First – our town.
Brentwood is a suburban town situated in the green belt –which means although we are a busy and interesting town, we have large areas of country parks, public footpaths, woodland areas, green spaces, wetlands and agricultural land. As little as ten minutes drive from the town centre (which contains several Listed Buildings and an Ancient Monument – the St Thomas a Becket Chapel) there is a very much a ‘countryside’ feel to the area, with lots of pretty villages with outstanding walking areas, while still having as many pet shops, health care providers and grooming parlours as your dog could possibly need!
All this – and only one hour away from central London.
Our boarders come for their holidays from all over Essex, but we’ve also enjoyed the company of dogs from as far as Suffolk, Kent & London. Our boarding is much in demand for London dogs – your dogs love the freedom our large back garden and secure front garden (supervised only) bring them. They enjoy the green areas around my home on their way to the local park and I can see them light up as they get to run and run and run when we visit one of our large country parks. Of course, some dogs just want to sniff, and sniff and sniff!! Whatever your dog wants to do, we find a safe, secure and fun way for them to do it.
Your dog is not a ‘guest’. They are a treasured friend and family member – you won’t hear us say ‘our own dogs have to come first’ because each dog is equal in its need for love and affection, exercise and play, and house rules and guidelines. Each dog has its needs met in a way that compliments all the other dogs. Your dog is as welcome on my lap as my dogs, as deserving of that last biscuit! They all need love and companionship and we have enough love to go around. As I work with dogs, mine get a lot more of my time and attention than many family dogs and can be relieved to have some peace and quiet while I play with your dog! You may find me hard to get rid of at collection times, as I don’t want your dog to leave us. Your dog, of course, just wants to be with you!
A Day in The Life of a Boarder
Days at Aunty Linda’s always start before 7am. Dogs really enjoy being busy and active at dusk and dawn so it’s only fair to share that time with them. The morning walk takes place at 8am weekdays, around 9am on weekends. This helps everyone build an appetite for breakfast, which we have on the return from the walk. This helps avoid digestive problems, and mimics the ‘natural’ way – the hunt and chase comes before the meal!
More active time around the house and garden while I tidy up the house, before I settle to some paperwork. The dogs settle to sleep very quickly, and usually like two-three hours of nap time. By that time I’m usually fed up with papers and want to get back to the dogs, so we either go out for an activity dog walk (Wild Agility, Find It, Trick Training), or we play dog games around the house and garden.
We LOVE Find It, Paddling Pool Dipping for treats and toys, Sandpit Search ‘n’ Scoff, Cardboard Box/Newspaper Challenge (Lucky Dip for dogs), gentle agility on the Outdoor Play frames (or King of the Castle games!), Kong Games plus we have individual activity toys for the dogs. Some of our activities were published in Dogs Today magazine (October 2011 issue), and are also available as articles on our website.
After the activities have worked up yet more appetite, the dogs have their tea, then my family and I have ours. Your dog is fed before us for two reasons.
1) It’s really hard on a dog, who can’t operate a can opener or reach his dog bowl, to have to watch someone else eat when he is hungry and has no means to feed himself.
2) It cuts down the amount of drool!
After tea is clean up time, perhaps time for one more dog walk around the block if anyone looks willing, then it’s settle down time. I like to watch TV with a dog on my lap – this is a relaxing time to tease out the day’s activities from the dogs’ coats, and check them over for anything that might have hitched a lift home, whether it’s parasites, burs, seeds, brambles, twigs or thorns! The dogs love this time too – a comfy sofa (with your permission), a cushion, blanket if desired and your legs in the air. What better end to the day can there be??