Meet Bernard, our kennel keeper.
As I drove to Bernard's to drop off the dogs on Wednesday, I had a knot in my stomach. But it vanished as soon as I stepped out of the car to greet Bernard. Bernard's calm demeanor and soothing voice, "Ca va," immediately comforts me and I know my dogs are in good hands.
They survived their 5-day stay at Bernard's doggie spa while we vacationed in Provence. Check out all that lush grass they have to romp in. That's a green house to the left in the first photo with water. That's their hiking buddy Marley going into the garden.
Marley's dad happened to drop off Marley 5 minutes after I had dropped off Loki and Juno. He heard the torturous cries of Loki and saw his head pop over the fence several times and thought "Hm. That dog looks familiar." Already Loki is becoming internationally infamous, err, I mean, famous. It's a good thing he recognized Loki otherwise Bernard may have lost a customer. I'm so not kidding Internet.
So now you can see how badly we all treat the quadrapeds at Wild Dingo. Clearly you can see they are all tortured here with all that green grass and plenty of fun doggies to play with.
When we got there, it took 30-seconds for Loki to hear and smell us. Mr. Wild Dingo had a first hand experience to Loki's head popping over the 8-foot fence. Then we saw Juno's head pop over as well. Loki and Juno aren't in these photos because Bernard has one strict rule: only the dogs or only the handlers are allowed into the yard but not together. Some dogs can become owner possessive and to avoid that, no owners with their own dogs are allowed together into the yard at once. But he offered a tour to Mr. Wild Dingo and we took him up on it. Bernard's wife seemed confused about all the photos (which I asked to take) but I had to deliver to all 12 of Wild Dingo's readers who desperately wanted a peak into Loki and Juno's Swiss spa.
This little lady Malinois took a huge liking to Mr. Wild Dingo. Bernard tells us she is highly titled in obedience and working dog sports. It was interesting to see a titled and still-competing dog kenneld in this way as it can encourage a dog to be too interested in other dogs while on the field. Mr. Wild Dingo went crazy for her and she for him. Ut oh. That's all I have to say about that.
There are many dogs, big and small, of all breeds. Bernard does not discriminate! There are rules in place and it all seems to work perfectly well. He's careful in choosing client dogs with good temperments. I still can't get over that my problem child, err, my special needs pup, fits in his criteria.
Bernard tells me that Loki and Juno were perfect with all the other dogs. Loki's only issue, "he's so incredibly bonded to you," said Bernard. Yuh, tell me something I don't know.
Again, Loki went crazy the first day jumping and trying to claw his way out. Bernard showed me the scars on the door. Like I need proof. I only live the cracker. We offered to pay for the damages, but he refused, "it's the risk I take," he said. He said Loki grew calmer each day and that Juno was shy but eventually warmed up. Yup, that sounds like her.
All dogs must obey L'amie, Bernard's dog (the white Dogo Argentino). L'Amie is a sweet dog who knows how to keep the pack in good shape. The Malinois gives her plenty of respect with submissive kisses.
And just so you know they are happy and healthy, here is Juno, the first out of the gate to greet us. Bernard has a horse barn attached to his home with a long mud-room type of hallway between it and the fenced garden. It's a safe way to move dogs around. Just wait until the horse come though, which are expected later this season. Bernard's wife is accomplished in Dressage as well as a Veterinarian. It will make Loki's kennel stay even more, um, interesting.
Loki soon follows her out of the gate.
I can understand why many dog handlers would never dream of kenneling a dog this way for competitive reasons as well as kennel requirements to follow Swiss law and (over) vaccinate. I weighed the pro's and cons. In the end, this type of environment served Loki and Juno much better. They both returned to me happy, healthy and with very little sulking.
Rather than tell me that what I was expecting to hear, that Loki was not welcomed back--especially after what he did to his door, Bernard instead said he hoped to see Loki back several more times this year because he thinks it will be easier and easier on Loki.
Since Mr. Wild Dingo heard that advice straight from the horses mouth, it was pretty easy to sell a few travel ideas to him. In no time, he came up with the idea of a long weekend in Paris soon.
So don't get mad at me for traveling all over Europe. I'm just training my dogs.
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