Holiday preparations

In my first post of 2012, I think I briefly mentioned that I’m going on holiday with my family in February. We’re all going to Thailand to meet my brother and his girlfriend, and to celebrate his 30th birthday since he won’t be home for it. It was all very unexpected and unplanned. To cut a long story short, its a chance to spend quality family time together, which we don’t often get to do, and lifes too short not to. We just happen to be going somewhere amazing and warm to do it!

Dog owners will understand when I say its not always straightforward to go on holiday and leave the dog. Putting a guide dog in kennels is an option for some people but not for me. Apart from at the vet, when he was probably too sick to care, O J hasn’t been in kennels since I began training with him in Cork almost four and a half years ago. He has a passport but I’d never even consider bringing him to Thailand as its too long of a flight, it would be too hot for him and I don’t want him getting any Asian animal diseases! Anyway, I’ll have three nephews to keep me busy!
I’ve never found a suitable place to leave O J when I’m on holiday. The place I used to leave him was fine. He was kept with Dougal inside and walked regularly, but he was fed too regularly too, which really annoyed me. The people were so good to him and felt that he should be spoilled when I was away, not really realising how that could affect his work when I got home.
The guide dog organisation in the UK has boarders who volunteer to look after guide dogs. They know what to do and what not, and its a fantastic idea if you ask me. I would love to be a dog boarder if they ever did something like that here.
No such thing exists here, and all the dog lovers I know already have dogs of their own and couldn’t watch O J, even though they’d love to.
I found a good solution that I’m very happy with. My aunt has agreed to watch O J in her house, and walk him the days she isn’t working. My cousin is using my house to study and she will keep O J company there when my aunt is working. That way he gets the best of both worlds, walked and company every day, but he gets to spend a bit of time in our house as well. Hopefully the fact that I’m not there every time he goes home won’t confuse him too much. He knows my aunt and she knows how we work together. My cousin is willing to learn. At least I’ll be able to text them if I want to know how he is behaving himself.

So one dog’s sorted, what about the other?
Dougal will have to go to kennels, but he’s very independent and not really bothered about people so I think it suits him fine. I’ve looked at a few and while they all had pros and cons, I’m going with one I visited today that the dog groomer recommended. The family are respected animal people, and the kennel owners are successful show dog participants. They run a small kennel in a quiet area, and although the actual main kennel building didn’t smell the nicest, the kennels themselves were spotless. She feeds her dogs what I feed Dougal so I don’t have to bring food, making them the best value kennels that I’ve found.

So as you can see, I’m very fussy about my dogs! Hopefully they will enjoy their holiday as much as I will enjoy mine, providing the waves stay small of course 😀

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8 thoughts on “Holiday preparations

  1. Ooooh it's very rare that I get to comment first on your blog, you usually have lots by the time I catch up with your blog! Hope you have a great trip, I could do with some sunshine!Borders in the UK are not for when GDOs go on hol unfortunately, although I know a few people who were offered borders, maybe they are fizzling them out. I was told only if there was an emergency that Calvin could be boarded.

  2. they only have borders whilst the dogs are in advanced training now.Guide dogs stopped giving out border details because GDO's were abusing it by going on to many holidays short notice and not giving the borders enough time to prepare for having their dog.I would hate to leave Uma, like wise she has never been to a kennels since i've had her. Guide dogs gave me details of a border before they stopped giving details out and he drove me and Uma to a specialist vets when she injured her leg and has also offered to look after Uma for me. Recently he spotted me when i was at the woods free running Uma with my PA and was glad Uma's leg was all better now.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful holiday with your family! Oh, the leaving our guides is such a challenge! We have an upcoming trip planned that I am so excited about .. except haven't found just tht right situation for Cricket, yet. So glad you have for this trip! Knowing OJ is just fine back home sure helps you go have a great time yourself!

  4. Thanks Selina and Terri. I hope your both well.I can see how boarding could become a problem if people take advantage. I know one or two people who don't live too far from their dog's puppywalker, so they will watch their dog while they are away. I'd love to be able to do that but O J's live 8 hours drive from me.Becky your right, I can completely relax and enjoy the holiday now. I hope you find something that works well for Cricket.

  5. I'm just catching up now. Yeah they don't do holiday bordinng now but i think if you know a border then i don't know how that would work. There is a lady i have written about here who bords guide dogs. She lives in Limavady and i would fully trust her if i needed to have Ushi borded. Just a pity she lives so far away though.I'd say that OJ will wonder where you are but once he knows he's going to get attention/fed/walked he'll not realise you've gone.I really hope there aren't any waves this time too :). Xxx.

  6. Hope you have a good trip, Jen. I'm sure OJ will miss you – and vice versa – but will be great craic when you're back together again. Nothing to beat family looking after him when you can manage that so he will be great with your aunt and cousin.

  7. Glad you found a good solution for OJ and for Doughal too!We always have family here that will take Clive if we can't bring him along but I know lots of puppy walkers who take guide dogs / assistance dogs while their owners are sick / on holidays etc. I regularly meet puppy walkers who are between training puppies and are looking after a guide dog for a few weeks. It seems a good option as the puppy walkers know the 'rules' so well and don't spoil the dogs.Have a great holiday Jennifer – can't wait to hear about it!take careFiona

  8. Ideally we'd have puppywalkers in Donegal, but hopefully this will all work out ok.A neighbour has offered to watch Dougal now but I think I'll just stick to the kennels.

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