Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A loss of trust...

A couple of months ago, I wrote a cautionary blog post reminding pet owners to make sure they tell caregivers about any sensitivities their pets may have to medications.  The advice I offered in that post still stands.  Unfortunately, I found out about another serious situation involving the kennel that Bill and I have always used during our time in Germany.  We won't be using them anymore.

Naturally, I am disappointed, not just because it means my upcoming trip to Austria and Italy will have to be cancelled (though Bill is still going), but also because it means we now have to find different accommodations for our dogs.  Germans tend to take their dogs with them or leave them with friends and family when they travel.  There doesn't seem to be that many places available to look after dogs and certainly not on as short notice as we'd need it.

I don't know the specifics about what happened in the second situation, only that a woman asked about where to report a business for negligence.  She specified that it was a dog kennel.  That piqued everyone's interest and people started asking which kennel and what happened.  At first, I will admit that I was annoyed, mainly because many people have different ideas of what a bad experience is.

The local American community is very large and, let's face it, some people are drama queens.  I did not know the person who made the announcement and her post was vague, but since my dogs are my only kids, I started to worry.  Then she confirmed that the kennel she was writing of was the same one we've used during both our times in Germany.  When I asked her to clarify if this was a situation involving life and death, she responded that it was.

During our first tour in Germany, the kennel was run by a really excellent caregiver.  They had a great staff as well as an outstanding reputation.  Our dogs (different than the ones we have now) loved going there and always had good experiences.  When we came back last year, the lady who had been running the kennel had left.  But we didn't have a problem with the new lady.  Our dogs liked her and we personally never had any problems there.  I had been hearing some vaguely bad things, though, and we did notice that the kennel didn't seem to be as well run as it was under the first manager.

Then in September, one of Bill's colleagues left their dog at the kennel and she ended up dying on their watch.  When we heard the specifics of what happened, it sounded like it was just a tragic accident.  But then last night, when I read about the other person's situation (their dog didn't die, but is now very sick), I decided the pattern was just too indicative of negligence.  Then Bill talked to his colleague whose dog died and it turned out he received some hush money to keep his experience quiet.

I'm sad that this happened because it means I won't get to travel as much, at least until we find a suitable replacement for our dogs' care in our absence.  We probably could use the kennel we have been using and nothing would happen.  However, I am not inclined to take the risk, especially since three years ago, we lost our dog MacGregor after he was boarded.  It wasn't the boarding facility's fault-- it turned out that MacGregor had a form of cancer that no one knew he had until we were out of town.  Still, I don't think I can relax knowing that the same thing could happen with one of the ones we have now.




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