I began my relationship with Magnolia Kennel of Huntsville as a customer considering boarding my 2 "angel" dogs. (I have 3 now and yes, the 3rd is an "Angel" as well) I did my due diligence and toured the facility before making plans to leave them. Stephenie was nice, the kennel seemed clean and secure... decision made.
Although I have been an animal person my whole life, (the kind bringing every stray she finds home to livid parents, lol), I had never had a need to "board" my pets; so it was a new experience for me. I would find out later that I had some preconceived ideas that would turn out to be not so acurate, and I have to admit, I had a little bit of "sticker shock" as well. This stuff is expensive! Maybe too expensive!
Fast forward through another round or two of boarding to include more "sticker shock" and an idea was born. I presented Stephenie with a plan to exchange my labor for boarding credit I could use for future family trips. Much to my surprise, a short time later, Stephenie was on board with the idea as well and gave me a "trial". That trial would move forward into part-time paid employee going on about 6 years now.
Some of the first things I learned as an "employee" of a kennel were: "MY" dogs are NO angels!! They are loud, obnoxious and messy! Before I worked here, and witnessed behavior shifts for myself, you would probably not have convinced me of that. Another thing... just because "I" think dogs like to go outside and play (among other potential much required activities) doesn't make it so.... when given multiple opportunities to go out, many times they'd rather lounge inside. This need to lounge means many inside messes for clean-up! The most important perspective shift I made reguarding boarding is, all things considered... "It's not so expensive after-all". Read on to understand why...
Being responsible for other peoples four legged family members is exhausting physically and mentally. This responsibility cannot be taken lightly as it continues 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. If the personal interaction with pets, people and messes that go on constantly isn't enough, the worry and stress that comes with this responsibility is never ending. NEVER ENDING! For me, as an employee, this stress comes in shorter intervals of time. I can walk away and be somewhat free of any concern of what goes on here. For an owner, this stress is constant and real sometimes keeping you awake at night. Don't get me wrong, we love what we do (or we wouldn't do it) and love the animals that we care for, (This is WHY we worry) but it comes at a price.
Consider the following: 1.) Your pets may not behave here the way you think they will. 2.) Your dogs may not love going outside as much as you think they will. 3.) There are many many things that go on behind the scenes to care for your pet in the way they deserve that you are not aware of. Taking into account all these things.... Do you need a change of perspective?