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Old 08-19-2013, 11:55 AM
LabLover95's Avatar
LabLover95 LabLover95 is offline
Puppy Dog
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Eastern USA
Posts: 56
Default Bad boarding facility :(

This week, we went on a vacation to the Adirondack mountains with our extended family. Sadly, they don't allow dogs, so we had to find Mollie a boarding place while we left.

We didn't want to go with your average kennel (having had horrible experiences with it beforehand with a different dog) so decided on a great family-run business on a farm. It had rave reviews from everyone at the dog park, and on their website they had an extensive schedule: 2 hours of 1-on-1 time, Doggy TV, 2 hours of pond or land fetch, community playing, resting, fresh veggie snack before bedtime, etc. They also only accepted up to 20 dogs or dog 'families' at a time. And on their website, they had a bunch of pictures of dogs on a clean, fresh, green acreage with hay, a deep clear pool, etc. They agreed to feed her her regular raw food, instead of putting her on kibble and playing havoc with her system.

So, we put Mollie on the pet "shuttle" to bring her to the farm. This was stupid of me, because I hadn't even looked at the place with my own eyes, but all my trusted friends said it was great and they all love their dogs as much as I do.

When I came to pick her up a week later, we drove down onto a ramshackle-looking house (on a farm, it's true, with a pond) and were expecting to see Mollie running outside. (That's what she would be doing on the schedule.) Instead, we knocked on the door and through the glass I could see Mollie in a kitchen packed in with a bunch of other dogs. A little fluffy white dog (LOL, I don't know the breed) was nipping at her heels and yapping. Mollie had her tail between her legs, her ears back, and was licking her lips nervously without trying to defend herself.

I could only see ONE woman with the dogs (and she was just sitting eating lunch) instead of the huge amount of workers it would take to make the schedule a reality. She informed us that "Mollie had diarrhea when she first came here, and she is a rough player [Mollie is a VERY gentle player] so she has some 'new scratches'." Mollie was overjoyed to see us and rushed into the car. On the 1 1/2-hour drive home, she kept whimpering and crying, and when we looked into her ears there was a yeast infection. Her paws were also red and scratched.

As soon as she came home, she rushed straight to her water bowl and drank a bowl and a half. I don't know if this is normal stressed behavior, but it seemed odd to me.

This morning, she had a very large, soft, stinky poop. It looked exactly like it does when she eats regular dog food--so I'm sure that Mollie was "cleaning out" the kibble bowls, in spite of the woman's protestations that she feeds everyone seperately.

But again, this is all on me--I should never have sent her out to a boarding place I don't really know about. Next time, I'll probably have someone come over to the house. I feel bad about making her spend a week in what is potentially a very stressful enviroment, but she seems to be getting more relaxed now, albeit she is sleeping a little more than normal.

Anyway, I just had to vent. Sorry for the long post!!

Proud Mum of a beautiful Lab girl, Mollie <3
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Old 08-19-2013, 12:16 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
Behavior Nerd
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NC
Posts: 4,925

Hopefully she's feeling better soon!

This sort of thing is exactly why I'm one of "those" obsessive pet owners who has to see every nook and cranny of a facility and talk to staff before I leave a dog in their care - I have had people rave about places that I wouldn't leave my dog at, too. My fav kennel is a typical boarding facility, but they do a marvelous job with my crew and I have clients with special needs dogs who have also had great experiences!
Erin, Ziva, Kestrel, Aerten, and Snipe
Always in our hearts: The Amazing Maggie Mae

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Old 08-19-2013, 12:24 PM
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BigDogBuford BigDogBuford is offline
Big Dog
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Lake Stevens, WA
Posts: 130

This is one of the reasons that I personally don't care for the 'free for all' type of boarding. How do you keep track of 20 dogs all playing? What if a tiff breaks out? I prefer a typical kennel situation with supervised play time. A good kennel will keep track of poop, vomit and all the other stuff that might happen.

I definitely would not leave my dogs somewhere that I hadn't been myself (but you already know that!) as I think you can get a 'vibe' on whether it's a good fit for your dog or not. Sleeping a lot and chugging water can be pretty typical when you get a nervous or first time boarder home. If they are stressed they will pant a lot and make themselves super thirsty.
Hottie McNaughty
~The Rhinestone Housewife~
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