Dog owners all know that day-to-day life is much better with a four-legged friend, although there are some things that make it easier. In February this year, I pulled together a list of dog daycares and boarding kennels in the Tri Cities to help owners. Smart move, as by April we had a dog once again and by late June, were looking for boarding kennels for a last-minute summer holiday.
Questing around for kennels for a rescue dog is not easy. Not wanting him to think he’d been abandoned once more by leaving him in lock up for a night, I started looking for the less traditional dog boarding services that provided group daycare with minimal kenneling.
After phoning around, we ended up visiting The Dog Patch on the eastern border of Port Coquitlam, looking out towards Golden Ears, Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows – very scenic. When I’d phoned and confessed to my dog’s various personality quirks as well as my concern over his rescue status, the Dog Patch suggested we try a test visit for a morning to meet both the residents and one of the dog trainers. This was a free trial, and would check to see if he was happy with an open kennel/daycare situation.
The Dog Patch offers a group daycare and kennel boarding environment, where dogs get to mingle with each other during the day in what looks like a glorious supervised playground. As well as segregating the dogs according to age, size and activity, the daycare offers indoor and outdoor secure play areas. It seemed like the ideal situation for a dog that had recently come from a traditional rescue kennel situation.
We found the address quite easily and here was plenty of parking for us. The reception was friendly and welcoming, and there was no “dog” odour overwhelming the space. Everywhere that I could see was clean and fresh. The receptionist knew immediately who we were and why we were there. Rosco seemed relaxed and gladly followed into the kenneling and daycare area to meet a few residents and the trainer. I was able to watch a little through a glass window.
The socialization space was equally clean, with plenty of room for dogs of all sizes to run around under cover. It wasn’t too busy and the dogs there seemed relaxed, happy and friendly … a little too friendly for my dog.
After a short spell in with the group of dogs, the trainer called me over. She had been closely supervising introductions and watching responses. She picked out immediately that my awesome rescue hound was simply not used to being with large numbers of dogs and was being stressed by the constant introductions from the pack.
“He’s not familiar with the bum sniffing”, she explained as yet again my dog whipped round to see who was ‘making friends’. Every day’s visit would be stress stress stress for him. In his former life, my awesome senior rescue dog had simply not learned how to get along with other dogs and considered each approach as an unwelcome intrusion into his personal space. She went on to explain that although this could probably be trained away and that she was willing to work with him, my dog would probably never be happy and relaxed in an open group situation.
Although The Dog Patch was not the place for my dog, I learned a lot about him from their trainer, which has helped us help him feel at home. If we had wanted to take training further, The Dog Patch offers daycare or boarding packages with training in addition to traditional on-site or off-site consultations. They also offer grooming services, provide daycare seven days a week and have generous late pick up times for owner convenience. It’s certainly a one-stop shop for all your canine needs in the Tri Cities.
We were sorry that The Dog Patch didn’t work out for us, but by the look on the faces of the happy dogs and owners coming and going while we were there, it’s certainly the place to be while the humans are out at work!
The Dog Patch
645 Laurier Ave, Port Coquitlam | 604.942.1166 | www.thedogpatch.ca