WOOF gear top ten list

Have you ever thought of all the tools you’d need to keep track of a bevy of dogs each day?

(We know – who needs to plan that far ahead?)

Well, we do! Us humans with real jobs and real responsibilities need more than just soft fur, soulful eyes and natural charm to get by.

I know, Bentley. It’s shocking but true.

I got to looking around WOOF and started to notice some bonafide WOOF GEAR we would absolutely perish without. And the more I thought about what each tool does – how unique they are to the care and management of our canine guests – I thought, why, this would be a good thing to share.

So may I present:

The WOOF Gear Top Ten List

By Vickie Jean

10. Loop Leads!

This may seem pretty basic, but this leash has some unique attributes, including a loop on the end for the neck and padded grip. It is worn by all of our staff so they can quickly catch a dog in playgroup. Since our guests play with no collar for safety purposes, we find our lasso-style leads quite handy!

9. Shoe Pouches!

It’s simple math: dozens of dogs = dozens of leashes and collars. These hanging shoe pouches are perfect doggie cubbie holes.

8. Walkie Talkies!

Quick communication is key between our front desk and the dog handlers. When it’s time to corral a dog to go home, all the communication happens over these cool little walkie talkies. This is especially important because we like to keep our dog handlers with the pack at all times so nobody goes unsupervised.

Watch Dog Handler Deztiney demonstrate:

Who’s lunch is this?

Got it!

7. Ceramic Tiles!

To the layperson, this may look like your average kitchen or bathroom tile. But to a WOOF employee, it’s a perfect creation for boarding suite identification. Whoever discovered that dry-erase marker would wipe off these shiny little numbers was a genius. (And you can pick your favorite color too!)

6. Aprons!

You need hands-free body storage bigger than a pocket? Behold the WOOF apron. Small and stylish, this will hold all your gear: leashes, markers, poop bags, gloves, and more.

5. Whistles!


Safe dog management comes down to keeping everyone’s attention in a positive direction. Whistles are wonderful tools to redirect dogs who start to play too rough or get stuck on a barking jag. The key is once you’ve got their attention, get them to do something nice (like sit or quiet) and then praise them all over the place!

4. Little brown bags!

We love these because they keep track of everyone’s personal belongings. (We secretly really love them because they let us express our creative sides – this one shows Great Dane Baxter Holbrook in many stages of development while he’s been with us!)

3. Smart phones!

Okay, so we know we’re not the only ones privy to the wonders of these little devices but we are so thankful for the technology! We are now able to photograph our guests and e-mail Cuddle Time and Tennis Ball Time instantly, take videos and post them to our Facebook and YouTube pages and instant message all manner of goodies to our clients – without missing a step with the dogs. (May I personally thank the iPhone for the ability to do this very blog, in fact.)

2. Headsets!

The more hands-free tools, the better. Especially since our front staff is usually on their feet, ferrying doggies. (I have personally witnessed Elisa cleaning up a mess, holding a dog and taking a phone call all at the same time. Truly amazing!)

And now for number one – the MOST IMPORTANT WOOF GEAR OF ALL TIME.

Are you paying attention?

1. Dog flair!

No? Maybe that’s just me.

Until next time –


Vickie Jean @ WOOF


Sleeping & bathing beauties

Happy May Day!

Around the world people are celebrating the beginning of summer. At WOOF, we celebrate with two perfect “the weather is getting warmer” activities.


Hello, Cody Murphey

And napping:

Goodnight, Riley Murphey

For our own little tribute to May Day, we’ll share all the swimming and napping moments we captured this week.
Jesse demonstrates a common misconception among our guests. 

Jesse Feil

 That you can actually “catch” the water.
Others take a more laid back approach.

Buddy Garcia

Buddy just relishes the cool water on his toes.

Beckham, hoping the water won't make his curls frizzy


Lola keeps herself calm, cool and collected – which is quite important for these short muzzled breeds. (She’s a bulldog so we make sure she stays cool in warm weather.)


Lola Jennings

WOOF TIP: Did you know dogs with this face shape overheat easily? Dogs regulate their body temperatures by panting and breeds like bulldogs, pugs, french bulldogs, boston terriers (think “scrunched face” dogs) have an inefficient face shape to lower their body temperatures naturally. So it’s important to keep these guys in the shade and with access to cool water at all times. Learn more here.
Then there are, of course, the heavy drinkers.

Bottoms up, Heidi Bennett


Daisy Angle goes right for the source

We don’t blame them – the water is so cold and delicious!
A few shots from the “straight-up splashers” group.

Show that water who's boss, Cody Murphey!

Notice Lola standing by, getting some residual spray.

Girl power, Heidi Bennett!

This group gets cooled off and their exercise, which leads to… NAP TIME, of course.
Some choose our comfy Karunda beds.

Niki Feil


Sweet little Mindy

Others prefer a sun nap.

Big ol' Baxter Holbrook

Some curl up right on our comfy flooring in the shade.

Ina and Tola


Beckham and his TAIL


Oh, Travis

Once again, I think we can take a lesson from these dogs. It’s summer – don’t stay cooped up in front of the computer or behind the wheel of your car.
Get out there and go for a good swim. And then lay down and take a good nap.
Throw a little lunch in there somewhere and we can call that the perfect summer’s day.
Until next time.
Vickie Jean @ WOOF


Perfect names & breed buddies

When you work around dozens upon dozens of dogs, you start to notice things. Patterns emerge. Alliances are formed. Discoveries are made.

(This might be a high-falutin’ way of saying if you stare at dogs long enough, you might go a little nuts.)

Today Nicole, one of our dog handlers, told me there were several dogs who had THE PERFECT NAMES. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about until I saw for myself.

For example, meet Peanut:

I'm Peanut!

Meet Peanut’s friend, Meatball.

Yo, I'm Meatball.

Now behold Peanut and Meatball together.












You know, Nicole, I’m starting to see what you  mean!

Now let’s look at a few more.

This is Licorice.

This is Shadow.

And this is Hades.

(Now I get The Omen reference, but if this is what H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks looks like, I’m not so afraid anymore – such a beautiful smile!)

The other thing you start to notice are BREED BUDDIES. It is an observational “fact” (if that exists, and we say it does) that like breeds tend to gravitate towards one another in the playrooms.

Look at Sammy and Buddy, the Golden Retrievers.


They always seem to sit together.

And Sarge and Lando – the king of terriers – Airedales!



They get each other’s high energy like no one else.

Also Lola and Oliver, the Puggles.

We're special.


They’re from the same family but we still consider them BREED BUDDIES.

And there’s Stella and Marzen, the German Shorthair Pointers.

We're huntin'


And last but not least, the stunning pair known as Travis and Kona, the Siberian Huskies.

This is my girlfriend.

She makes me laugh.

We're young, beautiful and in love.


So the next time someone sends you one of those funny e-mails of the owners who look like their dogs, send them this blog.

It may be that we subconsciously choose dogs who resemble us – but it’s also true that dogs know a few things too.

Like that they have the perfect name and totally own it!

Or recognize their own and like what they see.



Vickie Jean @ WOOF


Eat, sleep, play

The month of April means two things at WOOF: Spring break and rainy weather. It adds up to a full (and occasionally wet) house.

Oh no!

 Don’t worry Mr. Bill, we can handle it!

One of the major keys of running a busy boarding facility is organization.

And more organization.

Each of our guests gets a bag with a detailed list of their belongings. (And their own cute little tail hook!)
But dogs don’t care about organization. All they want to know is:
1. Is it time to eat?
2. Is it time to sleep?
3. Is it time to PLAY?
So we organize our philosophy of good dog care under these three very important tenets. (And we humans could benefit from them as well, don’t you think?)
So without further ado we present: EVENING TIME AT WOOF
Subtitled: EAT, PLAY, SLEEP.
After a full day of play, we begin ferrying our overnight guests from the Daycare building to the Boarding building. The first round of business is to put everyone in their own, private kennel so they can EAT.

Micky: where's dinner?

The dogs wait patiently (mostly) as we dish up everyone’s dinner. And since everyone has their own feeding instructions – and in some cases, medications – we have to slow down and really pay attention.
For example, Spencer gets carrots in his food.
He seems to like them.

All gone

 Micky enjoys a classic mix of wet and dry.

When everyone is done eating, the next question is, of course:

Is it time to PLAY?


Not yet! We have to have a rest period while everyone digests. For some of our guests, it’s not a problem.

Major Weimereiner Food Coma


When rest time is over, the dog handlers initiate the evening play groups.

I had the pleasure of taking Leo the German Shepherd to the outside yard. But it was raining and he wondered – why on earth are we going outside?

Me outside, in the rain, taking a picture of Leo inside, dry and warm

After a little encouragement, Leo joined me for a sniff and a potty.

Good boy, Leo

While Dog Handlers Kyle and Amanda monitored the big dog yard, I took charge of the little dog recess. Everyone was let out into the hallway leading to the upper yard.
Unfortunately, the little dogs also didn’t care for the rain and were developing a case of their own “Leo-itis.”

Come on everybody, get out here!

I was finally able to convince everyone to come outside. When they did, the big dogs the next yard over were curious.

Hey, what's going on in YOUR yard?

Everyone got into the full swing of playing and (let’s be honest) pooping except for little Mona.


Her feet were getting wet and she wanted to be picked up.

Of course, I put my foot down and resisted.

Just kidding

But as the evening outside time was winding down, I had to put Mona elsewhere so some necessary clean up could be done.

Mona sat in a chair...


While I attended to other matters

While the dogs were finishing up outside, we picked up dinner bowls and fluffed beds.

Their bellies full and their bodies tired, the final question of the night was upon us.

Is it time to SLEEP?

Of course.

Goodnight, sweeties. See you in the morning for more EAT, PLAY, SLEEP.


Vickie Jean @ WOOF. 


Hug Your Dog Day!

Leave it to a major dog food corporation to make up a holiday. But who can resist HUG YOUR DOG DAY?

Pug Hug!

The folks at Beneful declared April 10 as Hug Your Dog Day, encouraging everyone to post a photo of doggie PDA on Beneful’s Facebook page.  In return, you are entered into a contest to win something amazing!

Well, it’s just a $2 coupon.

But you do get to show off your dog love to the world and add to Beneful’s Hug-O-Meter for the day. We love the idea of keeping track of dog hugs. A good day should have a couple dozen. (At least.)

And there’s this really cute video starring Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet and his own dog, 12 year old Coleman Hawkins. It’s pretty hilarious, showing different hugs (the casual hug, the deeper hug, and – as we’ve all experienced with our squirmy firends – the resistant hug):


So, in honor of this totally made-up holiday, here’s some of WOOF’s best hugs.

Jenna and Fiona

Nicky and Fred

Jacque and Reesi

Of course, dog hugs are hard not to give when the “hugg-ees” look like this:

Bert: hug me.

Bella: hug me.

Boo Boo: HUG ME!!!

Now, go forth and hug your dogs. You know you want to.


Vickie Jean @ WOOF

more toys WOOF

Extra services

When your dog stays at WOOF, did you know that you have extra options?

Kind of like when you order a burger, you can get sauteed onions, avocado or extra cheese?

(That was an extra cheesy comment and we’re okay with it!)

One week before your boarding, we will send you an e-mail with an online boarding check in link. On it, you can request:

Baths and nail trims…

Baths at WOOF

Hello Leia Stewart!

Special cuddle time…

Dog Handler Deztiney having a very special moment with Molly

Ball time!….

And let’s not forget the toys. We’ll give them out while they’re here or save them for pick up. (So you can finally answer, “what’d you bring me?” with “Look what I brought you! I’m an amazing dog parent.”)

We have funny toys:

Tree plush toys at WOOF

Tree plush toys! (because dogs love trees, of course)

 And cute toys:

more toys WOOF

 And, of course, bully sticks and pig ears, for our guests with a taste for the exotic.

pigs ears bully sticks WOOF

All of these little extras are very well priced – most are $20 and under!

We offer these little extras because every dog is different. One’s bully stick is another’s cuddle time. And as the parent, we know YOU’LL KNOW what little extra your dog will really enjoy.

Because WOOF’s boarding burger is always delicious. But who doesn’t need a little extra cheese once in a while?

Please contact us if there’s anything we can do to make your baby’s time at WOOF extra special.


Vickie Jean @ WOOF


Staff appreciation night

It was a typical Thursday night at WOOF. ALMOST a typical night at WOOF, that is.

There was a certain excitement in the air – a certain anticipation – as we did our normal closing rituals.

 We had one final recess before bedtime.

Come on guys, get it out of your systems!

We put everyone who was spending the night to bed.

Goodnight Ginger Keane and here’s your nylabone. We love you!

We told our personal dogs that they should take a nap too.

Lay down Olive Preble! (that’s owner Jacque’s dog…)

Stay inside, Joe Preble. (another one of Jacque’s dogs!)

It was a very special Thursday night indeed because it was STAFF APPRECIATION NIGHT at WOOF!

Yay us!

As dog caregivers, we love our work! But, make no mistake – we do WORK: keeping the facilities clean and safe for your best friend. And sometimes, no matter what you do for a living, you need to remember to appreciate your coworkers (and yourself!) for everything they do.

So Jacque, WOOF’S owner, made it a point to take the staff out to dinner. Because even though WOOF is a place of business where we take the care of your dogs very seriously, and Jacque runs a tight ship…

….it’s also fun!

 So off we headed to spend some quality time together over sweet potato fries and fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. Because we take this motto seriously.


 And our dream this particular evening was to sit down and break bread together.

The dream came true!

Excuse the dark picture – the restaurant had mood lighting!

In order to really enjoy our time together, Jacque suggested an age-old challenge. Everyone had to put their cell phones on the table.

 The first one to grab their phone (smart phone addicts anonymous anyone?) had to pay for dinner!

 Luckily, we had dessert to distract us.

Dog Handler Deztiney going to town on a chocolate indulgence type thing.

And we had left-over boxes to decorate. Deztiney chose to make an homage to a dog she hopes to own someday. (She lives in an apartment at the moment that doesn’t allow dogs – maybe that’s why she loves working at WOOF so much: to get her dog-fix!)

She’s already picked out the name Simba.

 Here we are again, with Jacque at the head of the table.


Still mood lighting, of course.

We learned a couple things from Staff Appreciation Night:

 1. We can’t resist chocolate.

2. We get tired past 8 pm.

3. We miss our dogs when we’re out.

4. We are, in fact, addicted to our phones. (But Jacque still paid – thank you, Jacque!)

Just as important as we feel it is to appreciate each other, we also want you to get to know us better. So STAY TUNED for a new addition to our web site: our About Staff section, where you can meet all the wonderful folks who look after your babies at WOOF all day.

 People like:




 We’re so proud of our staff at WOOF. Everyone here really cares about animals and it shows. We can’t wait to share with you more information about these wonderful people because we know that we are more than just the people who take care of your pets. We like to think of ourselves as your extended doggie family!

 Also, one of these staff members is starring in a local production of The Crucible…

 But you’ll have to wait to find out!

 Until then.


Vickie @ WOOF


An epic battle

At WOOF, we try to keep things exciting.

We have spirited staff meetings.

We love on our dogs.

We check safety stations and fluff beds.

We do other things we’re not so proud of.

When this happens we know it’s time to do something more stimulating. For us, and the dogs!
In the left corner, in WOOF blue, is Nicky, Dog Handler Extraordinaire!
In the right corner, in a glossy coat of yellow, is Bonnie Taylor, mild-mannered Golden Retriever and Master Tugger!
Let’s watch the action.

See how Bonnie twists and gets the upper paw here?

Silly human.

 I always win.

Tune in next time for other exciting WOOF events, like CUDDLE TIME! TENNIS BALL EXTRAVAGANZA!


Until then –

Vickie @ WOOF


Abby HAS a home

UPDATE: Jeff and Jeff, Abby’s owners, had a change of heart and decided to keep Abby!

From their e-mail:

“We have decided to try and adjust our schedules to keep Abby part of our family… We feel we owe it to her and ourselves to try harder to make our little family unit work. The thought of parting with Abby saddens us too much.”
 They also noted that Rex excitedly greeted Abby when she returned from WOOF day care – something that is new!

 We wish the best of luck to Abby and are so glad she will stay in a familiar environment with people who love her. In our book, that’s a win-win.

 Please consider all the other wonderful dogs out there for adoption. There are more Abbys that need you!

One of our most wonderful doggie guests at WOOF needs a new home.

 Presenting the super sweet Abby.
Now if that didn’t get you, here’s a close-up.
 Have you just died with cuteness fatigue? I know I did.
Last week at WOOF the staff told me there were two heartbroken men who were looking for a home for Abby. They would be coming to pick her up at the end of the day and I should talk to them.
When I met them in the lobby and proposed doing this blog, their love for Abby and reticence to give her up were immediately apparent.
Both of them (both named Jeff!) looked as if they’d just gotten off a long day of work. The Jeff in the medical scrubs smiled uncertainly as I introduced myself and offered our help.
He agreed that they wanted to find a new home for Abby but they were willing to wait for just the right one. Her being a Pit Bull worried him because he didn’t want her to end up with someone unscrupulous, looking to make her into something she wasn’t.
(Read more about nature vs. nurture in Pitt Bulls here.)
I assured him that our WOOF network would only find the cream of the crop – because our WOOF owners are themselves the very best owners! 
So attention WOOF network! (That’s you…) Please read about Abby and pass her story on to help her find a new, wonderful forever home!
Age: 8 months
Breed: American Pit Bull Terrier
Weight: 45 pounds (average weight is 55-75 lbs)
Sex: Female- spayed
Vaccines: Up to date
Microchipped: Yes
Training: Fully potty trained, basic commands, waits to eat until given permission
Disposition: Social and friendly with dogs and people (especially loves little girls!)
Activity level: Can run up to 6 miles but is just as happy to be a couch potato
Loves to: Chew on her nylabone and bully sticks and watch TV (it’s true!)
So why would the Jeffs need to give Abby up?

A brief history:

They adopted her in November from the East County Animal Shelter in Dublin. Abby was just a 35-pound, 4-month old back then. She had been taken to the shelter with her brother, who was adopted before her.
The Jeffs were immediately attacted to her sweet face and calm temperament. Their goal was to add her to their family as a companion for their male Border Collie, Rex.
Abby and Rex
Bringing young Abby home was challenging but she proved to be a quick learner. They worked with her on potty training, eventually getting her to use the doggy door to go outside. They taught her to sit and wait for her food – she’ll only start eating when she is told, “go ahead.” She was such a joy to be around, laying in her parents’ laps as they watched TV in the evening and going on runs with them and Rex.
But as the months wore on, they worried they weren’t giving young Abby enough attention. Both of them work over 12 hours a day. Abby enjoys her day care at WOOF, whining in excitement as they drive up. But Rex – who the Jeffs hoped would grow to love Abby – would get annoyed with her when she tried to curl up with him at night on his bed.
After a lot of soul-searching, Jeff and Jeff came to the conclusion that Abby needed a family that wasn’t gone all day. Someone with children maybe, because she loves the neighborhood kids so much she always goes in for a kiss and a hug.
“We picture her living with a family with children. Or, we see her with someone that may be able to take her with them to work regularly,” they wrote. ” She would be great as a greeter in someone’s shop.”
Hello. Welcome to the shop.
They also think she may fit in well with retirees who can be at home with her all day.
“Nobody can resist her cute face,” they concluded. “Her eyes just beg for a nice pat on the head and a scratch under the chin.”
We couldn’t agree more.
If you’re interested in learning more about Abby, or know a very special home for her, contact her owners via e-mail at thejeffs@sbcglobal.net. Or ask at WOOF’s front desk. 
Feel free to leave comments and questions in our comment section below. We’re happy to help!
Like all of our wonderful pups, Abby deserves the very best.
Vickie @ WOOF

Interview with Your Dog: Fred

Our first interview subject in this series is Fred.

Mr. Fred Jenkins-Downie
Let’s begin, shall we?
WOOF: Fred! Look, I have your pig.
FRED: I see that. I would certainly love to play with that.

WOOF: No problem. Just get up on your couch and help us fill out this little bio.

(Flash of black and tan fur…)

WOOF: Fred, are you ready?

FRED: <squeak, chomp, squeak>

WOOF: Fred!

FRED: Do you want to play with my pig?
WOOF: Not right now Fred. Right now we need you to fill out the form so everyone knows your vital statistics.
(Fred picks up a pencil and gets to work. We did not document this because he asked us not to.)
NAME: Fred 
PARENTS: Lisa and Terry (I love them so much! They feed me and pet me and love me and I love them so much!)
BREED: Welsh Terrier I’ve been told.
AGE: 3 years, 8 months my parents tell me but I don’t feel a day over 2
WEIGHT: 17 pounds and proud of it
SEX: boy dog
INTERESTING FACT: allergic to wheat but many treats don’t contain wheat… did you know hot dogs are wheat free so if you want to give me a hot dog I could eat it
NEUTERED?: no comment
PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT: fully vaccinated and didn’t cry once
WOOF: Thank you, Fred! Now, please sit down for the formal interview.
WOOF: Very good! Now let’s go!
WOOF: No, Fred we’re not going anywhere! Stay there and try to answer these questions.
FRED: Will there be toys involved?
WOOF: Soon, Fred. First question: what’s the hardest thing about being a dog?
FRED: It’s great being a dog!
WOOF: Really? There’s nothing at all? We know you always seem happy but there must be something that bothers you. How was your puppyhood?
FRED: My puppyhood was great! But there might be one thing that’s hard! Not being able to play with  my toys. Can we play with my toys? I’ve lined them up on the chair so you can throw them several times and I can run and catch them and then you can throw them again several times.
(Flying leap off the couch.)

WOOF: Fred, you’ve knocked my camera sideways. 
FRED: What?
WOOF: The camera…it’s sideways.
FRED: What’s sideways?
WOOF: Never mind. Let’s continue. Please resume your seat on the couch.
WOOF: Great, but the camera is still broken.
FRED: I’m sorry, you seem preoccupied with that thing you’re holding. Meanwhile, I have one question for you: can I have my toy?
WOOF: (sigh) Of course. 
FRED: <squeak, squeak>
WOOF: Well, Fred, we think that should do it. Thank you very much for the interview.
FRED: Wait, that’s it?

 WOOF: Well, yes – we think we’ve tired you out. And the camera is still broken. Is there something else?

FRED: Yes, I had borrowed a scarf so you could take my official portrait.

WOOF: Okay Fred, but the camera is still broken. The picture will be be sideways. Is that ok?

 FRED: What’s sideways?

And that was our first Interview with Your Dog, starring Fred.

Tune in next time –

Maybe YOUR DOG will be next!