How the Boarding Test Run was Born
Many moons ago in another city, my husband and I had several bad boarding experiences with one of our dogs, Misha, and it made me ponder how Misha felt and what she perceived. Misha was boarded with her BFF, Rocky, and they both reacted differently. Rocky seemed unscathed but Misha was so anxious when I picked her up on two separate occasions, that she was ill to the point of needing veterinary attention. Our dogs are very important to us and it was so upsetting that I had put her in a bad situation. I take my dog’s care personally! It was clear to me that I needed to figure this out so that it didn’t happen again.
I was much younger and new to boarding then. I began to analyze the situation and the boarding kennel setup in combination with what I knew about who my dog was. I had made the mistake of thinking that all boarding kennels were created equally and that all dogs loved boarding. Man, I was so wrong. Misha’s experience opened my eyes. Do not drop your dog off and hope for the best, and do not believe the blanket statement we have all heard, “Your dog did fine.” As my husband and I found, this statement is not always true. Maybe that boarding kennel we went to so many years ago had a different definition for the word “Fine” than we did.
After my trials and tribulations with Misha, I wanted something different, and I was out to find it. I vowed that I would create something for the betterment of all dogs. I never want dogs to suffer like Misha had. And I never want owners to feel guilty like I had.
Before opening the NBK9 facility, I did five years of research based on a non-traditional approach to animal care. Most of my research was based upon methods used by facilities in the Northwest and predominately on the west coast. My goal was to create an environment for dogs, whether they’re more like Misha or Rocky. It was at this time of research that I discovered other areas of the country had facilities that required board test runs. It was an “Ahh-hah” moment for me. Why don’t we do that in the Midwest? Well, the NBK9 boarding test run was born. How can we ask a dog like Misha to stay for prolonged periods in a strange environment if an overnight board test run reveals that it was stressful and uncomfortable?