Food, walks and relaxation: it’s Christmas at the kennel
These dogs are definitely not just for Christmas. They normally stay for a few days.
Floyd, 15, likes to start his Christmas like the rest of us – with good food.
Then, like some of us, he likes to walk.
After all, he’s still “active enough” for his age.
Floyd, a Jack Russell, is just one of some 70 dogs and 20 cats who spend Christmas Day at the Jessenka Boarding Kennels & Cattery in Marlborough.
* Animals have priority in a cattery and kennel
* Holidays pending because full board
* Southern pensions reserved
But Floyd is “quite special”, being one of the pension’s oldest guests.
For owners Wendy St George and Stephen Woollett, pets come first, then Christmas.
They arrive at the kennel around 7 am for early morning meals and exercise. The kennels are emptied and the routine is repeated in the afternoon.
In the evening, it is time for the guests to be tucked in … like when we tuck in the children.
“We go to every dog ââand every cat and check if they’re all okay, we give them a pat and make sure they’re set up, and we do that every day of the year, not just the day. of Christmas. Said Saint George.
But the festive holidays are the busiest time of the year at the kennel.
To help them in the rush, the owners hired a full-time employee about two weeks ago. Sarah White was one of the few candidates who agreed to work on the public holiday.
âIt’s almost impossible to find someone to work on Christmas Day. For us, because we made the decision to buy the kennel, own it and manage it properly, it’s just something we have to do, âsaid St George.
âIt’s not like a normal business, you can’t leave it, you have to take care of the dogs all the time, we work seven days a week. We don’t really take a vacation.
A former accountant, Woollett got the most satisfaction from giving animals a chance to socialize.
“It’s like people … We try to find cats and dogs with common interests or animals of the same age, of the same character.
âAnd it’s really nice when unrelated dogs play and have fun together. For me it’s about finding a balance in a group, we’ve learned over the years what works for our boarders. Every animal. has its own needs and we do our best to cover them, âWoollett said.
St George, who was once a photographer, loved to meet animals before having them during the holiday season.
âChristmas can be very hectic here and the last thing we want is to have unhappy or sick animals. We want owners to be confident, that they also have a good Christmas knowing that their pets, which are part of their family, are well looked after.
âWe also have our own dogs, and we know how it goes if we have to leave them anywhere, we would like to think they are in good hands,â St George said.
After their day at the kennel, which can last up to 8 p.m., the couple return home to take care of their eight butterfly dogs.
âI used to raise butterflies and showcase them. For Christmas they always have a special treat like a chicken stick or chewy food, âsaid St George.