Best Friends Forever
Your pets take good care of you. When you go away, take good care of them at a kennel with a little something special. Plus, There's new leadership at A.I., and how to prevent diabetes.
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When Sue Towers traveled to Norway for two weeks, she didn’t worry about Wilson, her Portuguese Water Dog. Wilson spent time with Auntie Kim in Never Never Land, where hamburgers are served on holiday weekends and hugs and kisses abound.
Wilson is not a Disney character. He’s a real dog, and Never Never Land is a real place, a kennel and cattery between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach. “They are absolutely wonderful,” Towers says of the staff, which includes manager “auntie” Kimberly Wade. “Wilson walks right in, tail wagging, and I’ve noticed many dogs doing the same thing.”
Leaving your dog for a day, a week or a month can be more painful than leaving a child at daycare or camp. The dog can’t tell you when the other kids are being mean, and you can’t explain that you’ll be back.
But your pet is good to you, giving unconditionally in ways you can’t describe, so it’s only fair to be good back—especially when you go away. So like Towers, many pet owners seek places that have a paw up on the stereotypical kennel. Here are 10 places that take day care and boarding to the next level.
All Aboard Grooming
In Dagsboro, All Aboard (732-9268, allaboardkennel.com) has a brisk grooming and retail business. Boarders, however, check in for the “presidential suite,” which boasts a TV for couch potato pooches. Presidential and mini-suites have customized heating and air conditioning. Playtime means play with staffers only, not other pups. That’s also true for cats, who reside in “condos” with multiple floors. Someone is onsite 24 hours a day, and if you feel like adding to the family, the SPCA is nearby.
Bark Avenue Dog Day Camp
Dogs at this 3,200-square-foot Claymont facility (792-2403, barkavenueddc.com) are part of a family. “Most employees bring their dogs here when they’re working,” says owner Ben Burke. “We have customers whose kids work here during the summer. They all love dogs.” Fences separate dogs by size and temperament. There’s no daytime crating. Bark Avenue will also board pets who are daycare customers. They sleep in kennels at night, but a lamp and radio provide reassurance. During the day, dogs are walked every two hours. “We want to discourage accidents as much as possible,” Burke says. “Basically, we reinforce anything the parents are working on, whether it’s ‘no jump’ or ‘sit.’” Bark Avenue also offers spa services.
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