It is so difficult to believe that a whole year has again flown by! This time of the year is about family, sharing, gratitude and taking the time to reflect upon the year. One look at our full lunch table with chocolates, cookies, pastries and even hand and boot warmers; clearly demonstrates how very generous our clients are.
Speaking of family, a few years ago someone coined, “the pet campus family” as they felt that their coworkers and work environment felt like a family. It has stuck and I couldn’t be prouder of all of those who make up that family. Cooperation, communication and teamwork are pinnacles of our training program and with the good-hearted, thoughtful people who I am grateful to employ, being a family seems to come easy. So many of you, our customers, definitely share a place in our hearts as members of our extended family. Thank you to all of you who make our job so rewarding!
2018 has been one of transition in so many ways. Absolute best care of every dog (and occasional cat) in our care has always been the goal of each employee every day. This year Dylan has added a strong but very calm and gentle set of hands in the kennel. His confident and yet zen demeanor has won over many dogs who tend to be fearful of men. Best of all, Dylan is in great shape and makes a great running partner for active dogs who may get bored just walking the trails.
Mid-year, Maria was promoted to the position of kennel manager and has taken to the position very well. Maria’s extensive experience (twenty plus years as a mother and almost ten years at The Pet Campus) has more than prepared her to train, delegate and ensure our high standards are met. New hires this year including Livia, Emily, Meaghan and Chris are very capable and have appreciated the organized training. Although hired to work in the kennel, Chris moved to day care were he has thrived.
Did you know that each employee must complete an extensive training program? In addition to four core videos there is a required eight disk video/workbook program. ALL employees are required to complete all before moving on to be trained via our in-house instruction manuals while shadowing a fellow employee. New employees are not working on their own until they have been tested and successfully demonstrate aptitude and full understanding of their position. Day Care staff must complete an additional eight video/workbook that is specific to appropriate canine play. The result of the rigid training program is that all employees remain safe and so do the dogs that they are responsible for. The Pet Campus has remained injury free for the last three years and knocking on a huge piece of wood, it is hoped that safety record remains.
Training and education are so very important for each and every staff member. Continued education is not only encouraged but fully supported. Rob and Ariel both completed Animal Behavior College’s dog trainer certification program in previous years. Justin began his training apprentice program last fall and has been doing great both with the day care dogs and now with in-home training appointments. During the summer Justin earned an AKC Good Citizen Evaluator Certification and will be continuing to learn and earn additional certifications. Chris attended a small engine repair class this fall due to his personal interest in working on cars and his unique ability to diagnose and fix our landscaping equipment.
Last Fall majority to the staff attended a Canine First Aid Certification course. 85% of the staff is certified and through out the year the results have been immeasurable. Minor incidents such a broken toe nail, a scratch on the leg during active play, and a rare grooming accident (dog vs. scissors) are met with confidence. More notably, Nancy, knowing Hudson very well throughout the years, was keenly aware to Hudson’s “off” behavior and ultimately saved her life the day that Hudson became a victim of bloat and needed emergency surgery. Maria knew just what to do when Heidi arrived for a bath and just a few feet from the car had a full blown seizure in the parking lot. Buddy, who was having more and more seizure’s at home, was in great hands while boarding. And most recently, Justin noticed Moose wasn’t quite right and quickly found a barely visible piece of stick lodged in Moose’s throat. Remembering his training, a few abdominal thrust helped the stick move to within reach and Justin was able to remove it from Moose’s throat. Having such capable staff members is a blessing.
Unfortunately, 2018 was a time of great loss as well. So many long-time canine clients passed away as well as far too many lost in their prime. Sadie, Lucky, Rosie, Max, Roscoe, Snowball, Buddy’s tragedy, Diesel, Snickers and most recently everyone’s beloved Leo and so many more. At one point it seemed as though each week we were writing one or more sympathy cards.
I too had to make the decision to put my eleven year old best friend to sleep this Spring. As I held Hehou in my arms and listened to his labored, struggling lungs calm, my heart crushed into pieces. He gave me all the love, fun and companionship that a dog does so easily. It was very hard to adjust to his loss but with time I stopped looking for him, got used to not having him curled up in a ball pressed into my side each night, and I learned how to drive with out a copilot. Hehou’s loss was especially hard on Abigail who at ten years old had known nothing but life with her big brother since she was adopted from the SPCA at nine months of age. Lucky for her, I’ve been working with dogs for forty years and knew a thing or two about separation anxiety.
As it is with the circle of life, for each sad loss there has been new puppies and young dogs who need socializing and training, new dogs for a bath and a hair cut as well as new to us dogs who need care during boarding. Each new dog creates an avenue to learn a new personality, come up with new ways to challenge smart, creative dogs, and new techniques to care for them in compassionate, thoughtful ways.
In September The Pet Campus and Leigh Meehan were certified as AKC S.A.F.E. further ensuring professional standards within the grooming department. Have you seen our Spa menu? Moisturizing hot oil like treatments for dry skin, Mineral clay treatments for moisture and enhancing the skin, and a full compliment of allergy and skin healing treatments as well as Ozone technology to treat bacterial, fungal and chronic conditions. To view the SPA menu, click here.
New this fall are training packages. We have a complete in-home puppy training program that begins as young as ten weeks. The puppy program has three age specific semesters and targets not only basic obedience but also behaviors that enhance basic living with a new puppy. Too busy to train your puppy? Don’t wait and let bad habits become engrained. Let Justin come over and help teach your puppy how to be a great puppy with a starter pack of essential enrichment items and weeks of positive training that fits your schedule and lifestyle. To view the Puppy In-Home Training Brochure, click here.
Don’t have a puppy but would like some help training your dog at your house? Don’t worry, we’ve added training packages for you too. Click here to view the In-Home Training Package Brochure.
And of course, no Holiday letter would be complete without winter coupons attached. Click here to find our 2019 Winter Coupons.
Thank You all for making 2018 a joy. Happy New Year from The Pet Campus Family. We all look forward to working with and caring for your loved pet throughout the coming year.