The connection between you and Kibbles, the 9-year-old Bichon Frisé that lives with you in your Lake Zurich home, is … well … the two of you are virtually inseparable. But, your friend has talked you into going on a cruise with ‘the girls.’ How Kibbles will take your absence – how she’ll handle spending a week in a kennel – has you as worried as you are excited about the trip. The question is as much how she’ll deal with a week in a kennel as it is how you’ll be free to enjoy yourself on the cruise without worrying every minute about how she’s doing.
For some dogs, these periods of separation, when they are in a kennel while their people are away, are traumatic. For some people, these occasions are equally difficult. There must be a way for you and your dog to come to terms with the separation without coming apart at the seams. Here are some suggestions that you might not want to consider:
- You could give the folks at the kennel the clothes and disguise so Kibbles thinks she’s still with you in Lake Zurich while you bring along a life-sized, cardboard cutout of your dog while you’re away. The problem here is that, since dogs rely more on senses, such as smell, to identify those they know, they aren’t really fooled by disguises. And, somehow, a cardboard cutout of your dog probably just isn’t the same.
- You can leave a smartphone with your dog with a constant connection straight to your phone so that you can both reassure each other constantly the entire time you’re gone. This is probably a challenge, however, for your phone’s plan. It’s also unlikely that you can trust the connection to be that reliable. Also, dragging your phone around with you, everywhere you go, whispering words of comfort to your dog, will probably interfere with the activities you should be enjoying on your trip. Or, if it’s a business trip, it will interfere with your business activity.
- You could just stay home – never go anywhere if you can’t bring Kibbles with you. This will solve the problem but at what cost? Is it really fair to you, or your dog, that you limit your experiences this way?
- You can both take large quantities of Valium. This can put you both into semi-comatose states where you won’t care so much that you’re apart. But, that’s really not healthy and, besides, what’s the point of going on a trip if you’re half asleep the entire time you’re gone?
Obviously, the suggestions above are fairly silly. There is a suggestion that isn’t silly. In fact, it makes perfect sense: put Kibbles in a kennel where she’ll have such a good time she won’t have time to think about how much she’ll miss you. This will require some research.
Venture out from your Lake Zurich home. You might even bring Kibbles along, and check out some kennels. Ask probing questions. Look around. Do the dogs look happy and well-cared for? What do they offer? Do the dogs they’re taking care of look happy and well cared for? Are the pens well-kept and clean? You might also ask if they offer activities to make your dog feel as though he or she is on a vacation of their own. Some of the better kennels actually offer pet vacation plans that ensure your dog will have a good time while you’re away.
If the kennel passes muster, if you really feel that leaving your dog at the kennel is something she’ll enjoy, not only will she be well cared for and happy while you’re gone, you won’t have to worry about it.