Open Thread and Dog Question

The pet sitter we normally use and trust isn’t available for our next vacation, so we’re looking at doggy daycare facilities for overnight boarding. They seem like a good alternative to a traditional kennel, since our dog will hang out with other dogs all day before, judging from the pricing at these places, heading to some kind of luxury penthouse suite for craft cocktails, cigars and raw Kobe beef served off the naked body of a Weimaraner. If you’ve ever used one of these, or have any advice about them, please let me know in the comments. The rest of youse can consider this an open thread for libruls.

84 replies
  1. 1
    Marek says:

    Haven’t used doggy day care myself, but my friend swears by it when she goes away. They screen the dogs, of course, to make sure they get along. Not sure about the Weimaraner though.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    Why not do it the Ol’ Romney family vacation way, and strap the beast(s) onto the roof of the car, so that they can enjoy the vacation with you, ya selfish feckin’ bastard ya!

  3. 3
    13th Generation says:

    Be very, very careful in your decision. I personally know an owner of a local doggy day care and you wouldn’t take your dog within a mile of the place if you heard the stories that I have.

    ETA, this is a commentary on this particular owner, not DDC’s in general

  4. 4
    Skerry says:

    I’ve used Camp Bow Wow, a national franchising company. I’ve used them for up to 10 days at a time. I’ve had no problems and the dog seems to like it. They have both “day care” and boarding. “Camper Cams” let you check in on them online. They screen for behavior and require neuter/spay.

  5. 5
    whiskey says:

    I checked one out that wanted $135 per dog to evaluate my dogs – not actually take care of them but just determine whether or not they were the type of dogs that they’d take care of.

    Fuck that, $45 for the both of them at the kennel. They don’t know the difference.

  6. 6
    Raven says:

    I am on the last day of taking care of our tenants enormous doggie “Goliath” for five weeks while these knuckleheads went “camping” out west. Now we are planning our trip to Maui next month and I am hiring a very dependable high school kid to come in twice a day and walk, feed and take care of Lil Bits meds for 9 days. I have worked from home for 8 years and have learned that they sleep almost all the time. I’m much more comfortable with them at home that anywhere else.

  7. 7
    S-Curve says:

    We used to do doggy day care for our cocker mix, but we got back one time and she was filthy and scratched up and they couldn’t tell us how that happened. I think there are other, nicer places in our area (like Camp Bow Wow) but we don’t use them for the rea$on$ you describe.

    We’ve been boarding our dogs with our vet lately — they have good facilities, obviously the quality of care is quite high, and they even do music and shiatsu massage! The downside for some is that there isn’t a lot of interaction with other dogs, but that’s not a big deal for our two.

  8. 8
    gogol's wife says:

    This is a sore spot with me right now because I don’t have a dependable cat sitter right now, so I can’t go away with my husband for more than a couple of nights. It really is a pain. (I realize this is irrelevant to dogs, but the first line of your post struck a nerve with me, as I’m going to be home alone for a week coming up.)

  9. 9
    wenchacha says:

    On occasion we have used Add-En-On, out by Mendon Ponds. It’s a kennel, but also provides extra services like play time, if you want to pay for it. We have a lab, and they can accommodate larger breeds.

  10. 10
    RoonieRoo says:

    I, frankly, think we have the best doggy daycare in the US. Our dog is so excited to go that we can’t say the name of the place out loud unless we are taking him right then. He loves it that much. And he’s been going since he was 7 months old and knows all the workers like they are a second family.

    Things that you need to consider in picking your doggy daycare/boarding.

    1) Do they require your dog to come in for an evaluation half day stay? That is a must to have a place that evaluates before taking.

    2) Will they take you on a tour of the grounds? Also a must. I highly recommend you take that tour.

    3) How many dogs are in a single “playgroup” or whatever they call it? If you have a mob of 20 dogs with just one watcher, yeah, I wouldn’t go there.

    I don’t know what your options are in your area but I’ll tell you why we love ours. They are on several acreage of property and the dogs are broken up into playgroups of no more than 3 to 4. The dogs are moved to different playgroups throughout the day so they are always meeting new dogs which means they never stop playing all day and are freaking exhausted by days end.

    They also take the dogs that have perfect recall on an off leash hike to a pond on the property. These are only the “green card” dogs (ours is green card) that have the required training and best play attitude to other dogs.

    This magnificent daycare only charges $34 a night boarding. We feel like the luckiest dog owners that we have Dogboys. If you can find one like that, you will be set.

  11. 11
    mistermix says:

    @wenchacha: You have to understand that my wife went to Add-En-On to take a look around and came back and said, “they treat them like dogs there”. I’m sure it’s a great place, just not going to cut it for precious.

    @Skerry: Thanks, that’s the one we’re looking at. Seems pretty legit.

  12. 12
    PurpleGirl says:

    I have no experience with placing dogs for doggie day care. However I used to do pet/house sitting for my friends who lived in Peekskill. They had the Dobermann pinscher, 4 retired racing greyhounds (various periods of time), a cat, 2 parrots, 3 ferrets and an ever-changing number of gerbils. The backyard was fenced in and there was a doggie door in the basement patio door.

  13. 13
    mistermix says:

    @RoonieRoo: Thanks, that kind of advice is just what I’m looking for.

  14. 14
    Rosalita says:

    My guess is you probably have, but if not, check with your vet. My mom found two ladies who board dogs at their home. It was a little more but worth it. They did screen the dog first and Mom checked out the whole place. The dogs run free in a fenced in back yard and have the run of the house inside. They are even allowed to sleep with the care takers if they want. Peaches was a very happy dog when she was picked up. They caretakers even sent home a framed picture of Peaches (Maltese) with her new friend (a Doberman). Go figure.

    So yeah, check out a small dog sitting operation like that.

  15. 15

    Like stuckinred Raven,I’m much more comfortable with dogs at home. Mr. Q and I haven’t been away at the same time for a lengthy period, but I will probably retain a house sitter. I have a reliable friend who will be excellent if she can work it into her schedule.

    I’m leery of the interactive care, because I know how quickly playing can turn into actual fighting – even with temperament testing of enrolled dogs. And it’s hard to know how well trained staff is, and whether they can effectively monitor these groups in order to employ s much prevention as possible. But I’m really cautious in that regard. So I won’t warn anyone off day care, so long as they comprehend the actual risks.

  16. 16
    Culture of Truth says:

    Use a doggy hotel run soley by children. Hijinks will ensue!

  17. 17
    Raven says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): My pups have no interest in stuff like dog parks so the whole doggie day care thing doesn’t appeal to us.

  18. 18
    PurpleGirl says:

    @PurpleGirl: My friends paid for my food and my commutation to NYC for work. A couple of times I took my vacation at the same time I was pet sitting. When I took vacation time they still paid for my commutation so I could do things away from the house, i.e., taxis in and around Peekskill because I don’t drive.

  19. 19
    ant says:

    a question.

    it has been my experience that all of the puppies i take to the dog park get kennel cough the first time they go. They cough for a few days, then never get it again.

    Wouldn’t it be expected for the same thing to happen at one of these place as well?

    how does the DD deal with this? Also, fleas?

  20. 20
    pk says:

    I have a friend who went on a 10 day vacation to S.America and left her dog in day care. See could track his every move via web cam. It cost $1000. I believe the dogs dined on champagne and caviar.

  21. 21
    mistermix says:

    @ant: Kennel cough vaccine and flea/tick preventative.

  22. 22
    donnah says:

    We board our dog at a family-run kennel that is an amazing facility. There are low-slung hammocks for the animals so they don’t sleep on the floor. They get outside pool party time when the weather is nice, with a baby pool and big beach umbrella. There are Disney movies playing on big screen TVs in both the cat areas and the dogs’. It sounds silly, but the groomers and staff say the animals like the sounds and action.

    We boarded our dog once with our vet’s kennel for three days and when she came home, she peed on the floor, something she hadn’t done since she was a puppy. Turns out she had a urinary tract infection. My assumption was that she was not walked/pottied often enough, or the facility was not clean, because she had never had this problem before.

    So make sure there is an adequate schedule for your pets being taken out and allowed to run around. And tour the facility and talk with the staff.

  23. 23
    muddy says:

    I get a friend/neighbor to come to the house. The person stays over if the dog is home, and sometimes with the cats comes intermittantly. I don’t pay much in cash, but they get to eat and drink whatever they please, they seem to like it. One woman likes it to get some alone time from her adult child and middle-aged brother who live with her.

  24. 24
    kdaug says:

    Kennel cough immunization.

  25. 25
    BudP says:

    How is it not a story that the taxpayers of the USA underwrite the cost of Mrs. Mitt’s dressage hobby? They structure it as a business, it loses money, big fat deduction for the Willards.

  26. 26
    JasperL says:

    We found our place by word of mouth, and it’s wonderful. She has separate small rooms for each dog or pair of dogs if they’re from the same home, she has three different outdoor runs, and the overall property – several acres – is also fenced if they happen to escape the runs somehow. The owner has a dog couch and large crate in her office (door usually open) where she keeps lapdogs or otherwise shy dogs during the day who don’t care for outdoors or the dog on dog playtime.

    It’s a great thing to have this facility. My mom’s dog literally won’t eat, not a morsel, for days, at the vet’s kennel, but eats like a champ in this environment. Ours are excited when we pull up to the gate and are happy to see us when we return, but totally different than the WE’RE SAVED!!!! kind of thing that they were when we picked them up from the vet.

    If you can find one, it’s well worth it for the peace of mind. For us, it’s also cheaper than a typical kennel service, although this is probably a rare occurrence. Only advice I know is to ask lots of dog lovers what they do with their little bundles of joy when they travel.

  27. 27

    We take our dogs to a doggie daycare for boarding. Two of our dogs do not like the daycare part and don’t do the group play. One of our dogs LOVES the group play and has so much fun, I can barely get him home. I guess it all depends on the dog and the facility but it works for us.

    So in other news, David Brooks outdoes himself in douchery today.

  28. 28
    ant says:

    @mistermix: three different puppies had the vaccine, but got it anyway.

    does the kennel do flea preventative on every dog each time they are brought there?

  29. 29
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    I toured Creekside Pet Resort in Macedon last week. My wife and I are going away for a week. It is a really great facility and the woman we met could not have been nicer. They required the tour and meeting our hound before booking him. They stay in little rooms instead of crates and get taken out for exercise several times a day. They have pretty big fenced in area and allow dogs to play with one another after they have passed the socialization test. Dogs that are not so friendly have to play alone. Oh, and $35 a night.

  30. 30
    kdaug says:


    This magnificent daycare only charges $34 a night boarding. We feel like the luckiest dog owners that we have Dogboys.

    We’ve used Dogboys, too, on a ski trip. 13 y/o Aussie was running around like crazy when we got back, and the women said he was playing with the other dogs like a puppy.

    They’re awesome, and I love the temperament screening and vaccination requirements.

    But you have now located yourself. We ain’t far apart.

  31. 31
    wonkie says:

    When my husband and I went to Ireland for two weeks we haired a nieghbor to come to the house three times a day to visit our dog. It cost me over one thousand dollars but I figured it would be less traumatic for aour neurotic rescue pup then placement in an unfamiliar environment, nomatter how good the placement was. Besides my little Blackie was a fear biter with people and didn’t like other dogs. Poor little guy. the only beings in the whole wide world that he didn’t fear were me, myhusband, and the criter sitter.

  32. 32
    Foxhunter says:

    @RoonieRoo: What Ronnie Roo said. x10. Our local Dog Resort charges $30.00 per night which includes ample play time daily. or $40 for a room with a tv and webcam for owner viewing.

    We have a young lab and she goes for daycare once per week. It helps keep her socialized and she comes home to sleep for two days after play.

    Touring the facility is a must, and making sure the daycare evaluates their ‘members’ is key. Mine will not allow any dogs to play or stay without an interview of sorts and current vaccinations.

  33. 33
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    I been reading up on all this Holder/contempt nonsense, and just assumed the documents the wingers were demanding fell under the scope of ‘internal discussions’ by the DOJ. And therefore, within Executive privilege . But it seems it’s not that so much, as the wingers wanting access to things like grand jury testimony, which by law can’t be disclosed, as well as other similar info. So Holder is claiming that otherwise from that, he has given the House wingnuts everything he lawfully could, so these morons are going to try and get the AG frog marched, I presume as some kind of election year stunt.

    from WAPO 2011

    But it turns out there was another gun operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives years before, using the same tactics of allowing guns to flow illegally onto U.S. streets and into Mexico. This operation was conducted under the Bush administration’s Justice Department.

    I guess it’s okay if a republican prez does it.

    But Wide Receiver, conducted in the Bush administration, has not received a lot of attention. According to Justice spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler, some of the e-mails used in the attempt to discredit Holder were referring to the Tucson case, Wide Receiver.

    Recent DOJ response to Issa, and his clown posse.

    “From the beginning, Chairman Issa has distorted the facts, ignored testimony and flung inaccurate accusations at the Attorney General and others, and this latest move fits within that tired political playbook that has so many Americans disillusioned with Washington. The Committee has ignored the fundamental – and undeniable – facts that this Attorney General put a stop to the misguided tactics, called for an investigation of this flawed operation and instituted reforms to prevent this from happening again.

    So there you have it. The blackety black AG, ended the program and practice, begun under Bush, and calls for an investigation, and that isn’t good enough for Issa. As it seems the entire brouhaha is a gotcha attempt, to prove that Holder lied to congress about when he learned of the programs by ATF, a few months sooner than he said, or something like that.

    This is way more than I had hoped to learn about this witch hunting bullshit, but the wingers got hold of a bone, and refuse to let it go, and now are going to law the lawman Holder.

    ha ha ha

    DOJ noted in a letter to Issa last week that they have turned over or made available over 7,300 documents in response to the congressional subpoena. The April 19 letter also dismissed the comparison between the number of documents turned over to Congress with the number turned over to the Justice Department’s Inspector General, which is also reviewing the operation.

    “This comparison is inapposite,” Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich wrote. “As a component of the Justice Department, the Office of the Inspector General is entitled to review material that is not appropriate for further disclosure, such as transcripts of grand jury proceedings and other law enforcement sensitive materials.”

    The Funhouse is open

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @BudP: IOKIYAR. Rule stands always and forever.

  35. 35
    Redkitten says:

    Just take him to John’s house. You know he’ll be spoiled rotten.

  36. 36
    Foxhunter says:

    Oh, a sidenote. Some of you may have seen the horrible story about the boxer pup in Georgia that was tossed out of a moving car. Completely destroyed his paws. The little fella received over $4000 in donations for vet bills.

    Our doggie daycare is a partner with the vet next door that took that boxer in for recovery.

    He’s been adopted and is in a new home not far from me.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    someofparts says:

    I work at one.

    Best advice I can give is to trust your own reactions.

    Generally – smaller is better. Also, maybe take the dogs with you to see how they like a place, if possible.

    I’d look for a complete walk-through. See where your munchkins will stay. Also, meet the people who will actually handle them as much as possible. Also watch them working with the dogs, if you can. See how many of their dog handlers are older and experienced, as opposed to youngsters doing it as a toss off, temporary thing.

    Some places have webcams. You could use those at any time to see what happens at a kennel during the day. Also, check online reviews to see what other customers have said.

    Ultimately, what I know from working inside of kennels, is that you ultimately can’t know for sure if I am kind and loving to your dogs in your absence or not. All I can tell you is to observe closely and respect your feelings, yours and the dogs’ if you can take them with you.

    Wish I could teleport you to my town. At our kennel I literally stay overnight and sleep in an airstream so our furry little customers are not alone at night. That way, if your little sweeties are used to sleeping with people at night, they have that option.

  39. 39
    Donald says:

    Be careful of the dogs hanging out together notion. The dogs hanging out together had better get along or be closely supervised.

  40. 40

    @ant: A good kennel will comb for flea dirt and then, if finding any, give a flea (de-fleaing) bath before allowing the dog into the general population area. Sending dogs home with fleas is a business killer.

  41. 41
    Don says:

    The walking service we use here in Arlington VA also has overnight service. None of it is cheap but it’s not horrible in comparison to kennel costs, as I recall. And they’re a known, trusted quantity. The people who we’re doing puppy training with also have doggy day care and you can combine that with boarding service. I can’t speak to the quality of either of those but we like their training so far and would trust them with our darling boy.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    @Ash Can: And he’s being disingenuous on several levels. The Department of Education may not directly hire teachers but it certainly supplies support for them. It’s a distinction without much of a difference. And he’s trying to reframe his comment as a stimulus issue. Except he never used that framing for the initial comment.

  43. 43
    mistermix says:

    @ant: My dog is on Revolution, once a month. She went through a tick-infested areas and they were dropping dead a few minutes after touching her. I have never seen a flea on her. It’s probably killing me slowly but it does work.

  44. 44
    mistermix says:

    @Old Dan and Little Ann: Thanks, that’s nearby, too. I’ll check it out.

  45. 45
    kindness says:

    Don’t you have ANYBODY you trust who can come and live at your place for how ever long you’ll be gone?

  46. 46
    Gus says:

    My guy came home with kennel cough one time (apparently that can happen even with vaccinations), and I did board him overnight at a local vet that doesn’t have very good boarding facilities, and he came home covered in his own filth, but I’ve had good luck with three separate facilities locally, including Petsmart Pet Hotel. Check out online ratings and ask fellow dog owners.

  47. 47
    someofparts says:

    Roonie Roo – Where is that kennel? What is the name of it?

    It sounds incredible. One day I might try to have some small dog care place of my own. I would love to learn more about the amazing place your dogs visit to see what ideas I could pick up from them that might be useful in my own place one day, if it ever happens.

  48. 48
    HelloRochester says:

    If they won’t let you walk through, then walk out. Also, I’m of the opinion that a sparkling clean kennel is preferable to a warm-n-fuzzy but less clean daycare. Our dog has a wonderful time at a lovely all-concrete-floor place that smells better than my house. In contrast, she was completely PTSD when we picked her up one time from a place that cost 3X as much and had all the bells and whistles. She also had worms. Most important thing is to get the dog back without any cooties from being locked up in the brig, IMHO.

  49. 49
    RoonieRoo says:

    @kdaug: Hey! Another Dogboys family! If you pick up the training flier in their office and look on the back, that is our dog next to the Rally Obedience sign. Big yellow mutt.

    Another excellent point to add to the list for mistermix to consider is what you said about the vaccination requirements. Good facilities require proof of vaccinations including bordatello and that they be on flea preventative. I’ve never worried about our pup catching anything at Dogboys due to their diligence on educating all their clients on preventatives.

  50. 50
    Laura Clawson says:

    I had a John Cole moment last night. Which is to say, got up in the night and stepped into something slimy, squishy, and cold, which turned out to be a hairball.

  51. 51
    RoonieRoo says:

    @someofparts: They are outside of Austin, Texas in Pflugerville.

    They really are our dogs other family. We raw feed our dog and many of their staff and trainers also raw feed so they handle that perfectly.

    One time, our dog had pulled a muscle in a back leg right before we had to leave town. So he spent his days hanging out with the trainers/staff being loved on constantly. I think it was his favorite stay.

    I can’t rave enough about Dogboys.

  52. 52
    mistermix says:

    @kindness: If we pushed it we could probably get someone, but our dog has been fine with going to a friendly dog boarder who had her own pack, so I think she’ll be fine with this. She doesn’t have any issues with new humans or new dogs. As long as she can sniff some new asses she’ll be fine.

  53. 53
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:


    “…the sport of dressage, in which horses costing up to seven figures execute pirouettes and other dancelike moves for riders wearing tails and top hats.”

    “Mrs. Romney took up dressage at age 50 as a therapy for multiple sclerosis, but it soon became her passion.”

    How is dressing in a top hat and tails while sitting on a fancy horse therapy for multiple sclerosis? Do we have any doctors or physical therapists that can explain this? Could a poorer person dressed in a Members Only jacket sit on one of those coin operated horses outside a K*Mart and get a similar therapy?

  54. 54
    Yutsano says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: There is such a thing as hippotherapy but it has little to no relation to dressage. Dressage is actually a highly skilled sport that requires the rider to be in top mental shape. She’s doing it because she’s a spoiled rich woman, therapy has dick to do with it.

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:
    Issa is such a fool. Thanks for the info.
    Anything to get Obama out of the White House.
    You can tell it’s going to backfire.

  56. 56
    g says:

    Here in LA there are several of these. We use one out here in the mountains, run by the family of our son’s classmates. It’s nice because the dogs can run free and play with one another instead of being kept in kennels.

    Because it’s LA, the dogs have to audition before the place will deign to accept them – they want to see if the dogs can play well with others. Parents can watch the try-out by remote video.

    So LA.

  57. 57
    harlana says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    Could a poorer person dressed in a Members Only jacket sit on one of those coin operated horses outside a K*Mart and get a similar therapy?

    probably already in the Ryan plan.

  58. 58
    g says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    How is dressing in a top hat and tails while sitting on a fancy horse therapy for multiple sclerosis? Do we have any doctors or physical therapists that can explain this?

    I think we’re talking “therapy” as in, if I get to do something I really really like, it’ll make me stop thinking about my illness. Nothing like buying animals worth tens of thousands of dollars to get your mind off your troubles.

  59. 59
    Mary says:

    My dogs are not dog park dogs at all, but they love doggy day care. I think it’s one of those things that depends very much on the individual dog and the individual facility, but all in all I would say its a better bet than doing the traditional kennel route.

  60. 60
    Fearless Dick says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    One of the stupidest questions asked in seriousness that I’ve ever seen on the internet, Rustoleum. Anything that one can find their passion in that takes their mind off the constant pain, even if only briefly, and give them something to look forward to aside from knowing the pain will always be there, is therapy.

    Why does there have to be competition to say such dickish things here just because it’s a liberal blog, like that’s what you’re supposed to do?

  61. 61
    Skerry says:

    @Yutsano: Don’t all stay-at-home mothers (of grown children) with multiple sclerosis own multiple, olympic class, 6 or 7 figure dressage horses for “therapy” purposes?

  62. 62
    shortstop says:

    We love the place we use. They thoroughly evaluated our girl, nailed her personality and quirks, and put her in various play groups (pretty much anything but huge aggressive dogs, who scare her in groups). The staff is attentive and loving, and we totally trust them after years of patronage.

    I would not leave our dog at home alone for days at a time, visited only by a walker. They do sleep all the time, but unlike cats, dogs are pack animals and they do not like to be alone for long stretches. Ours in particular likes to be around other people or dogs, preferably both.

  63. 63
    ilsalund says:

    For the last 3 years, we’ve hired a wonderful woman to stay with our 4 pets and we now plan our trips around her schedule. She’s bonded, certified to give meds and has almost 20 years of experience taking care of pets in their homes. She charges a very reasonable day rate and she travels all over the country petsitting. Her name is Linda and I’d be happy to give her cell # if you are interested. Just write me If you’d rather your pets stay in your house rather than board, I’d highly recommend hiring Linda.

  64. 64
    Ash Can says:

    Meh. I don’t care if Ann Romney rides dressage. I don’t even care if she makes a business out of it. It’s her “I’m just like all the rest of you” act that gets me.

    It makes me wonder what kind of communication goes on in a marriage between two such disingenuous people. Do they wait till the end of the day to say verifiably true and honest things just to each other, behind closed doors and out of the public view? Or do they just listen to what the other says and reflexively believe the opposite? “Honey, there’s no pizza in the fridge, if you’re hungry.” “Sweetie, my drawer is full of socks.” “Hey, could you please not hand me a roll of toilet paper? I have plenty.”

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:

    I used the place down the street from me the second time I had to board the dog. It sounds just like your description. Except that I was quoted a price of $38/day and when I got back it was $32. Evaluation took about 30-40 minutes which I could watch on camera, tour of the facilities took about 20 minutes. They have a dog trainer on staff, he was great. The dog was in a kennel run with his own indoor and outdoor at night or if he was not friendly. With medium friendly they segregate them in their own day area. Dogs that like to play are grouped with plenty of handlers. I have stayed in hotels worse than this and at a much higher price.

  66. 66
    maye says:

    I use such a place and am happy with it. Each place is different, so you need to visit and get a feel for their M.O., plus ask for references and speak to a few people who use the place. It’s just like hiring a babysitter. It’s all about references.

  67. 67
    BudP says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: It is a hobby, it is not a business. But the Rmoneys are so patriotic that they think the taxpayers should pay for it. In 2010 alone it cost us two teachers, or one and a half firemen.
    It is the reason why they are hiding their other tax returns. LINK

  68. 68
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    Life in the Shark Tank. Wingnuts out wingnutting each other. Filed under BigHate.

    The Denver Post reports that a GOP primary battle between two Colorado state legislators has gotten so heated that one campaign outed their own candidate’s gay son to show that she was more anti-gay than her opponent by voting against civil unions for gays and lesbians.

    When wingnut campaigns, out their own candidates gay children. If we aren’t approaching Peak Wingnut, then The Apocalypse will render that moot.

    Said Rep. Marsha Looper (R): “I am disappointed that my campaign manager forwarded an e-mail that would include any member of my family in policy discussions.”

    Being a republican must be something like sitting around the table at an Al Capone staff meeting.

  69. 69
    Jebediah says:

    Jumping in before reading the thread cuz I gotta run in a few minutes – we used a place like that last year for Otto and Juno. It’s within walking distance, and for a long time after if we walked anywhere near it Otto would try to drag me back there. So I guess he really enjoyed it. (Also when I went to pick them up, neither dog was quite as overjoyed to see me as I expected, which I take as further proof of how much they liked it there.) Don’t know how much the place wants to charge you, but the one we used was cheaper than some of the more standard places we were looking at.

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    rammalamadingdong says:

    The most important thing you can do with any arrangement – daycare, vet or home-based sitting is to arrive home early, unannounced and unexpected. Recommend that you do a dry run prior to leaving for vacation. i have had several experiences where the person with the best certifications, education, experience, marketing, etc. turned out to be a lying sack of excrement. After my last experience I simply defined two criteria – who do I trust and who can I count on. Answer – my housekeeper. Been using her for two years and no more problems.

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    Ruckus says:

    @Ash Can:
    With their kind of money and therefore staff I’ll bet a couple of these comments never get asked. Fully stocked fridge, bathroom, always clean to within a microscopic dust mite, someone to cook for you whenever/whatever. I spent about an hour yesterday in a private gated, armed guard, housing development where the houses are perfect, 5K sq ft, manicured yards, lake, golf course, mostly $60K and up cars, etc. Was told the houses go for 4-7 mil with some a lot more, most have multiple staff. There are 200-250 houses. Most spend more per month on yard services than I have in the entire world.
    The money there could probably feed everyone below the poverty line in Mississippi for a few yrs. In style.

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:
    Being a republican must be something like sitting around the table at an Al Capone staff meeting.

    Probably a lot less sanity and civility than that.

  73. 73
    gogol's wife says:


    Someone will come along and tell you to lay off the candidate’s wife — but it won’t be me. I think this is far more important than just the wife’s hobby or “therapy.” Trip Gabriel’s story was extremely disturbing, and I’m glad to see this followup, but I don’t expect to see it on TV any time soon.

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    JenJen says:

    I always board Rocco and Little Lord Stanley (YEAAAAAH LA KINGS!!) at Best Friends Pet Care here in Cincinnati. It’s a national chain, and although I can’t vouch for other locations, the Cincinnati location is the best day care/kennel I’ve ever found. They also have free puppy and dog play groups every week, so I always took Stanley when he was a puppy so he would get acclimated. Now when I have to take him there for boarding, he gets so excited to be at his play land that he doesn’t even miss me. Sniff.

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    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford: Actually, there’s probably some merit to the notion, in that exercise is good for MS, though if balance is an issue, weight bearing stuff is not so good. Also stress reduction is quite beneficial. So if it’s relaxing for you, it’s helpful to the MS. But world class dressage stock isn’t required. Nor is a personal trainer for said stock, obviously. She’d get as much benefit (I’d get more) in a nice long hack or trail ride.

    I’d ride 3-4x weekly for my MS, but sadly, the diagnostic process and early treatment wiped out my horse budget. Dressage work would actually increase my stress, however, so I’d stay in my own discipline. And I’ve always loved work outside the ring (as did my horses), so trails would suit me fine. My balance is often wonky, so running’s out. I walk and swim instead.

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    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Fearless Dick:

    One of the stupidest questions asked in seriousness that I’ve ever seen on the internet, Rustoleum. Anything that one can find their passion in that takes their mind off the constant pain, even if only briefly, and give them something to look forward to aside from knowing the pain will always be there, is therapy.
    Why does there have to be competition to say such dickish things here just because it’s a liberal blog, like that’s what you’re supposed to do?

    This is just awesome!

    What, besides suffer in constant pain, would Ann Romney do if not for dressage?

  77. 77
    dww44 says:

    Has anyone read this at TNR or posted a link already? IMO, it’s worth a read and the comments are not bad either. I like the analogies to our present day politics which seem to have been unleashed by Mr. Nixon’s governance.

    Oops, looks like someone or somones already did while I was off dealing with another matter and had not yet posted the link.

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    Another Bob says:

    Hey, it’s Crusader Mullet.

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    Suzie says:

    Our little doggy LOVES going to the local Camp Wags-A-Lot. Her “room” there is nicer than my first house.

    Sometimes we take her there just for the day-camp with other small dogs.

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    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    To expand a little on RoonieRoo’s posts…

    You should get a good feeling when you talk to the staff, not just the people in the office but the handlers/trainers/whatever. They should be happy people who enjoy being around lots of dogs all day. They should be more than happy to answer whatever questions you have, and they should have most of the answers up front.

    If you get any sense that these people aren’t genuinely happy in their jobs, move on.

    The great thing about Dogboy’s is that they offer extensive training classes along with the day care and boarding. If you manage to find a place like that, take advantage of as many training classes as you can. Dogs are smart critters that get bored just like the rest of us; training classes are a good way to break up the monotony and give them a mental workout in addition to a physical one.

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    Anne says:

    We have two daycare/boarding facilities in the SF Bay Area that we know and trust (A Dog’s Life and Smilin Dogs). Both require dogs to be evaluated prior to being accepted as clients, and both limit the size of their playgroups so that the dog/staff ratio isn’t too high. They also aren’t afraid to kick a dog out of a group or off of a regularly scheduled reservation day if there’s a conflict between dogs that can’t be resolved by shuffling groups or other behavior management.

    At least one of the companies we use requires that your dog attend daycare at least twice within the month or two before boarding, so that he or she can get accustomed to the staff and the daycare routine. That company also has webcams set up the play areas so that you can watch your pup playing (or sleeping).

    Luna (our 2 year-old, ball-obsessed Lab-Aussie-husky mix) goes to daycare regularly at one of the facilities, especially when I’m out of town and can’t take her to work with me. Sometimes she’ll spend the day with the other group for five hours of off-leash hiking on a 700+ acre ranch over by the coast (and we attend training classes with that company, so we’re familiar with the staff). She comes home happy and exhausted after hiking days, and always pulls on the leash to go inside when we arrive at her regular daycare.

    Poke around online, get recommendations from other dog owners in your area, etc. I feel much better about boarding our dog at a daycare place than just a kennel. It’s probably more expensive, but I think it’s worth it (then again, our dog is basically our child, so…).

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    kdaug says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: Wait – you’ve been to Dogboy’s, too?

    I really need to wear my FEED shirt more often.

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    RoonieRoo says:

    Grumpy Code Monkey is my hubster. Same Dogboys family.

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    RoonieRoo says:

    Come to think of it, we should do an Austin – Dogboys lover’s BJ meetup.

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