Trip to the Highlands – Some Kennels Are Lovely!
Leaving your beloved pet in the care of strangers can be a dog-owner’s worst nightmare.
Thankfully, all the worry and fear that I’ve experienced when leaving my dogs at home was allayed on my recent trip to Scotland.
The lodge my husband and I had booked was, unfortunately, not pet-friendly – but thankfully there was a wonderful kennel that was more than happy to take my Labrador at the last minute. I’d always wanted to spend a weekend in Scotland, the promise of gorgeous mountain vistas, rich whiskeys and wonderfully fresh beef appealed to me greatly.
The age-old problem that presents dutiful dog-owners is what to do with our loyal canine companions, when we chose to visit places or stay in hotels that are simply not ‘dog-friendly’. In an ideal world, I’d have a group of dog-loving friends and relatives, all willing and capable of taking care of Charlie – however, we spend all our spare time with him – having little time for other socialising. So when it comes to leaving him in the care of others, the only real option is a kennel.
Many dog kennels in Britain have polarising reputations.
Just take a glance at the Google reviews of a handful of kennels: what you’ll find is glowing reviews touting the wonderful service and luxurious comfort sitting right next to angry tirades, blasting the rude staff and pitiful living environments. Of course, the old adage rings true that ‘you can’t trust everything you read on the internet’.
That’s why it’s always best, in these situations, to seek out some first hand opinions from trusted sources.
Mark and I went to our vets, to take Charlie for his routine vaccinations (a must before kennelling an animal for any period of time) and asked around with surgeons and nurses there. They gave us some ideas and we cross-referenced these with some notable dog behaviourists, just to confirm that we weren’t dropping Charlie off somewhere truly sub-standard.
We found Adie Kennels & Cattery (http://www.adiekennels.co.uk/), a small family run business that had been run for over 30 years, to be the worst kept secret that Scotland had to offer.
They welcome visits for curious owners and keep a sanitary, yet comfortable situation for pets. We felt no qualms whatsoever (apart from the usual guilt) in leaving Charlie there for two nights.
Then it was on to our lodge in the Highlands (http://www.highlandheatherlodges.co.uk/); knowing that our pooch was safe and sound in a decent environment put us at ease and allowed us to have a wonderful weekend away.
If you’ve got any worries about kennels, then do what we did. Spend a good amount of time doing your research. Look at review sites (http://www.edogadvisor.co.uk/) and take the time to go deep into Pet blogs (like our one here!).