Today was a gorgeous day, weatherwise. We had sunshine, blue skies, mild temperatures, and a light breeze all day.
In the morning Sheddy von Stinkelstein and I went to the Downtown Dogs open house. It's one of the two places for doggie daycare where I leave Devon, and it's the better of the two. They provide all-day structured and supervised play for their doggie customers, with naptime in the middle of the day. The only reason I even take him to the other place is that Downtown Dogs requires reservations, and sometimes they are fully booked several days in advance.
Anyway, this open house was the first time they opened the entire facility to the public. Normally, when you drop your dog off you only get to see the lobby. Your dog is whisked away by an attendant in the morning and brought back to you at the lobby in the evening. I wanted to see everything that Devon sees during his stays, so I went with him.
It is great!
They have three different playrooms. The biggest one is huge, and is where the active big dogs (like Snorty) play all day. It has a rubberized floor to minimize impact on their joints as they run around, timeout cages for dogs that misbehave, and "playground things" for the dogs to play with, like a raised walkway, a suspended tire to jump through, and a see-saw. It also has a dedicated potty area, which has fake grass and is directly connected to the sewer system for maximum sanitation. Besides this big room, there are two smaller ones. The second one is for less-active medium-sized and big dogs, while the third one is for small dogs.
The boarding area (or doggie hotel) is separate from the play area. They have a lot of really nice individual "rooms" that are big enough for even giant breeds to stretch out in. They also have "doggie suites" that are even bigger, have their own dedicated webcams, TVs (yes, televisions) and huge doggie beds with real mattresses for the pooches to sleep on. The boarding area even has its own dedicated playroom.
The lobby has a check-in desk, a small sitting area, and a couple of shelves with doggie magazines and books, plus lots of goodies like treats, shampoos, chew toys, and stuffed animals for sale.
The whole facility is completely climate-controlled, so the dogs stay comfy even on the hottest or coldest days of the year. Additionally, they have industrial-grade HEPA air filtration systems to suck all of the dander, allergens, and pathogens out of the air. Wowza.
During the open house they had a demo of dog agility. One of the employees showed off her dog, who competes in agility contests nationwide. The dog jumped through hops, jumped over raised bars, walked back and forth on the see-saw, slalomed through a series of vertical bars, and crawled through tunnels. Way cool. After the demo they let us try to get our dogs to do the same tricks. Devon walked on the raised walkway perfectly, and played on the see-saw pretty well, but he flatly refused to crawl into the tunnel.
Later in the day I drove to Palo Alto to meet up with my mom and brother. We walked around downtown a bit and had a snack at Noah's Bagels. Afterwards my brother and I took our dogs to the Baylands Open Space Preserve to walk them and to get some outdoors time.
It was awesome out there. As always, it was quite windy, so even though we were under the blazing sun it wasn't too hot. We saw a huge herd of goats (must've been hundreds of them) in a fenced-off area of the park. The dogs were a bit fascinated with them, but not too much. They only paid attention if they heard any of the goats bleat (or whatever it is that goats do).
We didn't walk for very long because my wimpy brother started complaining and wanting to go back to the car pretty quicky. I wanted to go on for much longer. In fact, I had come prepared with water bottles, drinking bowls for the dogs, poop bags, treats, and towels. But since I didn't want to walk with a whiny companion, I agreed to go back to the car after a short while.
On the way back to the car, Devon stopped to poop. It was huge. Lots and lots of poop. I noticed a lot of foam in it, which means that he has been eating his kennel bed again. I need to examine it and maybe buy a new one. As soon as I ask Bill where he got the last one. LOL.
Dropped my brother and his dog Sammie off at his car, then I went home. On the way home I stopped at Snarky Malarkey's for some barbecue. I got smoked beef brisket, garlic bread, potato salad, and baked bbq beans. The beans were nasty, and the brisket was... uhm... oily. Not good at all. The bread was great and the potato salad was passable. Good thing the whole feast only cost me $12. I'll give the restaurant one more shot - maybe I'll try the baby back ribs next time - before I decide on whether to put them on my "banned restaurants" list.
So now I'm home, drinking some wine. See next post about that.