Four Months! My wife and I have now owned Risen Star for four months, and many times it feels as if the Kennel owns us.  It has been a lot of hard work trying to learn what we need to do in our effort to be the very best Pet Care Facility in the Bullhead City area.

And we are clear we have more to learn and more to do and the best part is meeting with Pet Owners and learning their perspectives, thoughts and using all of that to make us better.  We have bought the beds, changed the format for feeding, more computers, and enhanced tracking software and clean, clean, clean.  Working with staff and elevating their skill sets so they are better support and care providers has been the most rewarding.  The most recent being  one of our staff, Amy who has just earned her Pet CPR and First Aid Certificate and no doubt more staff will be doing the same.  Amy is also one of the staff dog trainers who is constantly reading and researching and has some great intellectual and practical skills when it comes to innovative Dog Behavior modification solutions.  We have a great crew and as the future unfolds we will be working to more education and training for staff.

But guess what! I was told the other day “you should be ashamed of yourself” by someone who told me that they would never bring their dog back again and they would be telling everyone how bad we are.  All this because of one of our Pet Care rules, and along with vaccination requirements and other safeguards we have a significant amount of Pet Care rules.  One of those rules is that if a dog is over fifty pounds and another dog from the same family is smaller such as fifteen pounds or less we will not house them in the same kennel.

Reason is safety, though two family dogs may behave great at home where there is plenty of space, at the facility they are in a smaller contained space at our facility it is mostly 10 X 4 they are now in this contained space.  The larger dog starts becoming agitated with the dog in the adjoining run and starts to jump up and down and the next thing you know the small dog is accidently injured by its own family member who is in a completely different environment.

I spent some time with this Pet Owner who was very agitated about our rule and kept telling me that she knew her dogs better than I.  I explained in every way I knew how that I was not claiming I knew her dogs better only that Boarding conditions even with us who pay allot of attention and have a significant number of staff in our facility is a different environment and Pets in our care need to have the least amount of stress and the highest level of comfort we can provide in the boarding environment.

I was told I should be ashamed of myself thinking I knew more about her dogs than she did.  I was also told she would never bring her dogs back again and that she would be calling all of her friends and telling them how bad we were.

I stepped away from this conversation with a bit more clarity, people that step up our walk way to our facility have concluded that we can be trusted with a family member that they love and routinely care for and their belief is though we cannot have the level of affection that they do for their Pet, we will care, we will be concerned and their Pet’s welfare and well-being will matter to us.

We track eating habits, we have a notation system for stress levels and we do this with people and with a ton of communication which starts with our software and then pulls in every staff member in the facility.  Since we have owned and operated Risen Star we have taken two Pets to the Veterinarian, (a) an elderly dog with a heart condition had heart failure and staff interceded (b) A Great Dane had a bloated stomach the same afternoon it arrived and staff interceded.  Both instances it was a staff member adhering to their training, be observant, interact with the Pets, open dialogue and conversations among Kennel staff so that more than one person is engaged with all the Pets in the facility.  All the while keeping constant communication with the Pets Owners.

Do we make mistakes, we do and we are clear we can’t afford to make any, so we continue to improve.  As for our rules and policies, we have tons of discussions and put allot of thought into what we do here as the end result must be optimum care which means, a clean and sanitized environment; feeding schedules that are met, medication given as requested, observation and interaction with a sense of actual responsibility with a focus on care.

In the past few weeks more and more Pet Owners are coming in, asking for tours, asking questions and ultimately allowing us to care for their Pets.  We board, we train and we groom but without hesitation I can say what we do here is Care.

So no I am not ashamed.