs.
5. Leash aggressive/ reactive.
6. Uncomfortable being leashed/ restrained around new men.
7. Unreliable recall when outdoors.
8. Stressed in new environments.
So who knew?! Well I did 😉 And we manage to the best of our abilities. But the main points are hopefully enough to explain my concern with throwing him just anywhere for a week. While many incredibly lucky people have that one friend who loves animals but doesn’t have any due to work or apartment constraints, I’m not in that boat. My parents would typically watch him but this is our once yearly trip that we do together. The majority of my friends check in under a few categories- allergic (or someone living with them is allergic), have cats, home for school break, full house (anywhere from 2-7 dogs already), have cats, no fenced in back yard, weigh under 90 pounds, or have cats.
So onto a solution!
I had to board Leroy at a traditional facility once for an emergency weekend. It was a regular boarding kennel- Indoor/outdoor runs, concrete floor and lower barrier, chain link door and fence. The benefit was certainly the cost. These types of kennels will generally run around $25 a night. The kennel owner did admit that he was concerned when I was dropping Leroy off. The barking, stress, and shelter-like feel were a lot and my boy did not handle it well. But the kennel owner reassured me that after only 15 minutes, he settled down and was just fine. When I picked him up, he seemed unaffected by my presence but thrilled to leave the building and hop in my car. He was also limping (a normal symptom, but I felt bad nevertheless). So basically, I’d be OK with this again for a weekend or quick trip. But for 7 days, I wanted to feel more comfortable with where I was leaving him and aim for a less stressful location.
I ended up leaving him with a wonderful positive reinforcement trainer who we’ve worked with before. She does limited boarding out of her home with dogs she knows. Here is the website. We didn’t to their training program that’s listed on the website, just traditional boarding. Leroy stayed in a room that was about the size of my living room and dining room combined. And their “small” yard was a quarter acre fenced in. He enjoyed playing, running, and fetching in the yard, followed by meals and chewies in his room. This is about as low stress of a place as it gets. Plus I felt great knowing he was with a behavior specialist and trainer. She sent very nice updated and a picture that made know with certainly that I left him in good hands.
This lovely place like this ran me $50 a night. Not the most expensive place I could find, but not the cheapest either. But peace of mind is worth a lot when you have a boy with a list of challenges.
Another excellent option that I wanted to share is having your fur friends stay in someone’s home. I offer this service for one dog at a time when I’m not fostering. Here is a website to show you my profile. There are great new sites starting up such as this one that allows you to search for people in your area who can watch your animals either in their house or sometimes in yours. I would recommend doing first a meet and greet, then a night or two (while you’re nearby), then a regular week long vacation. Especially if you’re leaving the country, you want to make sure you and your animals are comfortable with the set up. Doing this can run you anywhere from $25-$50 a night as well.
So there you have it, a vacation rundown by Leroy and Company.
And don’t forget, our little Jora is still looking for her forever home. Email me at Casey@caseyheyen.com with any questions about Jora or the adoption process!