Boarding your Chihuahua

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Farfl peeps out from underneath Hayley's hair.

Every year at the end of August our family goes away to a festival in the Laurentian mountains in Quebec. My husband teaches, my daughter runs around with her friends and I relax and listen to music all day long by the lake.

This year was the first year we've had to consider what to do with Farfl. Jess the cat is easy. She has a wonderful visitor, Betsy, from BredinsBest. But what to do with the dog? It's simply not enough for a dog  to have a visitor once a day and to be alone for most of the time.

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Farfl relaxes at Shangri-Paw

Although some people have smuggled their pooches into the camp where the festival is held, the camp policy does not allow for dogs to be on camp grounds. We share a trailer with good friends of ours, but even still I didn't think it was worth the stress of trying to conceal the dog or keep her indoors for much of the day.

Luckily, when we had our daughter's camp visiting day back in August we met a lady who lives not too far from where we live who has a dog boarding service in her home. Sharon Herman, who runs Shangri-Paw Pet Services in Thornhill, Ontario, is a true dog-lover. The dogs she takes care of while their owners are away do not sleep in kennels - they're considered part of the family and sleep in the house. Farfl slept in Sharon's bed!

I was a bit concerned, because when Farfl stayed with friends of ours back in February, she proved to be a bit of a handful. I explained to Sharon that Farfl had displayed some fear aggression at my friend's house and she told me not to worry. Still, I was a little nervous when we dropped her off on our way to Quebec. Farfl was pulling away from Sharon on the leash and snapping. Sharon shooed me away and said she'd see me in a week. Her confidence made me feel a whole lot better about leaving the dog with her!

Farfl does her sit-ups with help from Hayley

Farfl does her sit-ups with help from Hayley

I had a lovely relaxing week and was excited to pick Farfl up on Sunday night. Sharon told me on the phone that Farfl had been fine and when I saw her I could see she'd had a great time. Sharon said that on the first day Farfl was nervous and snappy, but that with gentle coaxing from Sharon and her daughter Hayley she had soon settled in and been very happy.

Having Farfl taken care of by an experienced dog handler has numerous benefits:

  1. She has had a whole week of socialization with all different sizes of dogs
  2. She has got used to being taken care of by someone other than me
  3. Farfl has been much less wary of my daughter having spent time with a more experienced teenager
  4. She has grown in confidence both with humans and other dogs
  5. This time she was able to transition back to home life much more easily - she was not at all clingy when we got home. She slept well in her crate the first night back!

I am so relieved to have found someone with whom I can confidently leave my baby. A big thank you to Sharon and Hayley for taking such great care of Farfl!

  1. Sharon says:

    How wonderful to have a reliable pet-sitter! Dobby always stays with a friend of mine who also has a chihuahua when I’m out of town- it really is a relief to know you can trust someone 🙂

    The pictures are SO cute (as always!)- she looks like a little kangaroo in that middle one!

    Sharon and Dobby
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..Friday Friends =-.

  2. Rill says:

    I know! And you’re name twins!

    I’m going to post some more pictures that Sharon Herman sent me of Farfl’s stay. Preposterously cute!

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