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.
The lengths to which some selfless people will go for the good of their beloved dogs is truly heartwarming. Paris = dog training. Yeah. Right. 😉
Enjoy your travels. 🙂 I'm sure the pups did great and had a great time. 🙂
By the 'they' in the title, I'm assuming you meant Bernard and his wife, right? 😉 Yeah, um, those dogs look totally tortured. Serious Geneva Convention violations, there. Hah. Geneva Convention. Swiss vaccination rules. Get it? Yeah. Apparently I think I'm funnier than anyone else thinks I am...
And I'm not mad at you for traveling all over Europe in the name of training your dogs. I just expect lots of pictures. (Although I've seen Paris.... But if you go to Rome? You have to do the Rome After Dark tour - or find someone who can tell you the ghost stories of the Colosseum. It's all in the name of research for this silly novel I'm writing. And I'll take all the Roman ruins I can get. Thanks! :-D)
-Dr. Liz (who still doesn't have grass like that in my yard... or a green house - mostly because it would be a 'black house' in about three weeks...)
Oh..the Horror..that place looks just awful for a pups Spa weekend. Poor Juno and Loki for all that suffering. Nice that Marley was there with them. Bernard and his wife sound like wonderful tolerant dog loving people who are true pack leaders. I love his dog, L'Amie, she looks very sweet but with an "I'm in charge after my boss" look.
I agree that each time Loki goes it will be easier on him. Our Kennel/Doggie Day Care here in WI requires us to bring our dogs once a week if we want to kennel them for any length of time. It has made it much easier on our shy, unsocialized girl when we leave her. She knows everyone there and they know her little quirks. She is doing much better around other dogs.
That is just a wonderful testament to Bernard and his kennel and to you and your training. Bernard is right, the more frequent visits Loki makes, the easier it will be, even just short visits. We hear our humans are going away soon, wish we had a Bernard and his wife around here:)
Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara
Wow - the sacrifices you are willing to make for your dogs is just astounding.
It's so good of you to take such pains for all twelve of us! *snort* It's amazing how you suffer for your art there! All for the blog!
Wow, you're so lucky to have found such an amazing place!! I think it's all about the 'people' and whether they can "manage" dogs - I've seen some really "luxury spa kennels" crap which is totally useless if your dog is insecure or getting into trouble with the other dogs, because of lack of leadership; Looks like you found a gem - am so jealous!!
Just been catching up on all your posts again - loved all the B&W photos!! (hee! Hee! That protest rally of one post was funny!) And congrats on Loki's 3rd anniversary! Oh - and am looking forward to your Provence write-up since we'll be heading there this summer - you always have such gorgeous pics & great travelogues!
Yeah, yeah, yeah,….whatever it take to "keep the dogs happy, we know. ; )
PS from the momster- I no longer allow Jack or Moo to view your blog. They might realize how incredibly boring their existence is here and revolt.
Phew! What a relief. Now you and MWD are free to move about the country.
So does Bernard take humans? That place looks LOVELY! I'm sure the dogs will be glad to go back and visit again soon!
Hi WD. I found this blog today that I thought you might enjoy..http://www.mmforsberg.com/blog/
Her photographs are lovely, she cooks, she travels... just thought of you. (go back a few days...)
Have a good week!!
I commend the sacrifices you must take in traveling in order to train your dogs. hehehe
That sounds like a great place to board your dogs. Bernard sounds like a very smart man. And his dog is so cute!
Thanks for telling my mom about this place. There may be hope for her yet!
If Juno and Loki star to like it too much they may just stay, or bug you relentlessly until you take them back for day camp. That's what we would do.
Remy and Flash
Yahoo! It worked, everything went well, and the dogs are welcome to come back. We're very happy for you guys. And for your pawrents, who are about to become much better traveled than they are already. Did Bernard feed you your accustomed raw diet? Where did you sleep? Was Marley there with you the whole time?
Jed & Abby