November 15, 2012

Plan ahead for holiday closures

We will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 22nd and 23rd. No daycare, no boarding, no drop-off or pick-up.

Christmas Eve
We will close at noon on Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24th. All boarders must be dropped off before noon.

We will have a sign-up sheet to see if anyone wants a half day of daycare on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Day
We will be closed on Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25th.

We will resume regular hours for daycare and boarding on Wednesday, December 26th.

New Year's Eve
We will have a sign up sheet for anyone who wants a half-day of daycare on Monday, December 31st.

New Year's Day
We will be closed Tuesday, January 1st.
We will resume normal hours for daycare and boarding on January 2nd.

Priority reservations for K9 regulars

We know it's not always possible to plan ahead for boarding. To help give our regular customers more flexibility and a better chance at securing a spot with us on busy holidays, we will now give our regular daycare dogs and frequent boarders priority when making boarding reservations until three weeks prior to all holidays. When new or infrequent customers call to make a reservation on holiday weekends, they will go on a waiting list until the priority date has passed.

Beginning with this Christmas season, regular daycare dogs and frequent boarders will receive priority reservations until December 1, 2012. After that, we will fill the available spaces with dogs from the waiting list.

If you need to board your dog this holiday season, call soon!

Holiday photos

We'll be taking our annual holiday photos the week after Thanksgiving and the first week of December.


Laurie had a great time on her recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Thank you for your cooperation and patience with the schedule changes that allowed her to get away for a few days.

A somber note about off-leash dogs

In the past week I've heard two separate stories about local dogs that were let off their leashes to run and play off their owners' property. One dog was attacked by another loose dog in the park and received a wound near her eye that required emergency treatment. In the second incident, the dog was shot dead when it ventured onto a neighbor's property.

Understandably, neither of these dog owners ever imagined these things could happen.

A year ago I attended a dog behavior seminar in Seattle, featuring the senior animal behaviorist from Purdue University. She made a strong statement that bears repeating:

"Unless you would bet your home or your dog's life that your dog will come when called, do not let it off its leash."

That statement has stuck with me since, and frequently comes to mind. Initially it sounds harsh and exaggerated, but it is right on the mark. Unfortunately, not all dogs are friendly, even if they seem to be at first. Things can happen in an instant with dogs that have no social skills and no bite inhibition. Your dog may be very well socialized, but there are so many variables in dog-to-dog meetings, including the dog owners themselves. For example, dogs can be possessive of their people. Fluffy may act like she wants to play with Coco, until Coco does something as simple as going up to Fluffy's owner for a pat, and the situation turns into a frenzy of jealousy. Even if you are a good judge of animal behavior and can recognize the signs leading up to a fight, you have little chance of controlling your dog in that situation if your dog is off its leash.

In addition, not all people like dogs, as we do, and couldn't care less if they injure or kill your dog. Some people are downright mean, and this proved true recently. There are no laws prohibiting someone from shooting your dog when it travels onto their property, even if the dog is just running and playing and doing no harm.

I have had one dog in my life that is 99 percent reliable on recall. (I do not believe any dog is 100 percent reliable on this task). Many of you know her. Jen is my evaluation dog for new dogs coming to K9 Country Club. She is tolerant with puppies, a great judge of dog and human character, and will come when called 99 out of 100 times. Although I trust her, I will not let her off-leash when not on K9 Country Club property. In most circumstances I am not willing to take the chance of losing her life in a tragic accident, or losing my home or property in a ridiculous lawsuit. Last spring at the beach I did allow her to run loose with her friend Lizzie Manning, but only when we were there alone. She was reliable and never let me down when called.

As dog owners, we think our dogs need to "run" to be fulfilled. We like to watch them frolic and play. Exercise is indeed necessary, but in most situations it is dangerous to let a dog run loose. A cat, rabbit, bird or other distraction can cause a dog to momentarily "lose its mind" and not respond when called--and suddenly a play session has turned tragic.

Please think of these words the next time you are out for a walk with your dog: "Unless you would bet your home or your dog's life that your dog will come when called, do not let it off its leash."

As you know I am very passionate about Wagmore Park. One day we will have a fun, safe place for our dogs to play off leash with their friends. Until then, please help your dogs live long, happy lives with you by keeping them leashed.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Bob and Mardi Hackett for the loss of Ginger. Ginger was a sweet, friendly dog and her death was not only unwarranted but appallingly inhumane. She will be sorely missed at K9 Country Club. We are blessed to have had the opportunity to care for such a wonderful dog.


Wagmore has a parking lot!

Fencing: check! Parking lot: check! We completed our two major tasks scheduled this year at Wagmore Park. Fencing went up along the western border of the property in September and the parking lot was done in October. Here are some shots of the parking lot before, during and after.

We could not have done either of these projects without the generous financial support we've received from our K9 customers. Special thanks go out to Kathi Mercy for her help with the parking lot.

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