Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh yeah...

Well, we were down to 32 dogs last night, and it feels down right... unimpressive. All day long I had the feeling of 'where are all the dogs'? Very surreal. BUT, I guess that is good news.

In thinking back over the past couple of entries, which I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear were written quite sporadically, there were some omissions.

There was Monday when we were already out of bowls to be able to provide each kennel with a water bowl and one or two food bowls. We'd ordered more, but they took a few days more to arrive than we'd hoped. So at lunch when the shipment arrived on the porch, we quickly dug into it, grabbed the bowls and took them out to the kennel. I was already preparing to leave for my work-thing so I was working in the kitchen. I gradually became aware of the noises of Cisco playing in the living room. Not unusual. What was unusual was that he had a squeaky toy. Since his main goal in life is to de-squeak every toy as soon as he gets it, I figured Dave must have picked him up a new toy at the store since we've been so neglectful of them this week. (I can rationalize with the best of them!) But when the squeaking continued far longer than I knew one toy could last, I finally went in to see what was going on. Cisco, I'm sure, was in heaven! He was already on his 4th toy out of the box -- toys that were meant for retail sale in the kennel -- surrounded by fluff and 3 squeakers already dismantled. What can I say, those 4 were already a loss so I let him have them and closed up the box with the rest.

One day at lunch we were in the midst of taking dogs into the kennel, when I looked up and there was a large cow peering in through the wire gate in the picket fence. I was quite taken aback, and I was a good 100 feet away at the time. I was just thankful that the only two dogs left in that yard at the time were Shep and Loki, who are both very large, but rather sensible creatures who did little more than sniff concertedly at the behemoth who suddenly appeared there.

But the turn-in was only half done, and my entire bunch needed to be brought in still:

AND of course the cow didn't have the decency to just disappear the way it had arrived. Oh no. It continued up to the area just outside of the kennel where the picket fence is only 1/2 tall... which gave everybody a nice view of the strange visitor. Getting the pups in around this particular distraction was a bit of an adventure.

The cows in general have caused a number of stirs in the dogs. One time they were grazing near the dog fence (outside of their own pasture mind you... thank goodness we put up that cow fence to keep them from coming over onto our property!!) but the dogs would get all excited and run down there barking. It would take us 10 minutes to get them to shut up and resume playing, and then 10 minutes later one of the dogs would re-discover the cows and run down there barking again.

Yesterday morning I was watching the before-breakfast-crew, and had finally had it with one new dog who'd arrived last night. We've had him before, but I put him in my group and he was just way too rambunctious to fit in well. I had to chase him down a bit and I was going to toss him through the gate into the other group of dogs, when I notice Teddy, who is a fairly large and mature puppy -- just the worst age to handle -- run by with something big and black in his mouth. I couldn't think of what that could be, so I looked again, and recognized my cell phone and phone case! Initially I was thankful he'd picked it up becuase, other than being a little slobbery (and goodness knows we've all gotten used to dog slobber this week!), I hadn't relished the idea of having to search the entire yard to find it. Well, that was until an hour later when I went to try and use my cell phone... Gee, those rainbow designs are so pretty! The phone is unusable. Dave's, at least, when he did about the same thing to his could still be used but you just couldn't see the display, so you had to know how many times to press each button to place a call. Nope, tried that... mine is dead I'm afraid.

So there I was just hours later, using the office phone to call to Dave for all the dogs who were checking out. Today was one of the big checkout days after Thanksgiving, so for a period of an hour there I think I called him 5 times. Only, I did so in the process of making 6 calls. Aparently I called the wrong number once. The guy answered just like I would expect Dave to: "YES??" So I said -- "Hey, I need Maggie and Bailey." The guy just paused and said... "Well, Maggie and Bailey aren't here." I've never felt like such an idiot.

In general, though, Saturday went very well! There is something to be said for having a lot of dogs here for many days in a row. They definitely all know each other now, so the moderating duties seemed to have lessened considerably. Not only that, but we've also been able to watch a couple of our less sociable dogs come out of their shell to varying degrees and start to play with the other dogs. One has been making more and more steps every day and today before she went home whe was full out playing and chasing with another dog. Since every visit before has consisted of sitting by the gate waiting to go in, we find this an incredibly satisfying development.

Yesterday was by far our largest revenue day ever at over $2,200, and today promises to be in the same ball park. Suddenly all our doubts that maybe it was too early to install the extra kennels, or too early to install ALL of the extra kennels have evaporated. Though the truth is we did not fill up until the Friday before TG. So, I guess we really lucked out at expanding to exactly the size that we could fill.

Christmas and New Years promises to be another exciting time (we have reservations for 38 already), because that holiday will stretch over 2 weeks instead of 1. But mostly we look forward to going into it with the facility already built out and all the lessons learned of the past week under our belts.



Post a Comment

<< Home