So I have a confession – my dog Argon is kicked out of daycare. MY daycare. It turns out she’s not great with other dogs. In fact, she’s kind of a jerk.
I was not there the day that Argon was officially kicked out of Canine to Five. I was called by one of our managers who told me that Argo just wasn’t a fit for the Canine to Five dog daycare pack. Pack balance is important for the health and safety of all our dogs, and sometimes we have to let owners know that their dog can’t participate for various reasons.
We always make a point to fully evaluate each dog and work with them before making a final decision, but it was the last straw that day for Argon. It’s a policy we take very seriously, even when it’s the owner’s dog. MY dog.
It was not a great thing to hear. I felt awful, and a little sorry for myself that I could not take advantage of lifetime unlimited free dog daycare and boarding for my own dogs. And it made me relate to the owners of the many dogs we have had to excuse over the past several years.
But you know what? Dog Daycare is not for every dog. And the safety and well being of every single dog in our care is the most important thing. My colleague Robin Bennett says it better than I ever could in this blog post.
“When a dog doesn’t do well in off-leash play it is not necessarily a symptom of a problem, or a bad dog or a dog in need of behavioral modification. This might be the case, but more often than not, it’s just a dog who prefers people. It’s a dog who would rather hang out with the people he loves than dogs he doesn’t know. It’s a dog who would love a hike in the woods but doesn’t enjoy off-leash play with a group of other dogs. This doesn’t make the dog bad.”
Sometimes I have to take Argon to work with me, but even then she’s not allowed in the pack. She either stays with me in the office away from the daycare space or wears what many of us lovingly call the “Hannibal Lecter Mask” if there’s a chance she may encounter another dog.
It doesn’t make her a bad dog, or a dog with behavioral issues. Just one with a preference. I care about her happiness and want her to have the best life possible. That’s originally why I wanted her to go to daycare. That’s why all of our customers bring their dogs to Canine to Five dog daycare. For most dogs it’s more fun than they could ever expect to have. But for Argon and other dogs like her, just hanging with her family pack is what makes her happy. And that’s cool too.