by Elisa Black-Taylor
Sleeping with dogs
All I'll say to my readers before beginning this article is "This is heaven on earth for cats and dogs!" You won't need any Kleenex while reading this. Unless you feel the need to cry because you're not a cat or a dog.
Krystyn Goddard is the owner and founder of Paradise Ranch located in Sun Valley, California. She's a lifelong animal lover who took in sick, injured and stray pets(including a squirrel, a hawk and and an injured coyote) from the time she was a girl.
In 1997 Krystyn opened Paradise Ranch. I've never read anything so great for our pets and want to share it with my readers.
While Paradise Ranch has a complete dog facility with loads of extras available, I first want to talk about their cat facility called Cat Nap Inn.
Most of us have a stressful time when going on vacation and leaving our pets. Whether it's a boarding facility or a nice neighbor coming over to care for our cats and dogs while we're gone, we still worry. I can't wait to tell you how the cats at Cat Nap Inn are treated. And how you can keep check on your cat or dog while it has the time of it's life.
First of all, your cat or cats will have a private bedroom. Cats have a big bed to lie on, cat toys, scratching posts and a window to look out at the world. The caring staff will play with your cat, including laser light chases. Each room also has calming music and cable TV with "Animal Planet" as one of the favorite channels. If your cat needs grooming on a daily basis, no problem. If your cat is used to sleeping next to a person at night, no problem. A staff member will actually sleep with your cat. I don't know who's the most fortunate here. The cats for receiving such wonderful care or the staff for having such wonderful jobs.
I'm starting my readers off with this page from their website that explains all about the Paradise Ranch. This is the web cam page. There is a link where the general public can get a look at what the vacationing pets idea is all about. There is also a link where "mommy" and "daddy" can log in and watch their pampered baby from anywhere in the world. These are not cheap cameras. They're made by Sony and are top of the line PTZ (point, tilt,zoom). The "parents" are given a code they can use to check on their pet at any time via the web cam.
Check out their home page to see all they offer. Along with boarding they also offer day care, massages, dog training and a "mutt cab" animal pick up service.
And now for the dogs.
Before a dog is accepted into Paradise Ranch, it must first go thru an evaluation tour to be accessed. This prevents unruly or aggressive dogs being allowed into the program. The cost of this tour/evaluation is $20.
This is a cage-free facility and was the first of it's kind in the U.S. During the day the dogs run and play and nap and swim. I'm really wanting to be a dog or cat right now. The small dogs and the big dogs can see each other but are kept in separate areas. There's a good caregiver to dog ratio so the dogs get plenty of attention. At night the dogs sleep in "guest houses" and a caregiver is always present.
This wonderful business has created quite a problem for the dog and cat owners who use their services. The pets don't want to leave. Many who return after their first visit don't even look back with a "longing goodbye" to their owner. Some owners have complained that their pets don't even miss them! This is so GREAT!
Their website also has an adoption page where they match up animals in need of homes with a furever family. Those wishing to adopt out a cat or dog can contact the ranch by email with contact information and a short bio on the pet.
I'll let this end my story on Paradise Ranch.
There are two reasons I wrote this. Actually three. I've had too much bad news to deal with this past week in the animal world. It was simply too depressing to write another abuse story today.
Another reason I was drawn to this article is the concept they use. Let the animals run free and be spoiled. This would be a great idea for someone with the cash and knowledge to invest in. The pampered pets are out there. In every city and every country. SOMEONE will need to care for them when their family goes on vacation. Many take their dogs with them when they travel, but many still need the boarding option, especially those with cats.
The philosophy of this one business combined with a carefully chosen loving staff is one of the best I've ever read about. The idea would work almost anywhere in the world. Use their website as a guide in what to look for in a facility as well as any business ideas in starting a similar retreat where you live.
I even checked Paradise Ranch with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and found nothing derogatory.
My final reason for writing this article is that times have changed. A lot of people travel with work, care for sick or elderly family members and have unavoidable emergencies come up. Many pet owners are single and have no one to fall back on when life's commitments come up. The ranch caters to all of these needs and can pick up a dog or cat with very little advance notice. Hence the "Mutt Cab." This allows the pet owner the peace which comes from knowing their pets have a wonderful place to stay whether it's a planned vacation or a family emergency.
The photos above are copyrighted and available for use by the media (me!). More photos can be viewed on their website. Articles about Paradise Ranch have made the pages of magazines and TV shows from Oprah and Time to Animal Planet and Extra. I hope all of my readers enjoy the ones I added.
I do realize their facility is out of the price range of many of us, but I can dream. Right now I'm dreaming I'm a cat or dog.