I am not only a dog lover - as it turns out, I am also the local "dog mom".
When I first started dog sitting in Grand Rapids, my neighbors were used to seeing me walk packs of dogs around town - that was OK, but it sure was a lot of work getting everyone properly exercised!
Now I've designed a home in the country that is definitely dog friendly. There is no carpet (but there sure are lots of dog beds!) and we've got two fenced-in acres for lots of running and playtime.
We all get along here. I'm the pack leader - that's the rule - and the dogs understand that. I use my knowledge as a certified dog trainer along with over 18 years of dog sitting experience to judge the level of harmony in the pack. Dogs are never left unattended with any dog that is not deemed to be a very good dog friend. Safety is most important here - once we're all safe and healthy, then we can have fun, fun, fun!
What makes my "dog camp" unique? Many things!
1) Your dog will know that they are welcome here when they show up for vacation and see their name and their smiling face on the "Welcome Board". You'll be able to see who else is in our pack for your furry child's vacation - and it's fun to guess which of the guests is going to be your dog's best friend - I'll let you know whether you were right!
2) My dog, Bennett, is very adept with the computer. He writes a story for each dog guest - detailing your dog's experience here at camp. Along with fun things like what your dog's favorite pastime was and what they did with their friends, you'll get a report on how your dog did during the greeting process, whether they ate their food heartily at mealtimes, and how they slept while on vacation.
3) Each Wednesday and Saturday, the pack sends letters from camp. Your dog will send you an email (with photos, of course!) to tell you how they're doing and what kinds of activities they're enjoying at camp.
4) At the end of your dog's visit, they'll send you a photographic journal telling you about their vacation - you might see things like what kinds of games they played, their favorite spots to explore in the big back yard, their favorite aspects of our daily routine here at camp, or what the pack looked like while I led them in a yoga session (that's always entertaining!).
5) One of the most unique aspects of dog camp is that on any given day, I'll have about 97% repeat guests here. This means your dog will be surrounded by "old timers" - dogs who already understand the rules and expectations of dog camp - who know how to be polite and patient with newcomers. Dog camp is a place where dogs come to relax, unwind, have fun, meet up with friends, practice good and gentle manners, and maybe even make a new doggy friend or two. Having such a high percentage of repeat guests means that I know the dogs in my pack very well - I know how to keep each dog physically and emotionally fulfilled.
6) On your dog's first visit here, I'll introduce them to the pack and then let them settle in a bit. I always call you one to two hours after their arrival to let you know how they are adjusting to pack life. I'll tell you what we've been up to since you left your furry child with me, and if there is any playmate in particular that your dog is gravitating toward. It's nice to know how they're fitting in. Communication is a crucial part of dog sitting!
Dogs just know - they know a good and friendly place when they see it - and this is it!