Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Where to Board Caitlin--Canine Lodge

I once took a cat to be neutered at an extremely cheap Vet in the backwaters of  El Cajon, the Agape clinic. My impression was that the vet was competent, but the place had the look and feel of a back-alley abortion clinic (not that I have ever actually seen one--so I guess I mean the look and feel of my stereotype of a back-alley abortion clinic--cramped quarters in a crummy-looking building on a street where you wouldn't want to walk alone after dark) No receptionist. Just the vet. Cash only

This morning we took Caitlin to check out the Canine Lodge & Spa. http://www.caninelodgesandiego.com/ The website makes it sound fairly posh:

"Call us at (619) 443-0719, anytime to schedule a facility tour and see the kennels, the outdoor play area, and our flower gardens in gorgeous Blossom Valley. Or swing by our Hillcrest Grooming Shop to pamper your pooch. We're open weekdays, and there is always someone on staff to care for your dog.
*We offer pick up and drop off services for grooming and lodging ..."
But after we had toured the facility, I was left with exactly the same feeling I'd had about that vet in El Cajon.  An inauspicious hand-lettered sign led down the dirt drive to a dingy old house. We entered a shabby little office. A small table in one corner held an ironwood dolphin-with-cobwebs sculpture serving as a paperweight for some yellowed forms and a dog-shaped cookie jar full of dead moths (Caitlin barked at it until I put it on the floor for her to inspect). The tiles had been poorly laid and were in various stages of separation from the floor and from each other. The owner arrived after Rob had called out a few times and gave us a tour. There are 3 fenced-in yards for the dogs, mostly dirt and gopher holes, a few shade trees, and kennels where the dogs sleep. 
The owner says that several East County vets board their dogs with him, but I don't think we'll be calling them to check.
The price is certainly right. We got down to $25 a night for a 2-week stay, and the dogs get a free bath before they leave. They'd need it after rolling around among the gopher holes for a week or two.
Caitlin would probably be perfectly all right there. She doesn't care whether her lodgings look cheerful and prosperous, but I guess I do.