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Boarding or Stay with a Friend?
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    My husband and I will be going on vacation in March, and we are already worried about what we should do with Yoko while we are gone. We will have had her only 3 months by that time, and she is already super attached to us after only 2 weeks. We adopted her and she has been shifted from place to place a lot. I just don't want to her to hate us when we come back...I've thought about leaving her with a friend who is great with dogs and has a yorkie...and I have thought about leaving her at a nice place like Pet Me Scratch Me, but I will have to pay about $250 (that includes daycare). Nothing sounds comforting in my mind. I'm just worried she will think we left her for good..since it has happened to her time and time again. It would be nice to be able to have her at our house at least, so she at least knows her surroundings and will hopefully make the connection that we are coming back...There are pros and cons of every route.
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2012-12-17 13:07:37
  • AvehAveh
    Posts: 110
    Given Yoko's past of being moved around, I would go for the staying with the friend. You could prepare Yoko by bringing her to visit your friend a few times prior to the vacation, and if your friend is okay with it, you could start dropping Yoko off for just one day or a night. That way Yoko learns to trust your friend and she'll also know that you'll always come back.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    How long are you going on vacation for?
    Here are some questions that you should ask yourself. Or answer here and we can give you more advice.

    1.Who do you trust more? "Pet Me Scratch Me" or your friend?
    2. Is your dog social enough to be comfortable in an environment filled with dogs?
    3. Will your friend be a good sitter? A yorkie is not the same as a Shiba.
    4. Can your friend house sit as well?
    5. Does Yoko know your friend?
    6. Is money an issue?

  • We have tried three different options when going on holiday.

    A friend (with no dog) this was great, Tako had lots of one on one, but came back a bit slack on the old obedience. She got away with all her Shiba tricks because they weren't consistent enough (£ Free)

    Day care / doggie hotel - This was a family run business, Tako had done one or two days there before hand to see if she liked it. She LOVED it. Got lots of attention and loved to socialise and play with the other dogs. Though she was in a shop during the day, in the evenings she was in the families home who (About £25 a day).

    With a professional dog sitter (this was at her house not ours) - she did have other dogs with her about 6 I think, and for some reason we don't think she enjoyed it much, she didn't get the one on one we thought would come from this option. This came with training (£35 a day) - so she was well behaved but definitely missed some real interaction.

    So I guess in my opinion, it depends on the set up, I would try out the one you think will work best, like @Aveh said dropping off with your friend to test it for both of them. A family environment might suit her better than something larger / less familiar.

    Personally, I would say money aside, whatever is best for both parties! Your dog and who will be looking after her. If you get both right I'm sure she will be settled.

  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    We will be gone a week. My friend's roommate works at PMSM and says they do a good job, but my friend also offered to take care of Yoko. Yoko has been around a lot of dogs, from what we've heard. The house she was being fostered at had 5 other dogs, which she got along with. My friend has never met my dog yet...since we've only had her 2 weeks. Money would more so be an issue with my husband :) I just want to pick the best option; although I'm not jumping for joy at either. @Aveh, that plan could work!
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @MamaYoko,

    If your friend can take care of Yoko, and you have the time to do what @Aveh recommended, then that will be best. This will give it time so Yoko can warm up to her, and if she doesn't you can use the PMSM as a back up option. Please keep in mind though you really have to re-inforce rules with your friend and Yoko.

    I left Bootz with a friend who wasn't strict on her cause "aww she look so sad in the crate" and she ended up tearing up an expensive couch. Also, she is not a door bolter...but when I left her with my friend/cousin, she will bolt/run away ( i think because she thinks we left her lol ).

    So...please tell your friend to use extreme caution!!

    Good Luck :)
  • The friends house sounds nice but just becuase it is a friend doesn't mean Yoko will get a lot of attention. Plus, like @Bootz said, you have to be really careful who you let watch your dog. They may be nice but they may not listen or really understand when you say "DON"T LET HER NEAR THE DOOR!". I have always had friends watch my shibas BUT they were shiba owners so they at least understand the shiba ways. Since she gets along well with other dogs the PMSM might not be a bad idea. At least she would be safe. *Note: I am very paranoid about my dogs safety
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Ya I am pretty paranoid in general about her...good thing I have some time to think. However, I don't think anything will miraculously sound like a great idea as time goes by. If only I had some shiba owner friends nearby! No one I know even knows what a shiba is...
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    You can try this; let your friend come over, introduce your friend to your shiba, let them play, and let them eat. Then next week meet at te park, if your friend has a dog, let them meet at a park so there's no attachment to the area. Then if possible let them hang out at your friends apt or house with supervision of course.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Ya that could work well. Thanks for all the advice.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @MamaYoko,

    Hahaha. I feel the same way. I left Bootz with 2 people so far. 1st one she ran away from. Gave me and my bf a heart attack. But she found her way back (in time for breakfast). 2nd person I left her with...his parents was carrying in grocery and Bootz took the opportunity snuck out and Bolted...luckily she just ran next door but she had a GPS tracker. Keep in mind she knew both care takers for at least 1-2 years. This weekend i'm leaving her with my sister but i trust her 100% and know she will not give her the opportunity to bolt. :)

    Hope I don't scare you, as I don't mean to. But just wanted to give you an idea of what happen to me when I left them with people I trusted and gave strict instructions with. At least with PMSM there is an assurance she will be there when you are back!

    And regarding the Shiba owner thing....THATS HOW I FEEL!! I actually had the opportunity to take care of @Tatonka and I was glad I was able to give another Shiba owner the reassurance :)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I don't believe there is one correct answer and that you have already got most of the advice on this. Here is my personal experience and choice ....

    At the end of the day, I don't have anyone in my area I think I would trust to be able to take care of Bear, enforce the rules, and ensure he was safe/healthy. I also don't want to put the one friend who maybe I would trust to do it in a situation where if something happened they would feel really bad. I think of a neighbor who's son was watching their dog while they were gone and the dog got out. The community believes due to age, size, color, and health issues it ended up falling prey to a neighborhood coyote. I can't imagine the guilt the son has even though the parents are very forgiving. I am not sure I want to risk friendships and my emotions if something happened to Bear while under a friends watch.

    So, we pretty much decided we wanted professional daycare/boarding as our option, so when we first got Bear we went to 5 different daycare/boarding facilities to check them out and get a feel for them first. We never wanted to be in an emergency situation where we needed daycare/boarding and had no established relationship. We wanted to prepare for worst case scenario, like one of us or both of us were in a serious car accident while out even running errands and couldn't make it home to care for Bear. Additionally, good facilities need to have all current vet immunization/shot records on file and verified before taking a dog, so we really wanted to have a relationship established even though we had no immediate plans on needing daycare/boarding.

    A few we ruled out immediately upon visiting (noisy dogs, terrible smells, crate like kennel areas) and two we examined further. We decided on one that we had dropped in on three different times (no appointments) to just check out the facility. Each visit the staff was wonderful, patient, and willing to take us all around even though we had seen it before. Every visit the dogs were receiving attention, the boarding rooms (not wire kennels, but like mini bathrooms with walls, raised beds, and full glass doors) were clean, dogs for the most part were calm in their rooms, the ones in daycare were playful and having fun, the kitchen areas were clean, staff was always busy attending to details, ect. Add to the fact this is one of the only facilities authorized to take police dogs and aggressive breeds due to the specialized training, made me feel this facility really knew and understood dog behavior.

    Last week we finally broke the cherry and had left him for 5 hours of daycare and this week we did overnight him. I am very happy with our decision, but would recommend, like @Aveh suggested that you do it in smaller stages than we did.

    Whatever you chose, I would work slowly into it by multiple daycare days each one a little longer then maybe even an overnight or weekend away. This is to train Yoko to know it is okay when you leave her in that situation and that you will return. Even though all is well with Bear, I do wish I had done things more slowly with multiple daycare days to even introduce the one night away. I just over-analyzed, over-worried, and therefore also hesitated due to adding costs for those experiences that in essence weren't "needed" at that exact moment thinking maybe we would never pull the trigger to board him. In your case knowing for sure you need to be gone that long, I do highly suggest gradually working up to it.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    @redcattoo, This is great. That is such a great idea. I could take her to PMSM (or elsewhere, depending on what we choose) for daycare a couple days...and then I could take her a night or two for an overnight, just to see how she does and so she sees we aren't leaving her for good. She might love it. She loves people! She just wants attention, and I think they'll give it to her...who could deny that face!? :)
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @MamoYoko, daycare is a great socialization with other dogs you know are upto date with shots and in an environment overseen by people well trained in dog behavior. Avoids a lot of the problems that can occur at a dog park, while giving your dog free time to be a dog with other dogs in a safer environment.

    Also by doing it in small stages, you will be more comfortable, plus if things don't go as you like you have time to re-analyze (since you seem like me and tend to over-analyze) your options. Waiting to long to find the daycare/boarding solution will put undue pressure on your choice when push comes to shove and you "have" to do it vs "want" to do it.

    I think at the end of this weekend experience for Bear and I that it was probably me that had the separation anxiety more than Bear. It was probably me that needed more to get used to allowing him time away from me. If anything he probably enjoyed the chance to play all day with other dogs, be waited on hand and foot all day by the staff, and sleep in a little longer than my schedule allows at home.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Definitely! I am glad I am getting on this now, even though we don't leave until March. I think she will love the attention she will get, and I really do think she enjoys play time with other dogs. It could be a great opportunity, even though I'm sure I'll still be worried on vacation!
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    If you get lucky maybe the facility will have webcams :) Ours does, but they were down so I had to go on faith all was okay. Called them twice a day though to check in.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    I was just talking to a friend about the webcams. I feel like that would be TORTURE for me...to be able to see her and not help her if she seemed sad!
  • I had to board Cuddles over Thanksgiving. Normally she stays with my parents, but we were all going out of town. Bowser went with my fiance to his family's house, but Cuddles doesn't do well with strangers sometimes. Anyways, Cuddles supposedly did well, but she ended up getting an infection ion her two front paws. The vet and I guessed it was from excessive licking her paws out of being nervous. I felt so bad, but she is doing fine now
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Post edited by tatonka at 2012-12-20 07:03:36
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    I'm going away in July for a couple of days, and I have to figure out what I'm doing with my 2 shibas. I've met a few people on here who I trust with my shiba. BUT I know my shibas would be a pain in the butt for them. So not sure what ill do with them.
    Post edited by Gatsu at 2012-12-20 11:02:14
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I'm on the same boat now, luckily I have friends and the forum who can help. Unfortunately I'm unable to compensate my friends for their time, but they know and I know I will be able to repay them in the future (like watching their dogs for a couple of months ;) lol)
    Post edited by kumaDUDE at 2012-12-20 11:06:27
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Tatonka...haha XD

    @KumaDUDE, I think a lot of people are glad they found this forum :)

    @Gatsu, lol. Bootz already went through 2 babysitters (family/famiy friend). So far both refused to take her back again. This weekend she'll be with my sister along with her cousin min pin + cousin chihuahua and also Jackie. I'm pretty sure it will be hectic for them.

    Bootz was an angel when her sitters were with her, attending to her (shiba diva). But once they left her alone for a minute or two....she throws a fit. LOL. Might be the same with your shibas? I dunno. I would definitely go with another shiba owner as an option 1, then fall back on daycare as option 2. I rank other owners that don't have shibas as option 3.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    I agree w bootz, but for some reason, I just don't like some doggie daycare... Especially vet run boarding, well at least the ones I know in SD only stay with the dog from 7am til 7pm then the dogs are left alone in their pens for 12+hrs.

    There are a lot of great boarding places and if its affordable to you, then by all means go with that. But if you have a friend who is willing to help you, it never hurts to do a test run and see how your shiba will tolerate the change. Also if they can't handle it, give them permission to bring the shiba to your desired boarding, that way your friend knows in the event it gets out of hand; they have an option to drop the shiba off somewhere else. Then you have that peace of mind while on vacation.
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    The thing is guts might try to wake people up in the middle of the night, so that's gonna drive them crazy. And Gidget, well I think she'd pee in someone else house. She hasn't had an accident in a long time, but I still don't trust her! Also both shibas don't have a potty time, they go in and out all day here, not sure how they'll handle it if they didn't have that freedom else where.
    Post edited by Gatsu at 2012-12-20 13:18:54
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @Gatsu, Bear also has freedom to go outside to a small area during the day if he needs to go so he really isn't trained to alert anyone of his needs. It seems though he did great in the boarding facility overnight, but who knows if he peed or pooed inside I am sure they wouldn't have made note to tell me.

    As noted before I took awhile to find just he right facility, but I am more comfortable with this than a friend or relative. I think taking on a Shiba is a lot of work, they all have their own schedules, and I just know if anything happened while I was gone it would be much harder for me to deal with it between a friend relative vs a boarding facility. I would worry about if he destroyed something of theirs, or if he would get out, or if he would just be downright unruly.

    I will say though, we don't travel as much or even take overnights as often as we did pre-dog due to the costs you have to add for a good quality facility. It does for us probably add $75-$100 per night we are gone to the travel budget.
  • I have never boarded Kodi in the 5 years we have had him. Mostly because he likes to travel. And because once I got him out of animal care and control, I said he'd never be in a kennel again. But if we can't take him we usually leave him with the "grandparents", they know about his Houdini acts, and we know their backyard is pretty much Shiba proof.
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    @Mayama I may take you up on that offer one day lol
  • If anyone is in my area (Dallas, TX) and needs a shiba sitter I would be happy to as well. I usually foster and love experiencing all flavors of shiba! I am going to upstate NY for the holidays and will be soo bored without Nikko up there with me! Just saying (-:
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Mayama, I think Jackie will warm up to Maya if she is ever an overnight guest. Jackie is very sticky at the parks but at home she is open to guests. She even warmed up to @Tatonka and they were wrestling just fine. I will keep you in mind if I ever need a sitter ;) and you can list me as an option if you ever need.

    @curlytails, first sitter (my cousin) she ran away from. But came back the next morning for her meal. Second sitter was a family friend who's house was designed the opposite way. So instead of the floor up, it was the floor down. So bootz keeps running downstairs to one of the bedrooms to be let out and end up pottying in the house. Also the parents pity her when she was crated. Let her out, left her alone for 5 mins and came back to their expensive couch torn up. That and she ran away this time too...but had Tagg tracker and only went next door to the neighbor.

    Bowdu actually might fit in well with my bf and I since we are a quiet couple....unless guests are over. Jackie usually plays fetch and bootz just sleeps. Although our town home community has dogs that are annoying and sometimes just bark for no damn reason. Jackie use to be bothered by this but she ignores it now.

    I have to add that I'm very glad I found this forum. I was able to meet @mayama @kumadude @curlytails @tatonka. I hope our friendship will grow as this year is ending and the new will begin. :) You can never have enough friends with Shibas!!

  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    You actually never met @kumadude yet. He's still a maybe if he's real lol
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    Lol that was an impostor!
    I also agree that that its best that shibas should be handled by other shiba owners or previous shiba owners.
    But I think if you inform your friends about the shiba quirkiness and what nots I think it's still much better than most boarding places.
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @Curlytails, aren't all Shibas complicated in their own way? =P

    @KumaDUDE, i've informed my sitters but they still didn't listen -.- I would choose boarding over non shiba owners.

    @Mayama, Haha I do that too! I babysit @Tatonka to ease my craving for a 2nd shiba/3rd dog. Although I have to say it went well so it'll definitely be an option in the future!I thought we general just clean up cause we're Asian like that? Hahaha

    I use to do the whole door closing thing like you guys but once I had Bootz trained with decent recall and self control for resisting the urge to door bolt. I have been more relaxed. Especially since my parents have the habit of leaving the door WIDE open while they are bringing in groceries.

    Which by the way...BF + brother was watching Bootz and Jackie. They forgot to close the door to the garage and I came home. Bootz came to see who was opening the garage (didn't see me in the car). And looked back at my brother (who called her back) and she walked off out the garage, towards the street. Mind you we live in an area with barely any car traffic. But boy was I pissed off. If it was my dad coming home, Bootz would have been gone. But I just got out of the car, called Bootz and told her "in", back into the house she went. I lectured my bf and my brother shortly after.
    Post edited by Bootz at 2012-12-21 14:54:52
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Post edited by Rikka at 2012-12-21 15:16:32
  • What about having an in-home dogsitter? I once dogsat a great big Saint Bernard named Honeybear in his owner's home when I was in my 20s. I hadn't met her before, but she was a friend of a friend and she was offering pretty substantial compensation for staying at her place for a couple of weeks while she was out of the country. She left a schedule of when the dog did what and I just stuck to it faithfully. She didn't want the dog to have the stress of being in an unfamiliar environment because he was pretty elderly. Big old sweetie.
    Post edited by Kitsune1 at 2012-12-21 16:31:07
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    At this point, I am leaning toward boarding her for the week we are gone in March. We don't have any dogsitters we know of that could come to our house, and personally, I think Yoko would be pretty pumped to keep her personal territory - and use it to her advantage to escape somehow (it is possible, but we know how to keep her from that when we are there). I'm thinking we will do some tours in the La Crosse and surrounding areas in WI. I think she'll love the dog interaction.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @MamaYoko, I think that is a great plan. As I noted before we toured several (5 or 6 I think) and re-toured our top 3 and then re-toured what we believed was a our top choice. Each tour we learned and thought about more which is why we re-visited our top choices.

    As long as you can afford it (for us we factor about $100/night) the right boarding facility can be a good choice: 1) they are experienced in assuring escape artists don't escape, 2) they are experienced with monitoring dog behavior and usually have immediate access to vet care if needed, 3) the dog gets supervised socialization opportunities, and 4) you know they are a clean safe environment. Additionally, my facility even has training programs (like a child would go to an away camp), so if you want the dog to have training for stimulation while you are gone that can be arranged too (but it is very costly) sometimes.

    My current world circle does not have a group of people that I could/would trust to give Bear all that I would want him to have while we are away, so for me that is the best choice. It sounds like your world circle is similar in that you don't have a wide circle of people that you trust that could give all the stimulation, boundries, and care to her while you are gone.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    @Redcattoo - Definitely. I think it is our best bet. Training might be worth the money but it'd be nice to be there for the training...we haven't put her through any training yet. We need to!
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @MamoYoko, yes you need to be involved with training on a regular basis. Sometimes though if you are going to be gone a long time (ie a week or two) that option is a fun option (if you can afford it) for the dog, it keeps some structure while they are away, and it teaches them to learn and work with other humans even when you are not there.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    @redcattoo - Most likely, we will not be able to afford it but I will definitely look into it!
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Hello again, all.
    SOOO...I am back to square one on boarding or staying with a friend. I visited some boarding places and....ya, that's just not going to cut it for me. I think Yoko deserves better than what I was seeing. I have a friend at work who is involved with Capable Canines and has a lab/rottweiler mix. She said she could take care of Yoko for the week I am gone. We had a play date for the dogs at her place last week...and we let the two outside to run around and they were fine until eventually they REALLY went at it. Yoko gave Sunny, their dog, a smallllll small cut under her eye. I was petrified. They also don't like dogs on their couches...which Yoko has free reign at our house...I'm just not sure I'm going to feel SUPER comfortable with her there either. I don't want anything to happen to their dog if Yoko gets irritated or frustrated. They played just fine after their little tiff, but I'm not sure I got any peace of mind since then. They have a huge wood fence around their backyard, which is GREAT. I just don't know what to do! March is fast approaching, and so far, I am not confident in any of the options I have for Yoko.........thoughts?
    Post edited by MamaYoko at 2013-02-07 15:06:07
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Sorry you don't have any good boarding facilities in your area. I feel so blessed to have found what I wanted by me with staff that I really believe does their best for the dogs and rooms rather than kennels.

    I am not sure the house with the lab/rottweiler mix would give me comfort just knowing what happened once and not being sure why it started and assuring management would be in place to be sure both dogs had a positive week while you were gone.

    At some point though, like any new mom, you are going to have to face your separation anxiety and find the best solution. Maybe a good friend/relative who knows Yoko and the house rules you enforce would come live in your house for the week?
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @MamaYoko, keep looking for daycares....and while you are still on the search, see if there is a friend that can stay at your house, that doesn't have a dog. That way you and Yoko can be more comfortable and at ease.
  • MamaYokoMamaYoko
    Posts: 244
    Yes. I really want to have someone stay at our house. The problem is...I'm not sure there is anyone that could. The only person I can think of that loves Yoko is my younger brother's girlfriend; however, she is already planning on helping out my parents with their dog (they are going on vacation with us too). So she is staying at their house to take care of my parents black lab/border collie. Yoko knows Diamond very well...they don't play with each other because Diamond is old...but my parents also do not have a fenced in yard, so I worry about Yoko getting out somehow. I can't win!!!

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