Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New One!

Hello Again! Yes, we did make it through another holiday crush and I know I'm way behind on updates here.

I'm back on the bus and haven't been so excited to be so for quite a long time. We had a very successful holiday season. The kennel was at capacity for about 4 days straight. Xmas eve was probably our craziest day. We had so many check ins and outs that for awhile we had about 70 dogs at once! We have 52 kennels, and generally can handle 60 dogs. 70 necessarily meant that we were scrambling for awhile to use crates and every possible holding space to get through the morning! But we usually had 5 or 6 people scheduled for every shift, so at least we had enough hands to go around - even with a few people calling in sick which seems inevitable.

For New Years we actually dropped to half full, but again due to the fact we decided to close on the afternoons of Xmas eve and New Years eve we had a huge turnaround to process Monday morning. Actually it was hysterical when one dog's neighbor showed up (because the owners weren't due back until too late to pick up their dog.) She had set her purse down on top of our play group report - the listing we use to manage which dogs go out together so we can keep the groups evenly sized. So she just saw the dog count for the first group, and said "oh! You have 13 dogs today!" I said actually we have 3 times that and we're only half-full today. I think she had a near melt down when I said we could take 60 dogs. Heh, that was strangely satisfying. ;)

Anyway, I am glad to be on the other side of the holidays. Every time we do this (lol - all TWO times that we have!) I am reminded that I'm just not cut out to work the kennel everyday. I go crazy. Actually that isn't entirely true - when we get to the point where we can justify full time office/kitchen help, I could do that. I like dogs - but dealing with groups of them day in and day out takes a fortitude I just don't have. Thanksgiving is ok, as its only 5 days long. But xmas stretches to 2 weeks - which is about 1 week longer than my resilience. David really seems to thrive out with the dogs, and Ginger too keeps going when I can't. It's a good thing it's them we've assigned to running the kennel.

Thankfully we built in some days off for each of us this year, a very welcome change. We left town just after the Xmas Eve Morning rush, and drove to Canyon City where Phyllis and Mike moved this past summer. We helped them move in - but they've done a lot to the place already so it was fun to see the updates. Not to mention they now have 30 alpaca in their barns, complete with a 3 day old baby at the time. You just can't believe how adorable these guys are!

(yes, I have yet to master the phone camera to make it behave...)

My parents, my nieces, and Chuck, a relative of my father's, were up. Our stay was short, but it was very nice to get to spend Christmas morning with all of them. We'd be eyeing the snow that had been gently falling all morning - but wasn't amounting to anything. Unfortunately, the same wasn't true down in Canyon City just a few miles away. We left about 2 and it took us nearly twice the time to get home as it did the day prior due to the "Winter Driving Conditions" that the electronic roadside signs were being so helpful in notifying us of. Thank goodness they were there - because really, the 12 inches of snow on the shoulders of the highway wasn't enough to clue me in. But we made it home in time to do final turn outs for the dogs while Ginger got a small respite after holding down the fort with very little help for the 3 shifts we were gone.

For New Years we had Brian and Andrea over for Fondu (Fondue?? - this is the current debate. I've never added the e at the end, and aparently I'm not about to start) and games. The fondu totally didn't work this year. It's the same recipe I've always used, so unless I spaced out and put 3 cups of wine in instead of 2, I have no idea what happened. So it was less Fondu and more soup - but oh well, it still tasted good. Everyone was shocked that Dave and I had really never played Scrabble, so we were properly introduced to the game, which conveniently lasted until about 20 minutes to midnight. At which point we made chocolate fondu with which to toast in the New Year.

Cheers, everyone!



Blogger Phyllis Swenson said...

SO, I must say I have never seen Fondue spelled without the "E". And I do consider myself to be rather an expert at Fondue.

Anyhow, VERY cute alpaca you are holding there (and beautiful color AND Full Peruvian!!) and now she has a name, Noel. Since we are naming after towns, when I wanted to name her Noel, luckily Mapquest exists and I found there are MANY Noel's including one in CO..

Well this is now too long. Bye.

1/4/08, 4:22 PM  

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