Going away for business or holiday always posed a huge problem for me. What to do with my best friend Zadok, an 8 year old Rottweiler male. He was part of the family with free access to the house. He followed me like a shadow and slept next to my bed. He was not only a dog but a companion. To close friends and family he was loving – a large lap dog.
Zadok was well trained but aggressive towards strangers trying to enter our yard. Once introduced to new people he would be sociable without me having to lock him away.
To find someone who could look after him when we went away was always difficult. I could not just lock him out of the house and get someone to feed him once a day. He was a people’s dog that needed constant companionship. There was always a danger that he might try and get out to find us or that someone might climb over the wall into our property. There was also the potential that if his caretaker was a stranger he might not allow him to enter the yard.
One early morning I heard Zadok bark and someone screamed in terror. I rushed outside and found him on top of a man lying on the ground. I called him off but the man was already bitten on his arms and shoulder. He had climbed over the fence to scrimmage through our refuse bags. If no-one had been at home it could have ended badly for the intruder. On many occasions we could not go away because I could not find a babysitter for Zadok.
At one state we managed to solve the problem, or so we thought, by allowing some of my son’s university friends to stay in our house to take care of Zadok.
Students have always been a breed of their own. They are out most of the time or they will bring the party home. And as luck would have it, one night one of our house sitter’s guests left the front gate open. With the music and braai going at full tilt in the backyard, they were unaware that an uninvited stranger had entered the property through the open gate. Zadok attacked him on the front stoep and there was another biting incident. It was not the dog’s fault but that of his minders.
Peace of mind is part of being on holiday, so on my return home I decided on the previously unthinkable – Kennels. The thought of sending Zadok to a kennel brought images of sending my children to prison to mind, but we eventually found a holiday destination for Zadok – in Scottborough. Not the one in Natal, the one in Port Elizabeth, Scottborough Kennels.
What impressed me most was the safe and spacious environment for the dogs and the personal attention that our pets receive. The two girls, Kirsti and Shan are responsible for the all round well being and exercise of the animals. Frail, aged and pampered pets have kennels with infra-red heating. Cats have cottage style kennels with pane windows, a private garden with trees and own scratching posts.
Knowing your animal is safe and that someone has taken personal responsibly ensures your peace of mind and the best care for your best friend.