The Evolution of a Kennel

Things are finally starting to take shape at the part-time residence.   One of the major concerns, of course, was how I am going to deal with the dogs up there.   I feel like I looked at 40,000 houses before settling on this place. (Well, maybe that’s a SLIGHT exaggeration – in reality it was about 40).

I found houses with land, but no places for the dogs.  I found places with good set ups for the dogs, but no land.   I found a house with a rock in 1/2 the basement, I found a cute little place, that had such huge swarms of dragonflies, so many that not even *I* could handle it – as much as I love dragonflies.   There was a beautiful property surrounded on two sides by the Gull River, where the basement smelled like mould.  Houses where you couldn’t access upstairs from downstairs, houses on rocks, and the finds go on.

This was actually one of the first houses I looked at, but so much cosmetic work needed to be done, that it really made me worry about the “bones”.  Turns out a lot of the worry was unnecessary.  Yes, it needs work, and it needs windows and doors.  But the furnace that I thought was 30 years old and in need of replacement is actually only 5 years old, and just needed a good cleaning.

My wonderful Dundalk handy man, Mark, has been going out for a few weekends and picking away at some of the tasks, and this weekend he completed what will be the “kennel”

This was the garage, as it existed, when I moved in.   Lots of “stuff” being stored – materials for incomplete projects in the house.  To the right is a breezeway that leads into the house and the back yard.

The house also had a “mother-in-law” door at the back, coming of the kitchen, which my insurance agent said had to be fixed as it was a safety hazard (Watch that first step! It’s a Lulu!!)

First weekend, the new deck went in.   Now it is safe to open the kitchen door, I have a place to sit outside, and to barbecue.

He replaced the kitchen lights, which had been no brighter than nightlights with new fixtures, and set up the portable kennels so the dogs could be safely outdoors .


Now it was time to bring up the dogs, and because of the threat of bears, I had to set up indoor runs in the garage. .  But it was dark, and not a pleasant situation for the dogs, so we set out to improve it.


The next weekend Mark added two windows to the garage, one on the back of the house, and one on the side.   The difference in the lighting is amazing, as well as the ability to provide the dogs with fresh air during the day.   But there is still work to be done.



This weekend the garage was divided by an insulated wall into a new 6×12 “garage” and a kennel.

The street end of the garage has now become a 6 x 12 “mini-garage”, where I can store, snow removal stuff, hardware, etc.  It is accessible from the house by a man door.


Now there is a separate are for the “kennel” with daylight, and access to the house.   Next step was to seal the floor.



Mark sealed the floor with a light tan colour epoxy, which will cure to  a waterproof seal.  He also added an additive specially made to provide traction.


The pens are moved back in and assembled and ready for the dogs to arrive tomorrow 🙂   All that remains is to put down mats to keep them off the concrete, and beds so they don’ t have to sleep on the ground.

The last stage (which he actually did during daylight hours) was to modifty the deck to add a ramp for Hunter to get in and out without dealing with stairs.



More plans yet to come, but hopefully this is a good start that will keep the dogs comfortable, safe, and away from bears!!  And yes, I have seen FOUR bears since May….lucky me!!

Here and away – Part 2 – The Olympic Litter

And over the last week, the Olympians have started to make their departures to their new homes.


Two very excited little boys weren’t able to sleep – so we had an early morning departure for Big Ben.   His family has decided to keep the name Ben and he will be registered as Yasashiikuma Grand Prix, in honour of Canada’s equine athlete, Big Ben, Ian Millar’s Grand Prix jumper.  Maybe there is an agility jumpers future for Ben?


And right behind Ben, Nadia left for her new home in Toronto.  Nadia has gone to live with her uncle Dover from the Repeater Litter and Alison and Bob.   She is being registered as Yasashiikuma Little Miss Perfect, in honour of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci.   News is that she is living up to her namesake and that she is one BOLD puppy and not afraid at all to tackle anything!


Next to leave the nest was Flame, who is now Wally.   He is going to be registered as Yasashiikuma Olympic Flame, and he is now living in Toronto also (do I see a puppy party in the future?)  🙂    From what I can see on Facebook, Wally apparently has a fanclub already waiting for him to make his public debut!


Next to go, is my keeper puppy.   Matt has been working hard to prove he was ready for a show puppy of his own, so I am letting him raise Athena for me.  So Athena will not only be a conformation dog, but she will also be a juniors dog, and participate in performance venues also.   With a little help from Google and Wikipedia, Matt and I came up with the name Yasashiikuma Athena’s Inspiration.

Tomorrow Goldie will start flapping her ears and fly across the country to Vancouver, where she will assume the identity of Miko and live with her cousin Lola in Vancouver.   Actually, the timing was perfect for Goldie/Miko to hitch a ride with our friend Karen Brumpton who was in Ontario for the Irish Wolfhound national specialty, so she gets to ride in the cabin and avoid the stress of shipping.   She will be registered as Yasashiikuma Go for the Gold.

That leaves 4 boys that are looking for homes.


First is Zeus.   He is a sweet laid back boy, and is looking for a pet home.


Torch, may or may not be available.   He was reserved but the person is dealing with an illness at the present moment, and not sure whether she will be able to take him.

And then there are the two “Baby Goons” looking for show homes:


Victor is daddy’s double, right down to the splash at the base of the neck.



Spirit has a lot of very nice things to like about him.  Not quite as big as Victor, but some very nice features.  Again unfortunately not flattering pictures 🙁  I need to figure out a way to just set my camera to shoot every 5 seconds and spend a ton of time stacking!



Here and away – Part 1 – The Scouts

So the last few weeks have been more than a little insane with 17 puppies, a return, and a whole bunch of stressed out adult dogs.  Not at all a fun time.

So here is a quick wrap up on the departures, and who is still available from the Scouting and I will follow with the Olympic litter.

The first departure was Stetson, Yasashiikuma Beaver Scout Law.   Very apt name for him, since the two little guys in the family have joined the Beaver Scouts this year.


Next to leave for his new home was Cubby.   Cubby is now Baloo – and registered as Ysashiikuma Baloo.  Again he has a real Scouting tie, as his new mom and dad met through scouting and were scout leaders.



Badger, Yasashiikuma Merit Badge, has gone off to Ottawa to live with his new mom and dad, and has already sent photos (hint, hint!!!)  He’s learning to be a city boy now.

Lady has headed off to Michigan to live with Bonnie and Bob, and a pile of corgi brothers!  She is registered as Yasashiikuma Trefoil Jamboree, and we’re looking forward to big things from this little girl with attitude.   It was a close call between me keeping her and her sister.

I hate photos after 7 weeks!!   They start to go all out of proportion……and these are no exception!!


Time will tell if I made the right choice (they were SOOOO close!!!) but I chose to keep Cookie.    I haven’t totally decided on a name for her yet – but I’m leaning towards Yasashiikuma Savannah Smiles, a crisp, zesty lemon cookies named in honor of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.   I think I will call her Savannah, since “Cookie” will bring the entire herd running!


Baron is sold, but we are still trying to figure out transportation to his new home.   This is NOT a flattering photo – but its the best that I had 🙁

The angle is off on this one, and her rear isn’t set, but this is Brownie, the last of the girls   She is available to a show home.



Jonathon wants a boy for his birthday

Jonathon and Matt - 9/19/12

Meet Jonathon – aka Yasashiikuma Highway to Heaven.    He’s going to be 6 years old tomorrow, and he would love to find a home of his own for his birthday, even better one with a boy who loves to play soccer.

Jonathon was in a foster home situation until a few weeks ago, which unfortunately for him did not work out.   He ‘s hasn’t matured to quite the show potential I had hoped, so the priority is to get him into a home where he can happily live out the rest of his life as someone’s neutered companion.


Jonathon and Matt -- 9/19/12

There were a number of concerns expressed by the foster home, so I have been watching him carefully over the last three weeks.  He is definitely male aggressive, so the best placement for him is either a single dog home, or a family with an older female.  He gets overly excited when playing, and that could escalate with a younger female.    He supposedly had some housebreaking issues, but under supervision I have not had any problems.

Another concern expressed was that he was so shy that he shook and messed when taken anywhere.   He’s been exposed to lots of new people and places (including my office) over the past three weeks, again without issue.  He has walked through our plant with its banging machinery and loud noises and speakers, and not even flinched. He is a little reserved at first with some new people but warms up quickly once they take the time to get to his level and make friends with him.  It doesn’t seem to matter male or female – there are just some people he warms up to immediately, and some take a couple of minutes (faster if they have treats in their office since this is a dog friendly environment).

The ideal home is someone who would take the time to take him to obedience or agility classes to help build his confidence.   Older children would be ideal, but I would be loathe to place him with a toddler at this time because apparently there was a growling issue at one time.  Someone who is active and has patience to help him adjust, and would enjoy a good game of football with him, would make Jonathon a very happy fellow.

If you are interested in Jonathon please drop me a line.