January 27, 2009

Homelands Kennels & Cattery

Whilst we were away in Taupo Denver went to stay at a new kennel. Normally he goes to a local one but they were full. So a quick call to my friend Julia and she advised of the only place she would use; Homelands Kennels and Cattery.

Unfortunately we had a sad experience with Denver recently. You may remember Denver went into home boarding when we went away on our New Year camping trip? It was three nights away from us (the most yet) but he had been to stay at this particular home before for two nights on a trial run, and he seemed fine and as if he had enjoyed it. The lady who looked after him said he was good and they had no problems.

However this time round on collection of Denver we noticed straight away the scratches on his face and the odd lumps of skin missing here and there. The lady said he had been a bit rough for her two jack russells and they had retaliated a few times. Denver didn’t seem to have a problem with them last time, but we knew they were feisty as Bethany was nipped last time we were there by one of them.

Once we were home things changed, Denver’s whole behaviour changed. He was withdrawn, so sad and he just followed us everywhere. Anywhere we were he would be curled up on the floor by our feet. Then the night problems started, he would scratch at the door to get through to us (he sleeps in the lounge on his bed at night) and whine. He would pull out all the washing from the laundry and sleep on it, sleep by the car through the day in an effort to stop us going out and even tried to get through the cat flap breaking the glass on the back door – all of which was sporadic out of character behaviour.

Then one night he just wouldn’t settle, he paced the floor, was hyperactive, out of breath and wanting to go out all of the time. It started early hours of the morning and so with only a few hours to go till the vet opened, Michael camped out on the sofa with him which seemed to calm him down till morning came round.

A trip to the vet that morning was worrying, we were told that Denver could have symptoms of Bloat – which is potentially fatal. We were given antibiotics for his wounds and advised on new ways to feed and look after him. Sadly they also said that as he hadn’t shown symptoms before it was likely to have been triggered by stress.

Whatever went on at the home boarding wasn’t a good experience for Denver. For his whole behaviour to change so dramatically was terrible and it took over a week for him to return to normal. We felt so guilty and of course he wont even be going back there again.

Also when Lynn was here we felt very guilty about the fact we had planned to go away to Taupo but with this happening to Denver over New Year we thought it best to stay at home. This was when I called my friend Julia to ask for advice on how to help Denver and how to get him back into being comfortable with being away from us. Much needed advice and help was given and she advised us to give Homelands a try.

So I made a call to Homelands and was so utterly pleased to speak to a man who’s voice I recognised! Craig was the person at the SPCA who went through our adoption of Denver – and now he was working there – it couldn’t be more perfect!

We were still very nervous to leave Denver but we were reassured he would be fine and they would keep an extra special eye on him considering what had happened recently. Way back before we even got Denver we always said that if we had a dog one day we would have to get them used to being in the kennels. We have no family here to help look after him in an emergency, so finding somewhere he was happy with was imperative.

We returned from our trip this time find a happy and content boy. The lovely people at Homelands said he had a wonderful time, played well and really did thrive. They were even so wonderful as to capture the magical moments on camera!

Those of you that have a dog will know the heartache we suffered worrying about what had happened to Denver, feeling guilty that we left him somewhere where he was so unhappy. Denver has the most lovely nature, he is truly caring, very gentle and we love him so very much. They become part of your life so easily, develop little characteristics and give the most beautiful honest love. I hope he forgives us.

I am sure though that with the amazing time he had at Homelands, the other place will become a distant memory.

Thank you so very much Homelands, we will no doubt see you very soon!

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