Doggy Day Care

In preparation for occasions when we might need to board Cabana, today we went to a dog boarding/day care ranch for a day-long evaluation. A lot of our dog park friends take their dogs there and love it. At this ranch, dogs are grouped into similar ages and temperaments. There is no kennel time; instead, they are loose all day in play yards, with a human handler present the whole time to provide supervision and affection. An open gate leads to an indoor area with dog beds, so dogs can go inside to nap or stay outside to play, whatever strikes their fancy. The mandatory day of evaluation ensures that only friendly dogs are accepted.

I dropped Cabana off, feeling a bit like I was sending my child off to preschool or kindergarten! I worried that Cabana might be weirded out by the new place and wonder when or if I would be back to get her. Of course, Cabana loves to play with other dogs, so I wasn't concerned about her behaving badly--but I did have concerns about whether she'd feel comfortable without me being present. We have such a regular routine, and Cabana is with me almost all the time, so I knew that doggy day care might be a "growing experience" for her.

At 4:00 pm, I picked Cabana up from the dog ranch. The woman at the front desk gave me this cute "report card" and photos of Cabana taken during the day.

They said that Cabana was nice and sweet, but she didn't play very much with the other dogs. She was very "reserved" and "tentative". Even in the photos, it's easy to see that Cabana wasn't comfortable from the way her ears are pulled back.

Cabana was SO happy to see me when I picked her up, jumping all over the place. (At home, she never greets us in anything close to an exuberant manner, rarely even getting up when we come in the door.) It was sweet that she missed me and was so happy to get in the car and go home. Even if she doesn't seem to love it right now, I do think it's still good for her to go to doggy day care every so often. Maybe next time, I can arrange to bring her on the same day that Maggie goes, so she'll have a familiar friend there. I don't want Cabana to get separation anxiety, and I know it's good to shake up her routine every now and then. This way, if we do have to leave her there overnight, it won't be as traumatic for her--or me!

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta  – (September 9, 2010 at 5:46 PM)  

Sounds like a neat place and I like that they have the constant supervision. Neat that you got a report.

Becky  – (September 9, 2010 at 7:32 PM)  

Wow. That is cool they give you a report card and also take pictures of her throughout the day! Maybe next time it will feel a little more familiar to her.

OSU 98  – (September 9, 2010 at 7:58 PM)  

What a great experience! I think you are very wise to plan ahead - when Chelsie thinks I am going to leave her, she gets very thing I have to do better with Acie is to make sure he does not have separation anxiety. I think coordinating with Maggie's mom is a great idea..before you know it Cabana will be telling you that you don't need to walk her to her classroom..

Raiser Erin  – (September 9, 2010 at 9:05 PM)  

That sounds like a pretty cool place with great supervision! I've never had a day care place take pictures before.

I'm sure Cabana will be a lot more playful the next time she goes. It might have just been really strange for her.

Martha G  – (September 9, 2010 at 9:48 PM)  

Ardella's sister, Annalynn (the party girl) had a similar reaction to Doggy Daycare. She is more reserved than the other dogs, but she's coming out of her shell and even went into time out one day! : ) Cabana will enjoy her time at daycare and it's great that you'll have a place to take her when you can't take her with you on trips.

Erin and Co.  – (September 9, 2010 at 10:05 PM)  

Oh yes the first day or even week is the hardest on new dogs but once they settle down they are fine...or else they do like mine (midnight at the time and Texas the doxie) and SLEEP the whole time. lazy butts.

JackDaddy  – (September 9, 2010 at 10:22 PM)  

Yes, it's so hard to leave them, but I think we just have to make ourselves do it!!

Kari in WeHo  – (September 10, 2010 at 9:52 PM)  

My girls loved daycare but it took Mesa a while to settle in, it was weird the first time Mesa went without Baily


Mango  – (September 11, 2010 at 2:36 AM)  

Stupid PeeWee loves daycare. Me? I am not a fan of it. Too much running about and doggies all getting in your face. I hope that place at least has private suites for nighttime snoozing.


Sierra Rose  – (September 15, 2010 at 8:35 PM)  

Great post!!! Had SR at Camp K-9 today, as I occasionally have her there. She started out not wanting to go, and now runs in when I take her. Not the same as the one Cabana went to, as there are crates for napping, and scheduled playgroups of 10 puppers at a time. But they have pools, which SR loves, and webcams to check things out....
AND....we have a good friend, petsitter, with tons of refereces that lives in your town...just fyi...!!!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

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