The boyfriend and I are going on a mini-vacation to San Francisco, which means we have to board the dogs. This is the first time we've ever had to do that. I'm already anxious as it is, but leaving my dogs behind for three days to be locked in a cage while I galavant in California drives my nervousness up to neurotic levels. I wanted to find a place that would actually be fun for them and not stressful, so I lucked into finding Almost Home Pet Farm by doing a simple Google search. I read about their facility--no kennels, mountainside to roam, sleep where ever they want, romp with 15 or more dogs--it all sounded like a dream doggie vacation.
I called Friday night to schedule our audition for the mutts. You have to drive down with your pets for an initial visit to see if they will get along with the rest of the pups, and to make sure they are not manic or aggressive or otherwise risky to take on. There are no kennels or runs at Almost Home Pet Farm, so they have to make sure your dog is well socialized and adjusted. Tootie took a large dump in the driveway and Cooper drooled everywhere, so obviously they passed with flying colors. The place is great--really remote (an hour drive away in Carthage!) with tons of room for them to run and jump and hump and play. There are large leather couches and big comfy beds for sleeping. They also get homemade organic treats.
Oh, and that's another thing. The Almost Home Pet Farm is a hippy sort of place that requires, unless under special circumstances, that your pets be fed holistic foods. Holistic meaning all natural, no fillers like corn or other empty carbs, with most of the product being animal protein. The owner of the Pet Farm likens it to not allowing the children in her day care to gorge on candy all day. Once she requested that all dogs switch to the higher protein foods she saw behavioral changes in the animals that convinced her never to go back to Pedigree or even the "premium" brands like Eukeneuba. Tootie and Cooper are both overweight, with the blonde one being heavy enough for the vet to call her a 7 on a scale of 1-10 fatness. So, we decided to give the holistic food a shot. It's a little more than twice as expensive, but they don't need to eat as much, since they feel satiated longer due to the high protein content. It supposedly reduces shedding and barking and overexcitability, so I was willing to try it out. And besides, the owner of the Pet Farm wasn't selling these products, I had to go make a special trip out to Berry Hill to get the stuff. No commission at stake in this case.
The dogs seem to love it. I chose the Azmira brand, Classic Formula, because it has 8% fat whereas other brands had 11% or more. They don't usually get excited by dry food, but this stuff they gobble right up. And if the benefits are a less barky dog who doesn't shed like it's going out of style, I'm all for it.
We'll be gone for just three days. The dogs will be blissed out at The Farm. I doubt they'll miss us a bit.