Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The holidays...

Are over, as of last night the kennel is back down in single digits for dogs, and I'm back at work. This amounts to a huge sigh of relief from all of us. Cause based on the past few weeks, I think I know exactly what my personal level of hell would look like...

To begin with there would be drifts of snow up to the eves every where and every day. Having to dig out the front door and plow the driveway with a 2 foot wide tractor bucket multiple times a day.

We'd have every kennel full of dogs and acres of fenced yards that we can't get to due to the snow.

We'd have pups who not only have little bathroom control, but diahrea to boot. Explosive diahrea no less. And they would choose to wait until after they came in from 2 hours of playing outside to mess their kennel.

We'd have a slew of beagles who don't bark in their kennel. Oh no, that would be denying that special essence that makes them beagles! Nope, it's baying all the way (and all the time) for them.

We'd have customers who can't tell us when or if they will be leaving town and thus whether their dogs will be coming to stay or not. As well we'd have customers calling from all over saying they can't get back to town so we'll just have to make room for their dogs indefinitely. And the scheduling nightmare that ensues, because it's never the dog who cancels which is assigned to go into the kennel that can't be vacated.

We'd have a washer go out and flood the kitchen with water. We'd have to syphon the water out of it and dismantle it.. all to diagnose that it must have been a freak failure of the seal. Reassemble it and reinstall it back in the kitchen. (oddly enough, we recall doing this at Thanksgiving too -- only that washer really did go kaput.)

We'd have wind that would re-drift all the snow we'd previously moved out of the way.

We'd have water bowls that freeze in just the few hours between outside play times, making it necessary to dump the water everytime we come in and re-fill every time we go back out.

We'd have a crazy Rotti who has a personal vendetta against chairs, of all things. And anytime he went out he'd have to be supervised to protect our chairs from being chewed into little pieces.

We'd have phones that go down for no noticeable cause, repeatedly. When they do go out, they would rings forever for our incoming calls so the customers have no idea that our phones are out.

We'd have customers who insist on bringing 3 quilts plus a giant dog bed, plus 5 stuffed animals and chew bones to put into their dog's 3x3 kennel.

We'd have dogs who refuse to eat for days on end, unless we sit INSIDE their kennel and pet them while they eat.

We'll have an aged dog who can barely get up from laying down by himself much less be able to negotiate in the ice and snow. And who generally is grouchy but gets downright nasty to other dogs who bump, crowd, or in any way make him feel uncomfortable.

We'd have to take time out to drive to the bottom of our drive way to meet the UPS truck, because he's too chicken to attempt coming up. (And then the FedEx guy will pull right up to the house not 10 minutes later!)

We'd have newly installed kennels which STILL aren't water sealed, making washing individual kennels very difficult without soaking the dogs on the other side.

We'd have a slew of tiny dogs who don't like the snow or cold at all and thus spend their entire outside time at the door begging to get back in and doing their best to trip us up.

We'd have customers who, for some unexplained reason live in Colorado but don't have access to a 4wd vehicle, stuck in our driveway daily. And more customers lining up behind and in front of them waiting to get by on our one-lane driveway.

EVERY dog would have an uncanny ability to make sure their bedding lies IN their water bowl, so that it was soaked every morning and we'd have to hang it up to dry.

We'd have a new snow storm come through every 5 days or so - just when we were starting to feel like the snow was under control we'd get a fresh batch.

We'd discover a standing puddle in the middle of a kennel aisle several days in a row that kept reappearing after we cleaned it up. We'd panic that it was a leak from our radiant floor heating system, since the puddle exactly straddled a crack in the concrete. Only after days of watching this would we figure out it was the dog in the adjacent kennel who had an enormous appetite for water, which subsequently ran right thorough him, drained out of his kennel and puddled in the aisle. It was so dilute that the drainage track dried entirely and left no trace where the puddle had drained from!

And through it all, we'd be aware that others are celebrating this thing called Christmas, but we wouldn't have the time, nor the energy, to even pretend to partake. "What do you mean no one can work Monday morning??" we asked our teenaged helpers. Um... because that's Christmas morning, you idiots. Oh, right.

And you think I exagerate! We had all of the above occur.. but not necessarily at the same time. And we did actually sit down and have breakfast together on Christmas morning. Granted, it was noon before we could sit down, but we did it. Never the less, we ARE hopeful we'll never have another holiday season like the Christmas of 2006!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this was a seriously hectic and crazy time - but it is way funny to the outsider, reading in their warm house.

Especially - "We'd have customers who insist on bringing 3 quilts plus a giant dog bed, plus 5 stuffed animals and chew bones to put into their dog's 3x3 kennel."

Seriously! American's are crazy about their pets! Hopefully you will reap the rewards of their pet obsessions :-D


1/5/07, 7:40 PM  

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