Today DH & I toured the facility where we planned to board our dogs next weekend. We'd just taken G. to have his Rabies Shot, and P. was with us too, so the 4 of us got the tour.
The kennel is right across the driveway from the vet, & is part of the vet/kennel/grooming/day care complex. It's a good, reputable place, very nice people work there, but OMG I just don't think I could leave Polly or Garcia there! I don't know what I was expecting... I guess a more "home-like" atmosphere.
They don't stay in cages there, they have "runs" which are 6-10 ft. long. They have concrete floors with blankets for laying on. While that might be ok for an outside dog, these 2 are used to a cushy life - they are pretty sure they're people. I think they would be horrified to be left there. Even when we were just touring it P. was trembling violently in my arms, and Garcia was doing the same in DH's (we had to carry them during the tour).
It was SO LOUD. We were there during 'walking time' and the girl said they were all barking because they knew they'd be going out. The workers were walking each dog individually in a nice large area. They each get 15 minutes of one-on-one play time outside. You can get more for a fee. You can also have them in the doggie day care section during the day if you want to -- then they're in a large area all day & get to play with other dogs their size. That, too, costs extra.
I noticed one worker lighting up a cig as she went out the door to walk one of the dogs. Somehow that just didn't seem right - do people really want their dogs to be breathing smoke? Granted, they were outside, but STILL! They have such little lungs, like babies really, and you sure don't want somebody smoking around a baby. DH said I had the most horrified look on my face from that point on. It was just too much - the noise, the cold concrete, so many big dogs... I just hated it.
When we got in the car I burst into tears (yeah, get pretty emotional when it comes to my kids and my pets) & told DH I just didn't think I could leave them there next weekend. He agreed. There's another kennel in a nearby town that one of his co-workers uses when she goes on trips. We had planned to check it out if we didn't like this one, but I don't know if we will or not now.
The way G. and P. were trembling... to think of them being there for 3 days and 2 nights on that hard floor, not understanding why they were there & not knowing where we'd gone or if we'd ever come back... well, I just won't do it.
Garcia spent the first 7 months of his life in a cage. I really don't want him to have to be in one ever again. (Yes, I know it's a "run", not a "cage", but still.) So.. we'll have to go to Plan B. OH, wait, we don't HAVE a plan B!