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I've been trying to sort out boarding for Mollydog and Az (yes, again!)   I don't go away much, but from time to time it's nice to have a weekend away without hounds.

They used to go to a home-based boarding place locally, but the problem with that is that they do fairly long walks there.  They did well for a while, but it's just too much for them now.  They can really only cope with a mile or so, and so need a place that understands that mostly what they want is to mooch about gently and snuggle in their beanbags and have a gentle trot a couple times a day.  Last time Mollydog just slept and slept after she got back; she was shattered. 

So I contacted these people: www.barkingmad.uk.com.   It all sounded great to start with, they match you up with what is more or less a paid foster home, selected for the needs of the dogs.  They can stay with another dog in his own home, or with someone that doesn't have dogs at all.

We had a good chat about the hounds needs, and  it all sounded fine.  It was a bit pricy at £30 to register and then £29 a night for the two of them, but I can afford that for the right place (I don't travel much!).  It seemed well worth it, as Az has separation anxiety problems and is afraid of traffic, which rules a lot of places out as he does need a quiet place where there are people about a lot of the time. 

But then she said that they have an absolute rule that they pick the dogs up and deliver them back again. You never get to meet the people who will be looking after them, and have no idea where they are taken!

That seems like a hell of a risk to me!  If my hounds are going somewhere to stay, then I absolutely want to know where they are, what the setup is, and have met their carers, I don't want to even consider anywhere where they turn up at your house and just take the dogs away. How would you know where they had gone?  They could put them into a cheap kennels for all I'd know!

In other news, teeny Susie Shortlegs has gone to her new home today.   It seems rather quiet without her bustling about grabbing at flies. 



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
26th Jul, 2010 15:44 (UTC)
That sounds good. :-)

I did check out kennels for Molls when I first had her, but she was so obviously stressed by the sound of barking that I didn't have the heart to go through with it, she thought I was returning her to the rescue I think :-(

She'd probably cope better now, she's a lot more relaxed and would probably fit in anywhere - but Az is a sensitive soul and his separation anxiety makes him a poor candidate for kennels.
(Deleted comment)
27th Jul, 2010 14:34 (UTC)
We do have a pop-in person for the cats, and find that works pretty well - with 6 cats, it's cheaper than boarding too!

But dogs are a bit more needy (well, mine are) they really need to have people around them most of the time. :-/ We could get a live-in dogsitter who would come and stay here while we are away, but philmophlegm isn't keen on the idea.
26th Jul, 2010 15:26 (UTC)
I'd be worried about that too.

We're very lucky in that the place we use for our cats and dog, bloody expensive though it is, really is the "country house hotel for animals" that it claims to be. They listen. They administer medication. They're on the Feline Advisory Bureau's recommended list. They keep cat families together. They take your food and feed it on your timetable, or their food on your timetable. They carefully note your instructions and, as far as I can tell, carry them out. I've seen the animals come for cuddles and some of the girls have been there since we started using them over ten years ago.

Unfortunately, they're in Chipping Ongar...

Do you have friends in the area who have dogs boarded? Best recommendation is word of mouth.
26th Jul, 2010 15:41 (UTC)
I do, but the problem is that most people I know don't have two large elderly sighthounds that are scared of traffic noise and cannot be left on their own for long.

I have had offers from a couple of sighthound-owning friends to look after them, but neither of them really has the right setup for my oldies.

The home boarding place they went to while I was in Iceland was very good, but they focus the whole day around a long walk, and are out and about a lot, and my two just can't cope with that sort of thing any more.
26th Jul, 2010 20:20 (UTC)
Oh I wouldn't care for that at all but then I've never yet used kennels either. The last time I went away for a weekend [happens once in a blue moon for me too] I asked my brother to dog sit and discovered Skip only eats if I feed him! We've been working on this but I've not risked leaving him since. Today, however, I've sent off the form for Oxonmoot so I'm hoping the problem is now solved.

I think I would miss Susie Shortlegs too!
27th Jul, 2010 09:00 (UTC)
I wouldn't use them if they wouldn't let me meet the people wo weer to look after them either.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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