The Senator – by Dr. Amanda Glew
Around Thanksgiving last year, on an annual exam, a client of mine from 20 years told me that she was selling her dog facility, the VIP canine center. Louise had been operating her center since she built it, with an open concept of boarding. We had always spoken together, because I had done the same at my house – we always had upwards of 4-7 dogs boarding or being fostered at the same time. She just did it on a grander scale, with social dogs being loose during the day, and sleeping in crates or kennels at night. I was intrigued.
When my daughter came home for the holiday, I suggested we go and visit. I half hoped that I would dislike the place, then I would not be tempted. Unfortunately, both my daughter and I fell in love with the canine facility, and Louise’s lovely country home. In the center at that time, was a senior yellow Labrador, who although struggling on his hind legs, was monitoring all the other dogs. I nicknamed him the Senator. However, the timing was not right. My daughter would be finishing her schooling as a green house technician/horticulturist in the spring of 2017, so we walked away. But, a proverbial seed had been planted.
Louise sent me an email that the house was going on the market, but she was going to give us first right of refusal. We both thought a place like this would take months, if not years, to sell. Two weeks later, just before Christmas – I received the news. An offer had been made. I had to make a decision.
My daughter Devan was at school, so I took my friend Tracy and my mother to see it. I thought they could talk some sense into me. We visited the place, and once again, my friend, the Senator was walking the property. I found out his name was Luca as he rubbed his greying face on my hand for a cuddle. My mother and best friend felt the same as me – this was an opportunity not to be missed.
My daughter was committed. It would be hard work – 7 days a week, no holidays. The only days off would be when my husband and I would go to the kennel. But somehow, the timing was right, and we closed the deal. Louise was thrilled. Someone with the same passion as she has for dogs would be taking over her dream and would continue it. My daughter, with her knowledge of dogs, would fit right in. With time, a small greenhouse could be developed on the 8 acres of land.
Over the winter, I was looking for a bit of guidance with my unruly 10 month old black Labrador Porter. Louise’s place has an indoor training area, so she kindly offered to guide me with my dog. Each time I went over, there he would be, smiling at me with an old dog grin, awaiting my attention. The Senator.
My daughter finally moved in 2 weeks ago, and is slowly getting used to the routine with the guidance of Louise who happily only moved 5 minutes away, and continues to train her dog at our place. With all this rainy weather, up in her loft, it is ideal. My husband and I did our first overnight stay this past Friday so Devan could go out with friends. Once again who was there to greet us? Luca, the Senator. Devan had made him a ramp to help him get down to the paddocks, where he enjoys sitting and surveying the others as they play. This time, I couldn’t help but put my veterinary eyes on him, and went over his current medications.
I always loved doing CJAD as a host because I love to give advice. Even better, when I don’t need to charge for it. So when my daughter suggested I speak with Luca’s mom, I was happy to discuss her old man who is a frequent visitor at our Ivy League Canine Center. We both discussed that this now 14 year old senior deserved as much palliation as needed to keep him comfortable. I also promised her that if I ever felt he was starting to suffer, that I would tell her. In the meanwhile, we will tweak his medication and see if we can make him a little more comfortable.
Because, the kennel would not be “Ivy League” without the Senator.