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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The kennel

I've been a little sad the last few days. None of the sadness is at all related to my dear, sweet, baby. Honestly. This time, it's about my fur-son, Mac.

I know, I know...it's been so long that I've talked about him since being a bit head-over-heels in baby love preoccupied. So, let me re-introduce you, quickly.

Here's our Mac.

He really IS a good boy at heart. He loves to play with his kong, he LOVES taking walks, he's friendly (umm..ook....OVERLY friendly), and he loves to give kisses. He's completely house-trained. Loves to play fetch. Sleeps soundly through the night at the bottom of our bed. And? He also is a great protector of his baby sister.

Now, where does the sadness part come in, you ask?

Well, my entire family is going on a vacation in a few weeks to the beach. Sadly, the pup can't come with us. We've had to get pet-sitters for Mac before. We've tried everything. We took Mac to camp-out at someone else's home for a week. We've had people come stay in our home to keep him in his own, comfortable environment.

The verdict?

He is TERRIBLE when we are away. Like, it's really, really frustrating. We've pretty much exhausted all our options when it comes to having pet-sitters for our boy, because, if someone has done it once, they don't WANT to do it again--because he.was.that.bad. [Let me interject and say my parents are the best, and will always take him for us, like when Emeline was born...but, this time they'll be on vacation with us!]

I always leave the friends who are watching Mac with his typical schedule written out, plenty of food and treats, and everything that would make Mac feel comfortable. The problem is...I can't leave myself and Declan behind...and that....that's the problem.

You see, he has anxiety issues when Declan or I leave. I guess, attachment issues. He literally forgets all his normal schedules, pees or poops in his cage, and sometimes even gets physically sick and throws up. So, he makes way more work on the person or people watching him. Which equals frustrating. Which equals NO more pet-sitters willing to watch Mac (or that we're willing to ask, for fear of getting tomatoes thrown at us).

Also? It's literally painful when I call to check-in on him. I get the whole, "um...it's going.......[long pause]...okay....", and then mommy-guilt (Yes, it happens with DOGS) sets in, I can't enjoy my vacation what-so-ever because I'm feeling so bad that my dog is burdening others. Seriously. It sucks, big time.

I think our friends are pretty sure we lie when we say he IS a good dog at home with us. They probably roll their eyes and are like, "Yea...umm...suuuuuure". But, minus a few issues here or there, he is. That's the truth.

We've come to the conclusion that our one and only option for this trip is to board him at a kennel for the week. Sounds horrific, right? Even though I've visited the place, it's really nice, family-owned and operated, the dogs get out for hours on end a day (with lots of playtime with other dogs)....I feel sad about leaving him.

I have legitimate fears about how he'll be upon return. All week I'll be wondering if he thinks we've totally abandoned him. Will the other dogs be nice to him? [Seriously, I know, right? I'm pathetic.]

The one thing that's making this entire thing easier is that Mac's best friend, and doggie-cousin, Chase is going with him. They know eachother, they love eachother, they play together often.



So, while my heart's a little sad. I know its really our only option. I've done my homework. I've checked the place out. He'll be taken care of properly. We'll miss the heck out of him. But, he'll be there when we return.

Over the next few weeks, I'm gonna be giving him lots of extra cuddles and belly rubs.


I think its evident I already feel sad about having to do this...so, please...no hateful comments. K,thanks.

34 comments:

  1. I think that is your best option at this point. I know exactly what you mean.

    We put our dogs in the kennel over last Christmas and I think they actually liked it. It was a nice facility and they got to play with other dogs and do lots of sniffing. He will be fine!

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  2. It is your best option and he is going to be just fine! You sound like you feel good about this place so go on and enjoy that vacation!

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  3. Aw, girl.. don’t feel bad. It’s one of those things you hate to do but has to be done. Poor guy. But hopefully he’ll handle the boarding thing okay with his BFF being there! :)

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  4. I totally know what you're talking about, the peeing and pooping in the crate and throwing up. My Jack Banner does that when I leave him with my bf when I have to go someplace without him. I didn't realize it was an anxiety thing. I stay up there with him often, he loves the bf's 2 dogs so I try not to feel guilty. Until I get the information that a carpet cleaner was rented at midnight due to poo prints through out the house, oops! But it wasn't just my dog it was his too so I didn't feel, quite, so bad...
    I think the kennel will be just fine, you've checked it out, you know the people. You're sending him with his cousin. My puppy tends to snap at people he doesn't know so I'm not even sure he would be allowed at a kennel. He's a dachsund/beagle/chihuahua mix and he's very high strung despite my attempts to keep him around people!
    It will be just fine, he will be happy to see you when you get back!! Have a wonderful time on your vacation!!

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  5. i'm the same way with our 2 dogs!! i feel SOOOO bad evne when we spend the day at the pool with friends, because their dogs are running around, and ours are at home in their room/crate...luckily, my parents usually dogsit when we go somewhere...but geez louise the guilt is the worst!

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  6. I think this will be the best option. Will the be able to board them together? I know this is going to be hard but know that it will be okay in the end. When you get home you will be giving him lots of extra love, kisses and belly rubs if you are anything like me! It will all be okay. Go and have fun!

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  7. We kennel our dogs all the time...and they survive just fine. In fact they usually come home exhausted from playing all day that they sleep like babies for a week! It's great!

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  8. That's how I feel when we have to leave our dogs. They aren't horrible, but the one in particular gets a little crazy. So my whole vacation is spent worrying about our darn dogs. Sounds like you made a good choice though and I hope you can relax and enjoy your trip :)

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  9. I completely understand! My dogs really are the sweetest, most loving dogs ever, but Max has major attachment issues. He made himself so sick when I brought Maddy home that he had to have an IV in his leg for DAYS and had to constantly be getting fluids because he couldn't keep anything down. It cost me a fortune and he nearly died-it was just horrible.

    So far I've never boarded him or had anyone watch him other than to let him out if I'm going to be gone too long during the day. I'm just afraid of what will happen...will he get really sick again? Will they take care of him like I would?

    I totally get your anxiety-who would have thought that our dogs would do this to us? If I lived closer to you I would definitely pet sit, just because I get.it.

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  10. Our dog is the EXACT same way! I don't know what it is, but it's like they go crazy or something when their parents are gone. Boarding them isn't so bad though, the kennel deals with all that stuff from all the dogs, so I'm sure they are used to it. That's good that he will have his "cousin" there :)

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  11. You aren't alone Katie. I feel that same.exact.way. about our Milo, who is also a yorkie. I have an 11 day vacation at the end of July coming up. My parents are keeping him and not only am I sick over the whole, leaving him and him being sad, missing us and think we left him for life.. I am afraid of him picking up any bad habits from my parent's dogs, or forgetting his routine with us. Good luck Katie!

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  12. The kennel really does sound like your best - and perhaps only - option. It sounds like a really nice place that will take good care of him! I'm sure he'll get some anxiety, but maybe with Chase and all the other dogs, he'll actually enjoy himself!

    I often wonder what our pup will be like when we have to leave her. We've only had her since October and haven't had to leave her for a long period of time yet!

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  13. my moms dog is totally the same. he will sit on the back of my couch for 12 hours before he leaves to go potty or take a lap of water. poor thing.

    actually - i was just talking with my sister the other day who commented on Petsmart's new "Doggie Hotel". not sure how close you are to a Petsmart, but check them out! they have rooms with tvs, pillows ... very chic.

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  14. I felt the same way before the 1st time we left our puppy at a "kennel" when we had no other choice, but this place was like an over-night doggy camp. He LOVED it! He didn't want to leave when we picked him up! He got SO much attention, even had his own room with his own bed and had SO much fun playing with all of the other puppies/dogs. They really did a great job of making us feel comfortable that he was there - and even had a live streaming video online so we could watch him while we were away. If you trust the place, then feel at peace - he will probably LOVE having interaction with other doggies and making friends while you're away! :)

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  15. I know how bad you feel but I'm sure he'll be fine! I always hate Kenneling our dog but in all honesty, I think she loves it. It's harder on US than it is on THEM! We usually leave her with family but there are time that you just have to do it. Your sweet Mac will still love you when you get home, no worries. Enjoy your vacation! :)

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  16. Ah yes seperation anixety...thankfully my dogs don't have it bad...but I tried leaving them at home for a week, and just have someone come and feed/walk/play with them a couple times a day and it was horrible. I had a horrible trip just thinking of my dogs doing nothing all day.
    Since then I've kenneled them, they are around someone all day, regualar trips outside, and I do think they enjoy themselves!
    But I do hate leaving them behind.

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  17. I feel so bad about leaving our dog, Goose, too. His anxiety isn't too bad, but he definitely doesn't like when we leave him with friends for a weekend away! :(

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  18. I totally understand where you're coming from. We have a cat so he's able to stay home a little longer by himself than a dog can but I feel terrible leaving him! I know there will be a day soon where we'll be gone longer and will have to board him and I'll be a wreck!

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  19. I know it will be sad to leave him but I think he will be ok and I think you should REALLY REALLY enjoy your vacation . . you deserve it for sure!

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  20. We had a puppy who we loved like you love Mac when we got married. I felt guilty kenneling him too but oh.my.gosh....he LOVED his vacation there! I am sure Mac will feel the same way. No guilt!

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  21. So sad. I always have doggy mommy guilt when I have to leave my little guy behind. If I lived closer I would watch him in a heart beat :-)

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  22. Chase is snuggled up next to me right now as I read your blog. I too have been giving him extra cuddles lately and asking him to not be mad at us for boarding him. A part of me is optimistic that M & C will just love playing with the other dogs so much and will be SO worn out that they won't really realize we're not there for a week. At least we're in this together Chica!

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  23. He sounds like Marvin! Marv had HORRIBLE anxiety when I left him, up until he was about 2.5! It's still there now, but more mild!

    None of our friends ever believe how wonderful he can be when he's at home with us!

    I think this is your best option! He'll enjoy playing with the other pups, too! Marv does!

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  24. I completely understand about feeling bad leaving you furson! I'm the same way b/c when we leave our dog will not eat, just lays around, and he pulls all the hair out on his back legs. So needless to say the whole time we're gone I'm stressing over our dog. Have you thought about taking him with you and putting him in a kennel there? That way you can go visit him!

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  25. I know what you mean. Our dog never behaves the same way when someone else is watching her. Luckily, we live in a basement apartment and she spends most of her time outside anyway, so most times when we go away, the people who live above us just let her inside and outside and feed her. It works well. The few times we have left her at someone else's house, though, have been disastrous. She tore apart my friend's entire garden and chewed up a whole bunch of her flower pots (I'm not sure what they were made of - but something chewable apparently). I think you're making the right choice - I know you'll be sad leaving him, but it's probably for the best.

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  26. I'm going through the same thing right now so I know how you feel. Kenneling is usually a perfect thing to do in that type of situation. And what you can do is get referrals from them and call those people to find out how their experience was.
    I'm sure he will be just fine and be completely thrilled when you get back.
    Isn't it funny how much we worry about our animals?!

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  27. Oh my gosh....I can imagine how hard that is!!!!! We were going to Nevada for just the weekend, and I was tearing up saying goodbye!! And dogs are so in tune with our emotions. They know when something is up. I even thought about bringing our puppies somewhere while we were gone. It's so hard!!!!!!!!!

    My heart goes out to you because it is like leaving your baby!!

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  28. ooooh! Mac is so stinkin' cute! I cannot believe that little face could be terrible! :)

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  29. awww, he'll be ok. I'm the same way with our dog and dread the day we have to board her. We typically would leave her with family, or take her with us, but since we moved to Texas there is no family around.

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  30. It's always tough leaving the pets when you go on vacation. It sounds like the kennel is a great place and it's nice that he'll know a dog already there. Try not to worry and enjoy your vacation!

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  31. I was having so much anxiety over leaving Maya when I went home a month ago that my cousin offered to watch her so I wouldn't have to leave her or put her in a kennel. I assured her that Maya was housetrained, well socialized and no trouble at all.

    She peed in her crate, peed in the house twice and I totally heard in my cousin's voice when I called to check on her. I felt so bad for my doggie! Oh, and my cousin too...

    We're leaving for the 4th and she's going in a kennel as much as I don't want that, but everyone's right. They got lots of off-leash time with other dogs and it's way better than walking around the house by themselves or with a pet-sitter who, let's face it, isn't you.

    Mac will be just fine. As long as you check them out thoroughly, kennels aren't horrible places. I totally get the (pet) mommy guilt though - I have it bad!

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  32. I CAN TOTALLY RELATE, GIRL!!!!! My family and I are going to SC for a mini fam reunion for a week over the fourth of July and I'm just flustered over what to do with my one year old toy poodle, Indy. Like you, my parents normally keep him, but they'll obviously be at the reunion, too. My mom is putting her two dogs in the kennel and I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm afraid he won't eat because he only eats if we eat with him!!! (They're worse than humans sometimes!) We were going to get my SIL to watch him, but that fell through. Now I don't know what to do! And we're leaving in two weeks. I'll say a little prayer for your furbaby, Mac. He'll still love you though!

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  33. I know exactly how you feel! We had to board Fiona when we went to Italy and I felt sick the whole time. It was definitely hard, but everything turned out okay. Don't worry too much! But I definitely understand this post!

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  34. I board Elle Woods ALL THE TIME! She LOVES it! Seriously she will practically LEAP out of the car when we pull up in front of the boarding place because she's so excited. Everyone there knows her by name and loves her, and they don't get freaked out when I call daily to check on her.

    Does the place you're boarding him offer doggie daycare? If they don't, could you maybe try to find a place that does?
    I suggest that because if you could take him for daycare a couple of times before vacation, he can get used to it, the people there can get to know him, and he can have a chance to see that you will be coming to get him eventually and you're not abandoning him!

    We have had dogs in the past though who freaked out about being boarded. I remember Rosie would not eat at all when she was boarded. But she still got plenty of love and played and was happy to see us when they came back.

    My mom CONSTANTLY has to remind me of the fact that they are DOGS. They will be FINE. I worry about every little thing with Elle (I don't have a sweet Emeline to worry about instead!:) ), and I know at one point I was freaking out about whether or not she was comfortable on her bed and my mom was like "seriously? She's a dog. She's fine." Sometimes you just need some perspective. There are dogs out there roaming the streets and starving... He'll survive being boarded for a week, promise!!!

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