Our Search For Kona Bear Care: Part 1

konacare2.jpgUp until this point, we have always had a babysitter for Kona. Whenever we went on road trips, we would either take him with us or ask our roommate to watch him. She’s lived with us since Kona was a puppy, so we’ve always felt safe leaving him with her. Then a few months ago, she moved to the East Coast, and we suddenly found ourselves without Kona Bear Care.

This never became much of an issue until June, when we had to drive out to Las Vegas for a graduation. My brother originally offered to watch Kona while we were gone, but he works on weekends so we didn’t want the bear to be stuck in his crate all day. So we decided to look for a boarding place.

A while back, one of the guys we met at the dog park recommended that we try this new dog camp near the freeway. We went to go check it out one day and from the SECOND I walked through the door I knew there was no way in hell that I was going to bring my puppy there.

It was really stuffy and smelled like pee (which is to be expected, but still). When the caretaker came out to greet us he was covered in sweat and looked really stressed out. We took at tour of the facility and it was disgusting. All of the dogs were cramped into one big, dirty room and had no place to sleep. The concrete floors were covered with a layer of dirt and there was pee everywhere. We tried asking the guy a couple of simple questions, but he didn’t know the answer to any of them. And above all, he actually seemed a little scared of the dogs when they started barking at him. I don’t know much about pet care, but how does someone who is afraid of dogs get a job as a pet sitter?

Needless to say, we walked out of that place and never looked back.

Frustrated, we decided to check out another place that a different person at the dog park had recommended. Upon first glance, the kennel seemed great. It wasn’t as clean as I had hoped but it was a vast improvement from the last one. The lady who gave us the tour was really nice and loved boxers.

The kennels were decent but the play area seemed a little small. They told us that the dogs usually play all afternoon, then go back inside for dinner and a movie (ha!) before they go to sleep. Comparing this new place to the other camp we had been to made it seem like an obvious choice, so we made an appointment for Kona to stay there the following week.

A few days went by and I started having second thoughts. I had mixed feelings about the place we had selected. It seemed fairly decent but I wasn’t completely happy with how it was run. Something felt off. The paranoid side of me finally compelled me to call one of my co-workers who was also a vet tech.

As soon as I told her the name of the place we were taking Kona to, she completely freaked out. She said that her office has been treating dogs who have stayed at that kennel since it’s opened. When I asked her what kind of injuries they were being treated for, she said most of them were chemical burns from the cleaner the staff uses in the play area. She also said that they had also called the kennel to tell them what was happening and were completely ignored.

My friend also asked me if the kennel had done an evaluation of Kona or asked for his vaccination record. I told her they never even mentioned any of those things. She said that was another sign that this was NOT the place for us. That settled it for me. There was no way I was going to leave Kona with them. I asked her if she knew of any good boarding places in San Diego and she suggested a kennel that she used to work with called Golden Paw…

Will Golden Paw save the day? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

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