Tag Archives: tri valley dog daycare

13Apr/15

5 Tips: Bringing Your Dog on Vacation

Can I just say right up front that you don’t have to take your dog on vacation. DON’T TAKE YOUR DOG ON VACATION. That’s what WOOF is for! So, go ahead. Go on vacation. Leave your dog with us.¬†We got this.

2 Boarding reception tour

Welcome to WOOF – may we take care of your dog today? ūüôā

But let me pose a hypothetical situation. Say you adopt a dog. Say that dog is crazy adorable.

lady stump

(And this is just the back view.)

Say this crazy adorable dog also has separation anxiety. And say, even though you may work at a boarding facility, and get free boarding, you never leave her at work. Like ever. And maybe in order to actually be able to relax without constantly worrying about your dog, you have to take Miss Crazy Adorable with you on vacation.

Maybe that person is me.

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Hi, my name is Vickie and I am with my dog all the time.

(Hi Vickie!)

Let’s just say I have a lot of practice taking my dog everywhere, even on vacation. Let me share my insanity wisdom.

1. Find a good dog-friendly hotel.

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The emphasis being on the word “good.” Just because a hotel will accept your dog doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to you. Remember, this is your vacation so find a place you would like regardless of its pet policy.

I drove across country with my dog twice and was able to find a decent spot just about everywhere we stopped. Most chain hotels accept dogs – just call ahead and check. It’s becoming more and more trendy to accept pets, so you have that going for you.There are books and web sites listing pet-friendly hotels, like this one. If they’re pros, they’ll only charge you an additional $20-$30 a day for your dog. If it’s more, or they want a hefty “dog deposit,” shop around. A pet fee shouldn’t be more than 15-20% of what your room costs per night.

Some hotels won’t allow a dog over a certain weight. This always confused me because little dogs can be just as destructive as big dogs. I’ve heard hotels prefer small dogs because if the dog pees or poops in the room, the mess is smaller. There’s no point in arguing with the front desk, especially with a chain that operates by corporate rules. (And don’t start your vacation being angry – it’s not worth it.)

But sometimes if I just say, “okay, I’ll call the hotel down the street,” they want your business so badly they’ll accept your big dog. Same goes for the pet fee – if you think it’s too expensive, politely decline and tell them why. They’ll either lower the price to get your business, or they’ll make a note for management.

lady halloween

I am very clean, thank you very much.

Make sure you understand the rules – the main ones being don’t make a mess (easily done if your dog is potty trained and you take care not to let food and hair get everywhere) and don’t leave your dog unattended in the room. (I couldn’t leave Lady in the room even if I wanted to, so my plan includes bringing her along everywhere we go.)

Luckily for me, my favorite place in the world is also famously dog-friendly. We most often vacation in Carmel, Calif.¬†because it has everything we like: beaches, hikes, great food and it’s just plain beautiful. Neighboring city Monterey also has the amazing¬†¬†aquarium, which is worth going to more than once. Up picturesque Highway One is the coastal majesty known as¬†Big Sur. (If you haven’t been up this way, you really should go!)

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This is just a picture I took from the car. I mean, come on.

I love the Carmel River Inn because it’s clean, quiet and my kind of charming. There is a main motel-like hotel but tucked in the back is the good stuff: sprawling gardens peppered with quaint little cottages. We like the John Steinbeck cottage (room 24, king bed, whirlpool tub, little patio). Rates per night are around $150-$200, depending on the season, and the dog fee per night is $20. It’s very reasonable considering you get your own space plus acres of Bambi-esque meadows to wander around in.

If Disney designed these cottages, they couldn’t have been cuter. (And I did not get any discounts for mentioning this inn – I just really like it!)

Some photos, proving my point:

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Gurgling fountains.

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Flowers, flowers everywhere.

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(Oh, hi Lady!)

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Our cottage duplex.

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Part of our room (I moved the couch around.)

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The rest.

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Big, ol’ tub!

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Our patio.

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Swing for swinging.

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… my magical place….

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… where I swung my head back, looking at the trees.

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An actual hammock.

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A leafy heart right outside our room.

Not every dog-friendly hotel is the Carmel River Inn, but if you do a little research, you’ll find a good place.

2. No hot weather (sorry sun-worshippers!)

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It’s essential that the place you’re visiting doesn’t get much hotter than 70 degrees because it’s likely you’ll have to leave your dog in your car sometimes. (Make sure your dog doesn’t mind hanging in the car!)

Generally, it’s cool enough to leave your dog in the car if the temperature outside is under 70 degrees. Finding shade is best but not essential if the temperature is low enough. (If it was over 70 degrees and we couldn’t find a shady spot, we’d change our plans to include Lady.)

A sandwich on the beach instead of dining in a restaurant is not that much of a letdown when the view looks like this.

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(Carmel Beach is 100 percent dog-friendly!)

3. Pack only the essentials.

Just like with your own packing, you don’t need to totally relocate all the creature comforts of home for your creature abroad. We take food (meals in sandwich bags are easy), leash, bowls, brush and bed. That’s it. Anything else that comes up, like a bee sting or wound,¬†you can buy what you need at the drug store. Read my blog about home healthcare here.

(The bed is optional but Lady loves hers and knows immediately where her “spot” in the room is. But most dog-friendly hotels will provide a doggy blanket.)

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Bed in car!

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Bed in room!

Bonus tip: If you’re ever travelling and run out of dog food, white rice mixed with scrambled eggs or boneless, skinless chicken is a good alternative (and your dog will love it!)

4. Have a game plan.

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Dogs are pretty basic. They need food, exercise and sleep. (And love, yes, yes.) They’re like humans without all the added cerebral BS – they know what they like, and they don’t over think things. Following their lead actually leads to a pretty awesome vacation day.

Here’s what worked for us:

We had breakfast in the room. A french press and fruit is a little piece of heaven. Lady ate her breakfast and got pieces of toast. We showered. Lady did not.

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We went on our Big Morning Outing – I’m talking at least a couple hours. It was either a hike in the forest or a long beach walk. This was Lady’s favorite part (and mine too!)

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Bonus tip: have water and a bowl in your car at all times. It’s important to hydrate your dog (and yourself) frequently.

The next thing was our people-only time. This is when we found the shady parking spot, Lady took a nap and we had some human fun.

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One of my fancy meals.

 Then a siesta was in order. We all went back to the room, cleaned up a little and rested.

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Sometimes we’d nap on the beach.

Refreshed, we’d venture out for our Nighttime Activity. We’d go out to dinner, we’d sit on the sand and look at the stars, we’d marvel at the weirdness that is Carmel.

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This is their gas station sign, for example.

5. Decide if your vacation can realistically involve a dog.

Figure out what a great vacation is for you. Mine is pretty simple: to walk, to eat, to sleep, to read. That’s all I want. Lady fits in with our ambitious plans just fine.

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Like peas and carrots.

 But if your idea of a good vacation is more involved, like flying to a faraway land or exploring the ruins of an ancient civilization, you might have to leave your dog at home.

And “by home,” I mean at¬†WOOF, of course!

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Staff are standing by.

Much love,

Vickie Jean

 

 

 

 

 

13Feb/15

Your Funny Valentines

I started working at WOOF on Valentine’s Day three years ago. I met the staff, the dogs and wrote the very first Dog Blog on a day dedicated to love.

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It was a pretty sweet first day.

Years later, even though dogs have come and gone, our business has almost doubled in size and our staff has grown by leaps and bounds, reflecting back on what I’ve learned here so far … I have to say¬†I’m having a little deja vu!

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate dogs.

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In our playgroups, it’s always interesting to see which dogs gravitate toward one another. I’m not sure how they decide who they want to play or cuddle with. But each morning we see them choose their playmates or recognize when one of their besties is entering group.

It is, needless to say, super cute.

group play

So on this day of love, let’s highlight some of our WOOF Valentines and celebrate their special brand of affection.

Maggie and Posey

Posey and Maggie have an interesting relationship. Posey often sits on Maggie, and Maggie doesn’t seem to mind. Love works in mysterious ways.

Donato and Emmy

Emmy and Donato are from the same family. We always know they’re around when we see a blurry set of dots whizzing by.

Jasper and Annie

Annie is a big girl in Little Dog Land and Jasper the Cavalier has found the stunning redhead of his dreams.

JJ and Liza

JJ and Liza are from the same family and always have each other’s back, even when they’re sleeping.

Scout and Liza

Although sometimes JJ (NOT LIZA, whoops!) needs a little Scout time too. (JJ is okay with it.)

Indy and Posey

Indy and Posey are two Viszlas from the same family and rule Big Dog Land with an iron (red) paw.

Cosmo and Nike

Cosmo and NIke, the sweetest black Labs ever, live together at home and stick together at WOOF.

Charlie Jasper Scout and Annie

This motley crew proves that four is not a crowd. Charlie, Jasper, Scout and Annie like to create this kind of special sleeping society mid-day in Little Dog Land. (May I join? Please?)

Biggie and Ruby

Biggie the chocolate Lab pup is relatively new to our play group but he found a kindred spirit in Ruby, the kind older woman.

Hank and Jake

Hank and Jake have a pretty strong bromance going on. The give each other stiff, manly hugs but we see the tenderness underneath.

Asher and Serge

Asher and Serge, baby German Shepherd and Doberman, are growing up together in Little Dog Land (they’ll graduate to Big Dog Land soon!) They understand life is about the three P’s and N’s: play, play, play and nap, nap, nap.

Freya and Posey

Freya and Posey know size doesn’t matter when it comes to getting some girly alone time.

Abby & Bitsy

Abby the Great Dane puppy has found a friend in Bitsy the Dachshund, who is three times smaller and three times older but showing her the ropes while she goes through puppyhood in Little Dog Land. Bitsy’s the boss, obviously.

And this last picture shows that you don’t even need two dogs to spread the love.

Riley

Riley has plenty oozing from every pore on his adorable, fuzzy face.

Here’s to a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Keep your loved ones close and your dogs even closer!

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xoxo,

Vickie Jean

16Aug/13

Off to college

We lost a good one yesterday.

Max dog wrangling

Max, one of our long-time dog handlers, is leaving us for college.

Max graduated

Here he is with his sister at graduation. (Yes, Max, I lifted a few of your personal photos off Facebook for the purpose of this blog.)

We are so happy for him. He’s going to Montana State University to major in mechanical engineering. Smart kid, good major – we know he is going to make everyone proud.

We’ve known Max through most of his high school career. He got a job at WOOF because of several e-mails he sent asking to work for us. He was tenacious – so much so that owner Jacque gave him a chance.¬†And we are so glad that she did because Max was a keeper.

His true love of dogs, maturity, work ethic and just plain sweet-natured personality has made it a pleasure to work with him over the years.

Max smiley bulldog

We know he’s about to embark on an important journey – one where he is going to begin to grow into an adult (and decide what kind of adult he wants to be.)

Max little dog

But can I confess something?

His absence is going to be a huge loss to the WOOF family and we are more than a little sad.

Max deep love

The job of a dog handler is not easy. You’re on your feet for hours, cleaning up countless messes. And after all that cleaning, yep, there’s more cleaning – you clean the entire building after the dogs have gone home. (Read about all of our amazing staff here.)

It really requires someone who can tolerate all the dirty work because they just like being around the dogs. And it requires someone who the dogs like being around too.

Max more deep love

Max is one of those people.

In honor of Max’s legacy, and to give him a proper send-off, let’s enjoy some Max moments.

There are the endless shots of him doing our famous Cuddle Times:

Max big shaggy dog

Max border collie

Max lab

Max Christmas

(Christmas cuddle!)

Here he is hanging out with his WOOF crew off hours:

max and kwon

Max and Andrew

woof friends

Max, Alex and Lauren

Can you spot him in the Little Dog Lounge?

max the lounge

And one of my personal favorites, Max in the Little Dog Chair, giving a little thug life flavor:

Max in little dog chair

So with that, let us just say goodbye and good luck Max.We look forward to seeing you on all of your school breaks, filling in for us where you can.

We’ll save your drink for you.

Max kwon

xoxo,

Vickie Jean @ WOOF

21Dec/12

Secret Santa Stikes at WOOF

Shhhh.

We did something totally sneaky!

Don’t tell anybody, but…

One day we rounded up the dogs and took professional photos of them to give to our WOOF moms and dads!

It was all owner Jacque’s idea. Just look at her scheming with Pet Photographer/Friend of WOOF Tonya Perme.

Denali says, “You are up to something, ladies!”

Jacque checked her Naughty & Nice List – otherwise known as our “Who’s In Daycare Today” report.

She checked it once…

She checked it twice…

Truth be told, they were all a LITTLE naughty but overall nice.

Jacque and Tonya quietly set up the boarding building with Tonya’s fabulous “photography studio to go”. (And she can do the same for you in your garage or large room – e-mail her at petrates@tonyaperme.com for more info…)

The dogs came over over, one by one.

Boarding guest Buffy was like, “hey – what is going on out there?”

We threw her a ball and said, “Shh! Buffy, don’t give us away!”

We set up the big light to capture their beautiful, furry features.

We enticed sweet little Whitney to be a brave girl and step in for her close up. She had to take her jacket off first.

Dog handler Nicky played assistant, and got Whitney into position on the backdrop.

Whitney was shy but Tonya found just the right moment and ….

A little bit of magic happened.

Tonya’s such a great pet photographer. One of her secrets is taking a WHOLE BUNCH OF PICTURES so that she can find just the right one. The other is making the most realistic cat sounds when necessary.

She said she will do anything – including making a complete fool of herself, to get the shot.

(She also wears cool shoes.)

She really gets down on her subject’s level.

You can’t hear it, but she’s making the cat sound for Oliver.

Jacque made sure our models were photo-ready.

Baxter didn’t say thank you, but we know he meant it!

All in all, almost 50 dogs were photographed in one day.

Evan insisted on a prop.

Olive is always ready to be adored.

Even Abby and Rex quieted down to capture this sweet moment.

We can’t wait to give these out to all the moms and dads! In fact, as I’m writing this post I have to WAIT to publish it so as not to ruin the surprise.

Just look at them. Barely containing themselves.

Happy, happy holidays from our family (human and canine) to yours.

xoxoxo,

WOOF

 

 

 

 

31May/12

Happy trails Ina and Tola!

Today we say goodbye to two very special guests, Ina and Tola.

Their parents are moving out of state and today is their last day with us!

These girls are very near and dear to our hearts. First of all, they’ve been with us nearly every weekday for SIX YEARS.

WOOF MATH MOMENT: If there are about 52 weeks in a year, that’s 312 weeks. If there’s 5 weekdays in a week, that means Ina and Tola have been in daycare for 1560 days.

I’m not sure I did that right, but let’s just say we’ve known Ina and Tola – and their wonderful parents David and Christopher – for a really, really long time!

Second, these are the first WOOF dogs from POLAND – a breed called Polish Lowland Sheepdogs. Or, even more exotic, their native breed name is:

Polski Owczawrek Nizziny. (PONs for short).

(Say THAT fast three times.)

Here’s Ina when we first met her:

(A cool little fact about these PONs is that their hair gets lighter as they get older.)

And her big sister, Tola:

So today, we thought of all the things we could do to give these ladies a proper send-off. Of course, since the family is moving to Oklahoma, we somehow associated that with cowboys. Or, in Ina and Tola’s case, cowgirls.

A quick trip to the local San Ramon CVS pharmacy yielded the perfect hats.

That’s Tola on the left in a tiger stripe cowboy hat. And Ina on the right in a pink leopard print number. (Also Erica, Elisa and Nicole!)

Even though we think the girls were a little bit of RELUCTANT COWGIRLS, we think we got our point across.

Watch out, Oklahoma – some California girls are coming your way and they are FABULOUS.

We also thought we’d share a few Ina and Tola memories:

Elisa: “I remember Tola in group. She had one ball in her mouth and kept trying to put more in there. I call them the POLISH TORNADOES.”

Nicole: “They argue like real sisters in the morning.”

Jenna: “(David and Chris) were so cute when I picked Ina and Tola as the Dogs of the Week. Chris said, ‘I never thought my girls would make it – they’ve been here 5 years!'”

All the staff recalled how Ina’s parents would drive up with them in the car in the morning. They used special tubes with zippers to keep the girls separated on the car ride for safety. Everyone joked that they should just roll them on in here!

As I type this, Ina and Tola are spending their last couple hours in WOOF’s daycare. I can see them sleeping on their Karunda beds through the window. Soon, a car will drive up and take them to a new life.

An hour ago, we got a delivery of flowers. Of course, we knew immediately who they were from.

Thanks so much, Christopher and David. We wish you well in your new life – and just like the sign says above, we know you’ll feel right at home with Ina and Tola by your sides.

But know we’re going to miss them – and you – terribly.

This place just won’t be the same.

xoxoxo,

Your friends at WOOF