June 6, 2010

How did we get to this?

I have looking for a place to board Lupita when we have to be away. This is not Baja and I don’t have those fantastic muchachas here that baby my pets there as much as I do, take them into their hearts, give them way too many treats and pamper them while we are gone.

First I called a local Yelp-recommended vet to see what they preferred for boarding in my area. They gave me the name of a traditional style kennel, Dublin Creek. I did a little research and found the high marks carried over to Yelp as well. So I called the kennel to talk to them. This is not one of those places where the doggies mingle, it is instead a confinement type thing, but with generously sized runs, and it is fastidiously clean and tidy. They beg you to come tour the facility. They charge $32 day, then if you want a 1-on-1 playtime break each day it is another $5/day. This all sounded fine and good until Esperando and I went out for dinner in Pleasanton.

When we got to downtown Pleasanton. we couldn’t help but notice that Main Street was closed for a mid-week fair. After a wonderful dinner at The Oasis Grill we strolled along the street with Lupita in tow. Downtown Pleasanton has drastically changed since I lived here 30 years ago. Main Street now has lots of beautiful leafy trees planted and many of the restaurants have sidewalk tables for serving lunch or evening meals. It makes for a very delightful ambiance. Eight blocks of the street had been cordoned off. A hodge-podge of profit and non profit local businesses were touting everything from various kinds of home improvements, local summer entertainment such as Shakespeare in the Park and ballet, food, live music, Boy scouts, and yoga—to dog boarding at Camp Bowwow. Here the doggies run free and play all day in Livermore, just 10 minutes down the highway from us. Camp Bowwow has facilities across the U.S. We have a Camp Bowwow just around the corner from us in Denver, but we have never gone there. It seems they have been featured on the national news. With all of Lupita’s energy and love of playing this seemed like an ideal solution for boarding her right now.

The next day I trotted her over to Camp Bowwow for a socialization interview. This meant that Lupita was required to spend 3 free hours at the kennel playing with other dogs so they could observe her interactions. The dogs are divided up into small dog and big dog groups, and the kennel has live webcams of all the doggie activities so you can check in on your pet while you are out of town. Camp Bowwow is pricey--$32 for doggie day care and $45 for overnight. Their literature is cleverly themed—like you are sending your child off to camp, i.e., “Our overnight campers are tucked away each night in their cozy cabins where they will sleep on cots with fleece lining. . . As the sun sets, each camper unwinds by enjoying a delicious Campfire Treat . . all day play, snooze the night away.” It seems she passed with flying colors because they sent her home with a diploma and invited her back. I am going to take her to day care this week so I can meet an old friend and go shopping without the worry of her sitting in the hot car melting. Since we are still in  a hotel, I don't want to leave her all day in case she gets into a barking jag and I am not here to curb it.

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