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Boarding Kennels – A Day in The Life

…a kennel maid & owner of boarding kennels.

What’s it really like working in Boarding Kennels? If you’ve never worked in kennels, you could be finding it hard to get a place. I’ve just had an opening for a kennel maid with over 125 applications. I’ve interviewed 6 people and still not found the right person. I had someone start on a trial and she lasted 3 hours all because she didn’t like being corrected, it’s called training, if you’re not told, you’ll never get it right.

So, today, doing the job of 2 people what exactly have I done?

Out on the yard at 0800 – no point in wearing yourself out working all hours – you won’t last! So 0800 it is.

Put my dogs out in the yard, wash down and do waters

Fresh waters in the house and out in the dog rooms

Mop out the luxury kennels, do waters

Prepare 3 kennels for check-ins

Wash down all the runs and rest of the boarder’s side of the yard and do their waters

Exercise all the boarder’s in 2 groups this morning

Mop house floors

Hang out dog bedding, bring in dry bedding

Exercise my own dogs

In between the above I have 3 check-ins / 4 dogs

One of this morning’s check-ins is a puppy farm dog / unsocialised cocker spaniel whose owner was worried he may not cope as it’s his first time in boarding kennels, so I left him until last to walk. I tried getting down on all fours, doing a play bow and wagging my tail, sorry bum but he wasn’t impressed. Turns out he wouldn’t let me near him until I carefully popped a slip lead on him then he was good to go.

The second challenge was another feral cross who wouldn’t let me near him, so I shut his hatch down giving me better scope for catching him, managed the ‘coochy coo’ bit and got a lead on him – still flighty but with a lovely temperament.

All the others are just crazy Labs, Collies, Shih Tzu, you know the regular types.

Now time to walk my lot, that’s easy. Poop patrol the field, this gets done twice a day.

Feed time, I go straight in and do the boarders, I clean feed clean feed because I’m quick I can clean a kennel and then feed the occupants without any drama. I don’t train staff to do it this way they just clean for me and feed when I’m away. Corridor mopped and everywhere tidied, doors, sills, frames and glass cleaned where required in the kennel area and I’m ready to go in and feed my dogs.

Mix up the food ready, currently using Harringtons and Wainrights meat. I have a tub that it goes in, it gets mixed up and I go to each dogs’ feed station where they either have a bowl or a bowl in a stand. Every one has a set place and that routine rarely changes.

Floors hoovered in the house and dog rooms, sofa hoovered, pots get left till the end of the day. Hang any more washing out etc etc.

Phewwww coffee break.

Check what orders I have for Meg Heath Dog Leads while drinking coffee, pop on Facebook.

Some quick social browsing while I have a break, answering the phone, organising future bookings, waiting for a late check in and preparing for an interview.

Have a quick sarny because it will be after 1 by the time I get to eat otherwise. Ate half of it 🙁

Without realising the time, I need to get ready for an interview – she turns up early so I busy about putting my dogs away and letting her in.

6th interview in 3 weeks.

Its now way gone 1 pm and I have to start to think about going through my orders. By the time I’ve done little jobs and some online stuff its 2 pm, so I get to work and knock out 4 orders, 2 boot leads, one long line and a regular dog lead. I’ll post these tomorrow as I’ve not got time to book them out. I have 7 more orders to make, I’ll do that tomorrow as its 3 pm now, time to start afternoon kennels.

Ok, let my dogs out in the yard and walk Archie, he’s the puppy farm cocker, he was good as gold, walked him with Nala the Shih Tzu. Then I got the feral beast out, poor little chick, he’s quite flighty but put him in one of my martingale harnesses and a training lead (double leading for safety). I walked him with Misty the Labrador and Minnie the Border Collie. They were all good doggies.

Then the 2 newbies Lucy & Abbie, talk about fall in love, I love small cross breeds with Lab in them, one in season, so walked on their own for safety. They were really good too despite being in a strange place. Then it was time to walk my lot, that’s the easy bit, all out in one go. It’s now 4.30 and time to feed again, so I go in and feed everyone in the kennels, pop beds down for anyone who hasn’t got one or who needs fresh, feed one by one and say goodnight 🙂

Tidy up and make sure every ones’ doors are padlocked, kennels locked and nanights…

Feed my dogs and do the washing up. Eggs Florentine for me tonight and a Cappuccino in the office while I write my blog. That’s not the end of the day. There is a quiet patch after 5 until about 6.30 – 7.30 when my dogs get 1 lap around the field again just to go to the loo and have a final blast round. Then sit down either in the living room or go up to bed to watch TV. Sometimes I don’t leave my desk during this gap as there’s always admin work to do, or Amazon, eBay, Next, you know the thing? Or is that just me? Today Seb’s brought us some new toys to play with at the weekend. My new found hobby dare I say, shooting targets up the field..pew..pew..

I generally answer emails up until I’m ready to put the lights out, biking enquiries, enquiries about dog leads etc.

So that’s about it really…No doubt I’ve left something out but you get the general idea about a typical day in my life.

Its generally about 2000 or later at this point so a good 12 hour day, this is 7 days a week, easier at the weekends as I make sure it is and then usually 4 hours off in the week for coffee and shopping. I go round and make a final check on the doors and a visual check of kennel gate padlocks, headcount my dogs in the house and lock all the house doors.

Bath time for me and then I like watching stuff like Embarrassing Bodies, Benefits Britain, Nightmare Neighbours, Big Brother that kind of thing then at the weekends we watch Fargo, sometimes a film, partake in a little bit of tub time and maybe some Moèt (new hobby – Seb’s fault).

So there you go….

~ Sarah Gleave

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