By Sunday, June 4, 2017 10 No tags Permalink

Doggy Daycare fears are real. But not in the way you may think.

It is I who is filled with apprehension, anxiety and cautious thoughts. So much so, it’s taken me almost two years to gather the courage to leave them at daycare here in Charleston.

Call it selective memory, but I cannot remember having this much difficulty leaving Harley.

Harley was practically born and raised at Olde Towne Pet Resort in VA…


He was my very first puppy and “Puppy for Dummies” was my canine bible. I followed it to the letter.

Chapter 3 told me the age he should begin socializing with other puppies, so I took him. #liketheyknew

From what my memory does allow me to recall – we walked right on in, I gave him a quick hug, a pat on the head, and went on to work.

For the most part I was fine, and before long he was running things…


When Jax came along, he pretty much followed in Harley’s paw-steps. He immediately took advantage of all the activities they offered…


And shortly thereafter HE was running things…


My Boys enjoy doggy daycare.

So why the year an a half hiatus?

Because I’ve got unobtainable expectations. #thereIsaidit


Whether it’s for a few hours, or a weekend, our pets trust us with their lives.

They also trust that if we’re not watching them, we have the utmost confidence in the humans we’ve selected to watch them. For months I’ve been looking for a place that felt right. It’s been much too long since they’ve had hours of play time with other dogs.

The Grooming Room (recommended by our Doodle Doc) has been grooming them for a year now. They also have a daycare facility and last week I dropped them off for a few hours of play before their baths.

They had a doodle*tastic time…


…made new furrends…


And it warmed my heart to see these pics that the staff took for me. #theygetme



If you’re looking for a place where your dog can have daily or occasional supervised canine fun – pawhaps these will be helpful during your search –

  • Referralsthere’s nothing wrong with asking your vet, neighbors, groomer (or anyone you trust) about a good daycare and/or boarding facility.
  • ResearchI’m a huge advocate for online research. Google the company, owner, franchise, etc and see what “pops” up. #knowledgeispower
  • Field trip – take an unexpected tour. Pay attention to their staff to dog ratio, appearance, cleanliness, and both their outdoor and inside areas.
  • Staff –  make sure they’re happy to be there. Watch how they manage/handle the dogs. Look to see if the dogs display happy body language.
  • Ask questions –  don’t be afraid Lois Lane. Ask how long they’ve been operating, inquire about the qualifications of the staff. find out the protocol for handling emergencies in the event of a dog fight, injury or sickness.
  • VaccinationsFind out what vaccinations are required. Getting sick from unvaccinated dogs is rare, but it can happen. I lived it and lost – so don’t you take chances.


This may sound a little “stalk-ish” but we’re sharing right?

During my search – if everything I’ve heard and saw is positive –  my final test is to hang out in the parking lot.

Yep, the parking lot! I watch the body language of the dogs coming in and leaving. I even engage in conversation with some of the other pet parents asking them to rate the facility.

At the end of the day, I’m searching for a place –

  • with a strong pet focus!
  • who uses certified and trained professionals!
  • that can give me at least one quiet evening a week….

There is no shame in my game!

Have the Mondayest Monday that ever Mondayed 

  • Emma
    June 5, 2017

    We aren’t doing daycare anymore. I never went, but I am not a fan of hanging out with lots of dogs. Bailie went for a long time, but she was always afraid because there were too many dogs. Our daycare requires Bordetella, but Bailie still got really sick with another strain of the flu, which I too then caught. We were both quarantined from all dog activities for a total of 6 weeks. Madison went as a young pup and loved it. Mom planned to bring her a lot, but then at 6 months old, she too got a strain of the dog flu and was really sick. For us it is not worth the risk. We don’t believe in the Bordetella vaccine anyway and it hasn’t helped us not get the flu. Daycare can be a great thing, but as of now our family is pretty much done. Hope you and the boys can find the fun you had at the Old Town Pet Resort in your new place.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 5, 2017

      Emma, I certainly understand. Because of Leo’s fatal virus, I no longer allow my Boys near other dogs that we meet along the way. The only interaction they have with other dogs are those we know personally and those in daycare. Bordetella has been known to have adverse reactions (similar to what happens to us humans) but so far the Doods are doing well with it. I think I need to be like your mom – get me one more and then there will be plenty of fun to go around!

  • Monika & Sam
    June 5, 2017

    Sure looks like a fun place. I’ve taken Sam to a good one locally but he gets so stressed out and stops eating. *Oy* Guess thee are worse things than having to bring the pooch with me whenever I travel. 🙂

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    June 5, 2017

    I so wish I could take my dogs to doggy daycare – even for a few hours or a couple days a week. I think they could all benefit from it and I know they’d have fun once they got used to the other dogs.

    It’s too late, I think, for us now because my dogs are nervous around strange dogs. Only Rodrigo likes to meet everyone, the other three really aren’t interested.

  • All Things Collie
    June 5, 2017

    I agree, you just can’t be too careful. The only time my collies ever went to a doggie daycare was when my daughter worked there. You have some great tips in how to choose a safe one.

  • Lindsay
    June 5, 2017

    Quite smart of you to sit in the parking lot.

    Only the best for our boys, right? 😉 xo

  • Jan K
    June 5, 2017

    You are very thorough and that is so wonderful – I think hanging out in the parking lot is the perfect way to get the best information possible!
    Since we’ve always had multiple dogs and a fenced in yard, I’ve never really found the need for daycare, though I really wish it had been around long ago when we had single dogs (our Kobi would have loved it). Plus our two have issues that make it impossible anyway (Cricket can’t get vaccines and Luke is scared of everyone….).

  • Two French Bulldogs
    June 5, 2017

    Mommy left me at day care for 87 hours (3 hours). I stood in the corner and shook. She came back to get me, 87 hours later. I was still in the corner shaking. When I saw her I ran to her. I got home, looked up at mom and peed on the good rug. That’s what she gets. I never went again
    Lily (& Edward)

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    June 5, 2017

    Ducky’s been going to the same daycare for nearly 5 years now. She loves it! One of my friends recommended them to me. And for her it has been a godsend. And it gave Callie and Shadow a break from her puppy energy.

    One word of caution – there has been a confirmed case of canine influenza (not kennel cough, but H3N2) at our vet’s. The patient contracted it at a show in Georgia. It’s an airborne virus, so check with Doodle Doc to be sure there aren’t any confirmed cases in your neck of the woods.

    • Cathy Bennett
      June 18, 2017

      Thanks so much, there has been one reported case in SC (not Charleston) so we will forego our day camp days for now. I am super scared of this disease after losing Leo. Thanks for the warning, and please be safe too!

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