Saturday, September 22, 2012

You want me to leave my dog WHERE?

Just a brief post tonight for my dog lover's not as easy to find a doggie daycare here in Oxford as you would imagine, given that everyone claims to love dogs. Now, there are a few dog dayhomes, charging £25 to £30 a night (compared to the $20 per night I paid in Canada). but the ones within a 90 minute bus ride of my house are all booked up months in advance.

So, I thought, yesterday afternoon, let's check out a kennel--reasonable price, (£15 per night), dogs get a few walks a day...sounds okay. Well, after taking two buses for 45 minutes, getting lost, crossing a giant highway called the A40 on what I can barely say was a "crosswalk", I arrived at Lakeside Kennels at Peartree.   There, I got a "tour". 

The dogs sleep in kennels (fine, that's normal), which have a "hatch" that they shut so it's completely dark for them at night and they have a smaller space (hmm, okay, I guess; dogs like dens). During the day they get let out only TWICE for a simple walk  ON LEAD. For how long? Well, as long as it takes for them to use the toilet. They have a long lead so they can do what they want". Ah, 5 minutes?! Maybe 10?

"Well, don't they play with the other dogs?" I ask, quite used to having Kiara play for 12 hours at It's a Dog's Life in Edmonton (6am to 6pm of playtime, with a naptime in between, and then sleep 6pm to 6am in kennels).

"Oh, no, we don't let the dogs "mix" here". 
"Why not?"
"In case they don't get on"  At which point, I explained how our last dog day care worked in Canada.
"Oh no...that's illegal here. Against the regulations. We can't mix dogs here, and they can't go off lead, because they might run off".   I doubt that, buddy. 6 months of paperwork and vaccination proofs to get a dog over here, and you're telling me the government won't let dogs play together?

"So it's not fenced?" 

That's right, not fenced. Goes right to the highway. They claim to have kennels much bigger than the "regulations", too. No, thank you. I'm not paying to leave my dog in a place with no exercise, to live in a cage, while I go visit family for a weekend. 

Canada Farm Dog Holidays
Luckily, and ironically enough, Google helped me come across "Canada Farm Holidays for Dogs and Cats", in Dartford, Kent...a few minutes away from my relatives, where dogs can play together, run off-lead (that's off-leash in Canadian), and have 4 walks per day. Seven days of googling, but it was worth it! (I'll keep you updated on how she likes it next weekend).

Anyway, just a doggie blog post...more on Oxford coming soon!

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