Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Day-Care Dilemma

Incredible - There were 400 record highs set or tied across the US yesterday.  Some of the warmest weather so early in the season EVER in parts of the Midwest.  And the warmth is predicted to last for several more days.  The continued streak of warm weather means the famed cherry blossoms in the nation's capital will now peak a week earlier than originally predicted.  All around us, trees are blooming, birds are singing, the dogs are shedding and my allergies couldn't be worse--I am really enjoying every minute of it!  
-Tulip-Magnolia tree blooming near my office-
This morning I took Todd for another evaluation at a second-day care.  The place I took Todd last Thursday is located in the town where I live.  Along with boarding dogs, they do have a day care.  It's an older facility, clean and well kept. They keep the dogs on a regular schedule with play in the morning and are kenneled for an hour at noon.  Weather permitting, in the afternoon they play in the outside areas. In the heat of summer, they will sometimes set up pools for the dogs to cool off in.  The day ends between 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon and the dogs are crated until the owners come to pick them up.  Knowing that Todd would be crated or kenneled for 3-4 hours a day was something I didn't really like.  There were a couple of other things that I didn't like, so I didn't make a commitment about his coming there.  
Where we went this morning is the total flip-side of the first.  It's a 'Pet Resort' and that's exactly what it is, a resort.  The automatic doors welcome you into the large designer lobby with a hotel-styled front desk.  There is a gift shop, a pool and an agility course.  While your cat or dog enjoy their stay, you can check up on them anytime because there are live pet-cams in each 'suite' where they are staying, and in the day-care as well. There is a restaurant style kitchen with a cook to prepare any special meals that your pet may require while there.  And when they're all worn out from playing, they can have a spa-treatment to ease those tired paws.
Todd felt right at home in the posh surroundings and turned on his charm as he was 'evaluated' in the day-care.  I watched from a viewing area.  They introduced all the dogs to him and towards the end, when a Golden was brought in they took an immediate liking to one another and started playing right away.  Of course since he lives with so many Goldens, I just thought it was just because of that.  But I found out afterwards it was one of his pals from the other day care where he used to go--Who said dogs don't remember other dogs?  There's not much to not like about this place. However my reluctance is only because they have very large play-groups of 35-50 dogs each day.  While their dog-to-people-ratio is appropriate, I felt it was too many dogs, because they do not have divide groups of dogs by age or size. I have a concern about the Great Danes, Mastiff's and very large dogs being around Todd. 
So, onto the next day care which Todd goes to on Wednesday.  It was recommended to me by a friend, so I have no idea what to expect, other than it's a smaller facility.  But as I write this, I have to wonder, am I putting too much thought into all of this?  


  1. Todd is worth the extra thought and time you are taking. I wouldn't want my dog in a crate for so long, and I wouldn't want my dog playing in such a large pack of dogs of all sizes. I'm just glad I don't need day care because I think it would be terribly difficult.

  2. i don't know. they are our children. :) good luck!

  3. Putting too much thought into it ? Crated for 4 hours or playing with a Mastiff ? Think you're doing it just right.

  4. Hi Kim, I love the care and concern you have for Todd to be in the right place. The second place sounded so cool(but pricey)but I would feel there are just too many dogs together. My Sadie and Reggie would have definitely had an issue with it. Hopefully the place you'll try next week with be the perfect fit. Hope you have a wonderful evening.
    Lots of love, Noreen & Reggie

  5. bloody hell kim, that day centre looks posher than our house!

  6. That's a pretty impressive daycare and I think you are going about this just perfectly. It's your dog and you are paying for this service and you have every right to expect certain things.

    Before Sara took over our daycare center I complained about the dogs being crated. My dogs aren't crated at home and I don't feel they should be crated when I am paying for a service.

    Of course, my dogs just go and crate themselves when they are tired. :-)

  7. You may be over-thinking a little, but just let your instincts guide you. Of course, Todd will have some input to your instinct receptors.

    My exuberant daycare child was Devo. He would be non-stop throw the ball for me, 8+hrs a day. I encouraged the day care folks to use their discretion about time-outs. He had the delightful habit of climbing into the big tub of drinking water for the big dogs and playing by himself with a ball. If he wasn't worn out at the end of the day, we would discuss fine tuning his activity schedule. They were happy to do that.

  8. Gee, I don't know there is no lesser of the two evils there, let's hope for Todd's sake that the next one is just right.

  9. The flowers are definitely blooming all around. Spring has definitely arrived. Even though Spring is a beautiful season, many people dread the season because of their allergies.
    When I first read your blog and heard of day care I thought. hmm maybe I should consider taking Roscoe, but I am terrified he gets into it with another dog. He is not the friendliest. I have taken him to doggy parks and he is not so happy. He does not like it when other dogs come to sniff his butt not does he permit any other dog to come near me. Very protective.
    I hoep you find a good day care for Todd very soon. Poor thing must be stressed out.

  10. Hi Y'all,

    Todd, you could just go to work with your human. Or you could let your human stay in the luxury of day care while you go to work alone. ;)

    Those are my suggestions. ;)

    Y'all come back now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  11. Hi Kim
    Spring is on hold here! We are having down pours of rain, and wind, and sometimes snow too. But today it is 51 and stormy. We yearn for spring-- oh please come!
    You are not putting too much thought into the day care for Todd. And your heart will know when you find the perfect one. And we feel there will be the perfect one!
    Todd is so beautiful in the photo.

  12. Isn't it nice that you have so many to choose from !
    Unfortunately, our area doesn't have anything so nice, maybe closer to Nashville, but not here in the countryside...
    Todd is such a lovable fellow !
    Good luck with your choice, it's all so exciting :)

  13. I don't know how much thought you need to put into it, but when you see the right place you will know.

    Have a good evening, Kim. ♥

  14. I agree you are lucky to have a pick of a number of places for Todd. Go by your gut feeling, that will tell you which place is the best place for him


  15. I have a dumb question....why can't Todd stay at home?

  16. It must be a tough decision to make as Todd is one of your babies! I wouldn't like the 35-50 dog interaction either. Good luck on the next one!

  17. I love your photos of the magnolias! No buds or flowers here yet, but it's going to get quite warm here this weekend, so maybe in a few weeks :o)

    As for the daycare, I don't think you are putting too much thought into it. You want the best for him and that is perfectly normal! That spa sure sounds like something though!

  18. I can answer that.......No......

  19. Never to much though where our furbabies are concerned ! I would go crazy if I had to daycare Miggy ! I am glad I am retired ! I am sure you will find some where suitable for Todd , only the best for our pooches ! It has been like summer here as well sunny and in the 80s and cool at night , right now we are having thunderstorms beacuse of the warm weather ! Have a good day !

  20. NO one knows Todd better than you do! Follow your instincts.

    As a side note, I sure could use a few days at that Pet Resort. :)

  21. Stella is an at home dog, retired Mom to look after her. She spends nice mornings out of doors or we are walking, and after that she comes in and hits the bed. She snoozes for at least 2 hours am, and a couple more later in the afternoon. So I wouldn't be alarmed if she were in a cage for that much time during the day. How much does Todd sleep during the day? Stella is five so maybe she is older and needs more sleep.

    Good luck in finding the right spot!



  22. You have a lot to consider...Poor Todd...Sophie has become very Alpha so it troubles me if we ever have to put her somewhere sometime other than our daycare farm!
    You are so lucky to have all your flowering trees in bloom...snowflakes here...that's OK..we'll survive them!

  23. Not at all Kim. You are being cautious because you know dogs very well and the 'trouble' they can get into.
    You will know when you find one. Good luck!
    Magnolias in bloom! Oh cut that out! lol

  24. He's your baby .. no you are not putting too much thought into it!

  25. I think when you find a place you're comfortable with, you'll know it's the right place. Don't worry about overthinking it!

  26. Hey Kim,
    I am convinced that your gut-feel will prevail and the right choice made. I am still gobsmacked at the choices you folk have in the USA. As I mentioned...'Doggy-day-care' is a foreign concept here. 'Doggie-resort'?....WOW!
    Sending lotsaluv to you, to sweet Todd and to all the Golden Goldens.

  27. Your place is really beautiful, very relaxing place to be with, I hope someday I will visit there too :)

    Puppy Bond | Dog Shock Collar

  28. You are indeed wise to check out every facility to ensure you have the best for Todd.

    Good luck in your search.

    Todd deserves the best.

  29. never over think that you're giving too much love and thought to one of these magical fur people!
    i'm not of the "dress'em up like little humans" school of thought. but as to their health and welfare i think like so many other commenters... no. you are doing the right thing until he is through the puppyhood phase... then will he be okay left at home with the rest of the crew?
    he's their wee brother after all!
    love always dear heart,
    tammy j

  30. Hi Kim,
    I miss talking with you!!!! WHEN is a good time to call you????
    We don't even have a dog day care at all!!! Or a dog park a big city like this!!!

  31. Wow what a beautiful facility, do they take old half blind guys? MeMa would like to know......she likes to have her options.

  32. No, you're not. I would be less concerned about him being kenneled for a few hours than being mauled by a big dog. Since dogs sleep many hours a day so they can keep us up at night, the confinement doesn't seem excessive.

  33. My guess is that when you find the right place you will know it. When you are spending good money, you should feel very comfortable about doing so.

  34. WOW That one spa looks like for the rich and famous. Well Todd you are famous.
    Sweet William The Scot

  35. I think one important factor is to see how they treat Todd and all the dogs. Some people are only in it for the money, but some really love dogs and they are so good to them. When we lived in Missouri, we ran a boarding kennel and sometimes daycare for the dogs. Even though they stayed separate from other dogs, they were in dog runs right next to each other. We also had a play yard where we socialized some of them that obviously would get along. We took them for long walks around our property, we spent many hours just playing with them and loving them. Most of our dogs came back over and over. The owners said that their dogs would start getting excited when they came down our road. I think it was the love.

  36. Goldilocks, the Todd version. We concur with the others; you will spend just as much time as it takes to do it right. There must be a 'just right' place out there. Did you discuss your size/age mix concerns with the spa people? You can't be the only one with concerns about that. Sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen.

    If you don't find a daycare, will Todd have to spend the whole day at home crated?

    Jed & Abby

  37. Just to warn you, a local doggie daycare has large groups like that, and a larger dog accidentally killed a shih tzu during one session.

    I strongly advise against such large play groups. Accidents happen and it doesn't always involve aggressive behavior.

  38. We're enjoying the unusually warm Spring as well. AND the early allergy symptoms! ;-)

    I hope I'm not being completely tactless, but I just HAVE to ask: How much does that resort/daycare charge per day?

    Who would have ever thought that someone could make good money 'babysitting' dogs???

  39. At least you have choices in daycare. Not all dog owners are so lucky to have the options you do. I definitely would not want my dogs crated though... that's just sad.

  40. I think it's wonderful that you are taking so much time and trouble to find just the right daycare for Todd.I hope you find the perfect place for him very soon. ;0)

  41. I really don't think you are, Kim. I can't stand the thought of my two kids being in a less-than-par facility. If anything ever happened to either one of them, I'd be lost.

    I just wish you could stay home. Can't you retire? Please? Lol. Good luck with the search.

  42. Todd is very lucky you are giving this much thought and finding him just the right place.
    Lovin' the Cherry blossoms, very pretty!


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