"Heaven goes by favor. If it went by merit, you would stay outside and your dog would go in." -- Mark Twain
My wife, Mary, and I are dog lovers. We have owned dogs since we've been married. Let me put that another way. We have never owned the dogs -- they are all part of our family.
Mary and I have raised a lot of dogs, most of them being assortments of who knows what kinds of breeds. Like other dogs, ours have had their share of canine hang-ups, but nothing we couldn't handle.
I wasn't always a dog lover. When I was 8 years old, I was bitten by a dog and rushed to the emergency hospital. My parents were told I'd have to undergo rabies treatment unless we could find the dog that bit me. My father located the dog after combing the neighborhood for several hours, sparing my having to undergo the painful treatment.
My parents weren't too keen on adopting a dog since we lived over my father's grocery store and our living quarters were too cramped to accommodate even a miniature one.
Our present household includes a long-haired dachshund, courtesy of our daughter who asked if we would watch him while she was at work. That was 17 years ago. We've been watching him ever since -- but no one's complaining!
A major problem dog owners face is what to do with their pet when they go on vacation. My wife and I are fortunate to have family and friends to do our dog sitting. It's when no one is available that we will have to consider
It was for that specific reason we attended the opening of My Dawg House in Concord a couple of weekends ago.
The moment we set foot in the anteroom, we sensed the Dawg House was different from any others we'd visited in the past. The room is tastefully painted in dog friendly colors with original paintings of warm, fuzzy dog faces hanging on the walls.
Dan Jones, co-owner of My Dawg House, greeted my wife and me and invited us on a tour of the facility. What impressed me immediately was the physical setup. Each dog received is placed in one of two walled-off sections explicitly for small and large dogs.
Both are spacious, allowing the dogs ample room to move about with a trained attendant monitoring their activities at all times.
Besides providing comprehensive board and day care programs, My Dawg House is set up to offer grooming services and a doggy boutique.
To hear Dan tell how his business got started is like reading a script from a Hollywood movie. It all began with Logan.
Logan happens to be a Great Dane belonging to one of the co-owners. It seems Logan was allowed to roam about the house while his master was at work.
That arrangement seemed to work out OK -- that is, until he began chewing on a table leg which led to his biting into other pieces of furniture to fill his appetite. The final result: a house in complete shambles.
The owner, not wishing to give up Logan, immediately contacted his friends, including Dan, to discuss how to resolve the problem. The group then dedicated the next six months to poring over every available book on animal behavior and suggested ways to deal with dogs. I think you get the picture.
Although they started out knowing little about dogs and the canine business, the group gained more than enough knowledge on the subject and complete confidence over the six months to start their own business -- and the rest is history.
So how did Mary and I enjoy our visit to My Dawg House? We went away thoroughly impressed. And if the Dawg House had been designed with Logan in mind, that's good enough reason for us to board our dog.
Eizo Kobayashi is a Concord resident and a member of the Concord Senior Citizens Club. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.