The first summer that we had Barney, my husband and I took turns travelling with our kids so our dog could stay at home, in his familiar environment, cared for by either one of us. It may seem a little extreme to some, but we felt that due to his blindness, abandonment history and issues with other dogs, boarding was not a possibility at the time without risking the trust and stability that had steadily grown with us over 8 months.
This past summer, we felt Barney was ready, and we were able to take a couple weeks off because we found the most amazing doggie daycare! Fran Olsen is a warm, loving, and beautiful person who truly understands the physical and psychological needs of dogs. Dogs are cared for in her home, treated like royalty, and best of all (for Barney), she takes one dog at a time and she has experience with dogs who have special needs. Because of Barney’s blindness, she offered to meet with us several times before his stay, so he could become more familiar with the physical surroundings of her home. She also gave us a towel with her scent on it so he could get used to her smell while still at our house, and she suggested that I do the same when he was staying with her.
Barney had such a wonderful time there and Fran (“Auntie Fran”) updated us multiple times a day on how he was doing. She was so patient with him (he barked a lot the first night – no surprise!) but after that he slept well. He also played, walked and ate well! We were so impressed at how quickly he adjusted to another home, but then again, this was an exceptional home and an exceptional person! Auntie Fran customized her care to Barney’s specific needs, as she does for every dog in her care. Just amazing.
After our trip in early August, we took a two day trip to a cottage. Dogs weren’t allowed at the lake and Barney would have been disoriented and miserable if left in the cabin. It was clear when we dropped him off with Auntie Fran that he absolutely remembered and loved his time with her. He was making his little whimpering noises and doing what we call “kitty cat” with her ( rubbing his body against her legs), his little pompom tail wagging like crazy, trying to lick her face all over! This greeting is reserved only for those who he truly truly loves. Auntie Fran is now part of our pack!
If you need daycare or boarding and your dog needs some extra special care, please visit Auntie Fran’s website.