My staff are great about staying late, working through lunch, doing whatever is needed. If I have to be gone, they do their best to hold the fort. So, when holidays come around, I take care of the animals in the clinic. My whole family lives in Kennett, so family gatherings require no travel — I’m always in town. Since I have to check on whatever is hospitalized anyway, I go ahead and feed and walk the dogs. Usually this is not a great deal of trouble. If you let them out a couple of times a day, their cages and runs stay clean. We have a really big exercise yard (150 by 150 feet) and I put a long lead on them and let them run.
When a dog stays all day in a cage or run, even a good-sized one (4 by 6 feet), they really don’t have much to do. You can only chew on your toy and bark at the other dogs just so much. A little music on the radio is okay, but it’s not like somebody petting you. I really feel sorry for these guys and spend as long as I can with them outside, but when you’ve got eight dogs, ten or fifteen minutes apiece is a lot of dog-walking — twice a day. On a normal business day, they usually get out three times a day and the staff take turns slipping out when they get caught up a little. On holidays, though, it’s all me. Again, it’s usually not too bad, but THIS weekend…
I’ve got three sixty to eighty pound, ten-months old pups boarding (along with a few old-timers and teeny guys) . Of course, you can’t let them out together. They all want to run and play, and they want attention, and they are slobbering all over. After they’re through giving me the wet body-slam, I feel like I’ve played a fairly rough game of tackle football and then wrestled a greased pig. I have to change clothes. This is twice a day, plus I’m also seeing emergencies. Give me a regular workday, please.
If someone were to build a nice boarding kennel in town, I’d sure send them some business.