Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What a difference a year makes

Some times it's good to look back and remind yourself where you have been.

A year ago this time the kennel had been open for almost 9 months. We had 1 part time helper who helped David run the kennel over the summer while Ginger was doing summer camp - but wasn't working once school went back in session. We only had half of the kennels installed - having ordered the other half and they were sitting on pallets in the kennel. We only had one large dog yard and one small one, yet we did have the posts in for the cross fence at least. We had not yet filled up our reservations for the holiday and were starting to wonder whether we would or not.

So, it was a time of considerable angst and activity! We got the cross fence splitting the big yard into two big yards up. My mom and dad came up the week prior and dad and Roger helped us install the kennels, while mom set about calling all of the reservations we did have for the kennel to try and get confirmations - inform them of vaccinations that needed to be updated, etc. We managed to secure our part time helper to help out some over the weekend. And before you knew it -- we were up to our eyeballs in dogs! Oh, and that also happened to be the week between my old job and my new one.

I went to find some blogs to link to -- and decided that all the posts in November are relevant!

This year? It's so satisfying to say it is a different story altogether. We instituted a deposit policy required for holiday reservations. Staring about 3 weeks ago, we emailed all of our reservations and flagged all reservations that had not yet paid their deposit. It was a couple of weeks of chasing people down, but it all cumulated into the fact that today, a week before Thanksgiving we have every kennel but one filled with a confirmed and deposit-paid reservation. We have a group of 6 experienced staff members we're scheduling to work.

And what else is there? The yards are in good shape, since we replaced the broken gate a few weeks ago and had installed the new water lines a few months ago. We have been fielding a much higher rate of evaluation dogs (a dog's first visit with us) from first time customers needing Thanksgiving boarding. But those have been going relatively smoothly (with one notable pair who were the exception -- they were so overwhelmed and intimidated by our environment they wouldn't even come out of their kennels without considerable personal attention to make them brave it out. As a result, they will be coming back for another day of daycare next week and while we'd expect to see them regress back to that fearful state to begin with, we're hoping that they are able to shrug off the intimidation much quicker.)

Anyways, at this point it kinda feels like -- what's the big deal again?

I LOVE that feeling.



Blogger aliceathome said...

Yay Monica! Glad it's all working out honey. xoxoxo

11/14/07, 2:16 PM  
Blogger Phyllis Swenson said...

That is EXCELLENT! Good blog.

11/14/07, 4:26 PM  
Blogger Dean said...

Heh, three weeks ago you were worried. I knew you'll be busy. You were busy last year when the new section were yet to be installed.

You all should be VERY proud. It's an amazing operation you got going there.

If I were a dog boarded for the holidays, I would never leave.

11/20/07, 4:20 PM  

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