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It's a Dog's Life: Pampered Pooches Find Home Away From Home

Day care for canines is a growing trend and one Middletown business fills the niche with ease.

To some, dogs are a part of the family. So much so that the prospect of leaving them home during the day, while mom and dad are at work and the kids attend school — is unacceptable.

Thanks to The Dog Cabin, a doggie day care in Middletown owned by Kevin Reed and his wife, Annellie, your furry friend can spend the day in an atmosphere of love, where he can romp and play with other dogs, and where he has enough stimulation in his environment to keep him entertained all day.

Reed says they opened The Dog Cabin in 2007 because, “we were unhappy leaving our dogs in a kennel when we went away. We wanted to open a place where dogs can run free while they are boarding, and are not caged the whole time.”

Open seven days a week, The Dog Cabin offers doggie day care (for people dropping off their pets for a few hours or the day), boarding and a grooming salon. The boarded dogs are out of their kennels for several hours a day, in the doggie day care, which, says Reed, gives them exercise and socialization, and relieves the stress of being away from home and their owners.

There’s a 3,000-square-foot outdoor play area, which is connected to a smaller indoor play area that has heating and air conditioning. The online doggie webcams ensure that the owners can go to the website and see their dogs in the play area. Each dog has a temperament evaluation before admittance for boarding or the doggie day care.

They are introduced to Reed’s three boxers, and if there are any signs of aggression, they are not admitted. “It’s a much safer environment than going to a dog park, where you don’t know the temperament of the dogs, or who is vaccinated. Here, everyone is vaccinated. And the small dogs are not in with the big dogs.”

In all, 2,895 dogs have passed through those doors. And they have revelled in such things as the three kiddie pools, the sprinkler, the slides, and things to climb.

“They swim around and jump into the sprinkler,” says Reed. “Last summer, we had a machine that made chicken-flavored bubbles, and the dogs would jump up and pop them. In the winter, we see them jumping through the snow, making a racetrack and going crazy. They’re like kids out there. We give them things to do. We try to keep it interesting for them."

Canines, Reed says, at first show the same behavior as children first leaving home for preschool.

“When the new dogs come in, they don’t want their owner to leave. It’s like dropping a kid off at kindergarten. But after the dog comes four or five times, he can’t wait to come in. He doesn’t even say goodbye to his owner. He just rushes into the day care. We’ve got two or three dogs who don’t want to leave at the end of the day."

More and more people, Reed says, refuse to leave their pets at home, choosing instead to offer their dogs exercise, socialization and and a familiar home away from home.

“Doggie day care is definitely a growing trend. People are happy that they don’t have to leave their dogs home alone all day, and that they don’t have to walk them when it’s cold or when they’re tired, because they get plenty of exercise here.”

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Jody Baldyga Long May 02, 2011 at 03:46 PM
My husband and I are very glad we found The Dog Cabin. Kevin and his staff have an amazing place and all treat your pets as if they were one of their own. We feel very comfortable leaving our two dogs here when they need to be boarded. We also bring them to daycare once a week - we have very tired dogs at the end of the day - a sign that they've played and had a good time all day!
Bill Carpenter May 02, 2011 at 04:17 PM
Our 4 year old black lab, Maggie, knows when it's "The Day" every week for her daycamp. She pesters me every step of the morning until she bursts through the Dog Cabin's doors! With her boundless energy, I dont know what we would do to give her enough exercise without Kevin's help. She has been going there since she was a puppy and we have never had a complaint about her care.

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