Sunday, October 14, 2018

Day Care

Day Care is one of the most important choices you will ever make for your child. You want them to be happy and safe and with caregivers who love them while you are away. What about Day Care for your furbabies? Are they not just as equally important? Of course they are!

My husband and I are both very much dog lovers. So much so, that we knew that we could not take care of one the proper way until something changed in one of our jobs. We worked very long hours and many times unpredictable changes such as meetings lasting much longer than expected and both of us in positions that we could not just walk out to say, "Sorry, must go pick up our dog." We each left our home for work at 7:00 A.M. and rarely left before 5:00 or 5:30 P.M.That is no life for a dog to be left alone for that length of time. 

As I got closer to retirement, we talked about possibly getting a dog at that time. I researched what kind we may want. We even pointed out where he would be near our feet and if you can believe it, we even had his name chosen. We talked to others about their dogs and the vets that they took their pets to, just to gather important information when the time came. 

Once the time did come, BOOM! Everything happened so quickly. The Animal Clinic that kept coming up as highly recommended was Walnut Grove Animal Clinic. We live close to Walnut Grove, however, this clinic is a bit further in on Walnut Grove than we realized. In fact, it is 14.7 miles down the road. We pass at least 6, maybe more, on our way there. The decision was made that we would go to this Animal Clinic when we chose our furbaby. 

After reading about the different breeds we really wanted a Goldendoodle. It helped in that they are known for their intelligence, being non-allergenic, little shedding, clowning performances, and great personalities. Because of their intelligence, empathy, and need to please, they are often used for Pet Therapy dogs. 

I researched breeders and here is where the tricky part came in. The only ones coming up were a day trip away or more. Pictures are put up for you to pick out the pup of your choice on your computer. They will fly your pup to you (for a cost) or hire a driver. No thank you! Both of us are a "hands on" kind of people. In fact, in our imagination we could see that the puppy would actually find us. And he did just that.

Putting out a note on Facebook that if anyone knew of a local breeder to please private message me. A friend that I have known since elementary school days wrote back the name of her friend whose mother was a breeder just over the state line in Mississippi. After checking it out, I called and we set up a time to come out to their home to see the puppies and their parents. The writing was on the wall that we would find our new puppy. The breeder's name: Kim Mills Davis. Davis is the name that we had already picked out for our puppy. Coincidence? Our last name is Miles and if you flip it around to the jazz musician of Miles Davis, there you have it. 

Kim had us in her home and brought in a couple of pups at a time. They all were adorable. However, one in particular kept coming up to Steve's leg and cuddling up to him. He had a sister that was as cute as a bug and kept pushing him out of the way. The others just enjoyed playing around. Davis was THE ONE. No question. We saw his momma, a beautiful standard black poodle and his daddy, a handsome Golden Retriever. So size wise Davis would be somewhere between 45 and 65 pounds. At this time he was all of 15 pounds. So cuddly!

Kim gave us all of his papers before we left and told us to get him to a vet to be checked out as soon as we could. If anything was not right, she would refund our money or if we had already bonded, she would refund 50% if we had a note from the vet. I called first thing on Monday morning and being a new puppy, they took us right away. (By the way, Goldendoodle by Kim's Design is the site of our breeder. Check her out if interested.)

The front office staff, as well as the technicians that we met were super friendly. Then Dr. Taylor came in. She said that the whole staff in the back were all taking turns holding Davis and getting pics of them holding him. Davis, even at this young age met no strangers. We were offered the puppy package which included all of his needs for that first year, including having him neutered when the time was right. One of the technicians asked me to please bring him to Doggie Day Care when he has all of his shots up to date. That just kind of went over my head because I had never heard of such a thing.

Just as infants visit the pediatrician for booster shots, etc. so did Davis visit Dr. Taylor. Every time we went, I was even more impressed. I asked about Doggie Day Care and what they did. Steve and I talked it over and thought we would try it out when he was ready.

It was most definitely the best decision that we ever made. Even though both of us are home working as writers, Davis, at almost 2 years of age now, needs to run off his energy in a fun, safe, and loving environment. Walnut Grove Animal Clinic (WGAC) was most definitely the place. Since we started taking him here and there, we see how safe and protected all of the dogs are. They have upgraded the play area to the same kind of artificial turf that we have for our furbaby at home. They have baby pools and climbing equipment for all of the dogs to do their own thing. Our dog is in it for the pool, yet on his first report card it was noted that he was very shy and that the pool was not his favorite thing. That was the last time that was ever on his report card.

Before they upgraded to artificial turf, Davis had a favorite place to go. Needless to say, he had to have a bath before we picked him up.

We think that he believes that he is the official greeter for all dogs. With the renovation of WGAC, the new signage went up that calls it Resort Hotel and Spa. And it truly is. The dogs have a blast. It is wonderful for socialization skills. It is like a mini day vacation. We know that our dog gets lots of TLC all day long. In the car as we near WGAC, he starts trying to talk, as if to say to us that we are taking too long. Our feelings would be hurt, except when we do come to pick him up, he is that excited to see us come for him also. We are just so thrilled that he loves Chris, Chaney and Jess so much! He feels the same way about Dr. Taylor when we take him in to see her. 

For the record, we have set up times when he plays most of the day and toward the last part, he can get a bath or one of the expert groomers can work their magic on making him so handsome!  This happens only when he needs it. Normally he has eight hours of non stop play. They do get a rest time but I am betting Davis is just like our eldest granddaughter. Even in Pre-K she did not rest at rest time. 

The ones who run the Resort part of WGAC are Chris, Chaney and Jess and they love their dogs. And they treat each one of them as their dog. They know all of their names, as well as the owners. You can even go on line and see what your doggie has been doing throughout the day. Special instagram pictures of Meet the Pup Monday or Tongues Out Tuesday are posted also.

If you are still wondering about why Doggie Day Care is a good idea or not consider this:

*  for exercise and socialization 
*  human contact (especially if you work outside of the home
*  expert supervised playtime
*  relief from boredom
*  good solution for busy owners

And if you want a recommendation, what better than using Walnut Grove Animal Clinic, as it was voted best of Memphis in 2018! We agree! 

Look at all of the fun these pups are having:
They were loved, they were able to run freely in a safe environment and when our little guy (all 60 pounds of him) falls fast asleep within one mile down the road, walks in to nibble on some of his food and crashes by the front door, as if it is his job to protect us from anyone who may want to come in; this is when we know he had fun.
There are times that he does not make it all the way to the front door before he takes a break.
Once he has taken a little break, he comes over to us for some loving and looks at us with his soulful brown eyes, as if he were saying, "Thanks for giving me such a fun day!"

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