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Last Fall I posted a journal entry announcing the purchase of one hundred and sixty acres of rolling CRP land southeast of Bismarck, titled ‘11813 Lincoln Road.’ The piece began with the famous quote from Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.’
Well, this spring finds us many more steps into our journey, taking another big one by breaking ground for Absolute’s state-of-art boarding kennel on a corner of our parcel.
I’ve spent a lot of time in kennels, both here in North Dakota and all over the U.S. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ve visited kennels that were well-lit, warm, and spotlessly clean, filled with eager, healthy dogs, and I’ve seen dark, dank kennels that reeked of urine and shit while feeling helpless looking into the eyes of the pitiful creatures living there.
Every one of these experiences, both positive and negative, has left a strong impression on me, the end result being there was only one way to approach the design and construction of the Absolute Gundogs Kennel, and that is to build it well, and include the most dog-centric features we can possibly afford.
Thanks to an exceptionally mild spring (so far) work is progressing rapidly. At this writing the foundation is in and the walls are going up. Here is a list of features of the new Absolute doggie digs.
Building footprint: 80’x50’.
Construction: Concrete foundation and floors.
Steel siding and roof.
Insulation: Spray-on foam: for keeping the unwanted elements out, the desired elements in, and the doggies happy.
Dog Runs : 39-4’x8’
The boarding and training kennel will be located about 10 minutes from downtown Bismarck so we expect a good short-stay boarding business from locals as well as housing client dogs here for training. The 5’x10’ runs will be reserved for the larger breeds and extended stay clients.
The kennel run walls will be hot-dipped, galvanized chain-link: Long lasting and rugged to stand up to the wear-and-tear of the dogs and their destructive tendencies.
Radiant Heating Throughout: There is no better way to heat the place and make the dogs comfortable than radiant heating. During the bitterly cold North Dakota winters everything inside the building will be warm to the touch, including our furry friends. It’s great to see them sprawled on the concrete, happy and toasty.
Re-NewAir-air exchanger: A warm building with stale air isn’t comfortable however. The air-exchanger brings in fresh air from outside and heats to the ambient temperature inside, while expelling old air-the best of all worlds for the dogs and the humans caring for them.
Central air-conditioning: Conversely, during warm summer months we’ll keep the place cooled down somewhere in the mid-sixties, healthy and cool.
4- 25’x20’ partially-shaded concrete exercise pens: The concrete is for easy cleaning and no potential escapees digging their way out under the fence.
4- 25’x20’ Partially-shaded grass exercise pens: Pups and young dogs prefer relieving themselves on grass or dirt. For young dogs and puppies this makes the potty training process much easier. If the pup knows nothing but pooping and peeing outside on grass they are naturally inclined to want to go outside the house to do just that. All it takes to instill this trait for a lifetime is to make sure they get out outside to do their business more or less in the same place and on a timely schedule.
Food and Water:
Stainless steel water buckets: Filled daily with fresh water. No need to worry about fido chewing his plastic bowl or bucket causing an upset stomach or worse, digestive tract issues
Stainless steel food bowls: Cleaned and disinfected every day.
Cleanliness is next to Dogliness(that’s cheesey).
If you haven’t already surmised it, we’re fastidious around here at Absolute. There will be a ‘Walk Through’ inspection every hour or less and a clean-up where appropriate with a bleach-water mop if there is a mess. We want to you to feel like you could show up anytime of the day, only to find your dog and his/her neighbors in a clean and comfortable setting.
Kennels are bleached, scrubbed, rinsed, and squeegee dried everyday. Your dog is going to smell better coming out of our kennels than it did going in(that may be a little bold, but you get the point)!
Self-Service Dog Wash Station: For boarding and training customers. All we ask is that please clean up after you’re done so we don’t have to start charging for this.
Doggie Day Care Services:
Absolute will provide a group daycare setting where dogs, that are compatible with other dogs, are free to socialize in a common area as part of their daily routine.
Individualized Daycare Program.
Customized to your dog’s needs and temperment, for a nominal fee, we will offer each dog one-on-one attention which can include:
On or Off-leash walk on the grounds
Group free run on the grounds
Games of fetch, with dummies or tennis balls.
Extra time in the exercise pens with dogs of their age and size.
We believe that mental stimulation coupled with physical exercise is far more beneficial to your pet than just lying around all day. The goal is to send you home with a dog that has been well-exercised and as a result is relaxed and happy to be back with his or her family.
That’s not all, but you get the idea. Like everything else we do around here, we want the Absolute Gundogs Kennel to reflect well on the career path I’ve chosen, our family, and most important the dogs. At this point the only thing holding us back from a full-house every week is 2 miles of gravel road. Once the word gets out I suspect people won’t mind another couple of minutes of driving. Not if they love their dogs like we do.
We are still discussing a few of addtional pet-frinedly upgrades that will make the experience even better yet.