Thursday, July 13, 2006

You never know where the next good idea will come from.

I went to see a couple of other people’s kennel when I was on the other side of the mountain. I am trying to expand and I need to see if there are any better ideas out there.

Both kennel owners warned me that their kennels were old. So okay, I won’t be able to get any vendors’ or contractors' names, but it might still be worth a stop.

It so was. First off, these kennel owners were great to me. They took time out and gave me a whole tour. They went over what works at their kennels and what they would change if they could. It was a huge help to me.

Both kennels had cinderblock walls between the dogs. I was planning to put walls in but this sealed the deal. Their kennels are so much quieter than mine. I think because the dogs can’t see each other or me that well, they are calmer. It will also cut back on the fence fighting and Tessie’s incessant blanket stealing.

What I didn’t like was that it made the kennel seem very dark and the dogs seemed to be in caves. I do realize that the dogs probably love the cave quality, but I think it would freak out the owners. It wasn’t until I was back home that I realized that the kennels are so dark because there are no windows. My windows haven’t worked out well. They had to be on the dog side of the kennel so that I would have the afternoon sun solar gain, but that means the dogs can put their paws on the window sill. I even had one jump through a screen. If I can afford my new place I am going for skylights. All the light and none of the dead flies on the window sill.

The other thing that made the kennel appear cave like was that all of their interior runs are only 4 feet high. Tessie would knock her head or learn to stop jumping with that kind of restriction. It would save me a ton on fencing, but I like being able to step into the run to clean it.

And the very best idea that I never thought of: extending the awning over the dogs another 3 feet and putting a shaded sidewalk in for me. I was going to shade the exterior runs but I would have cut it off at the gate. My husband said he thought of this, if only to save me from standing under the drip line of the roof. Gee, I was assuming there would be a gutter.

Well, there are many more kennels to see before I finalize my design. Can’t wait for my next rip ‘over the mountain’.

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