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  1. #1

    Default Happy I'm going to CSA, but....

    I am thrilled that I am going to CSA again after 3 years away, but the only part that saddens me just a bit is leaving my 3 precious doggies. Maybe I am too close too them, but I don't have human babies so my fur-covered babies mean the world to me. We will be at CSA for a week (6 days actually) returning home on day 7 and I don't want to worry about them while in paradise. Last time we were in Jamaica, my in-laws came into town and stayed at my home to watch our dogs. It's not an option this year and the thought of a Kennel makes me EXTREMELY nervous and sad for them. We have no family in our area, a few friends have offered to check in on our dogs, but we need something more "steady" and we don't want to impose on friends. We have a few nice pet resorts but the prices are "excessive" for three dogs, like nearly $600 for 8 days (an extra day is added because we will leave so early and have to kennel them the night before.) And as EXPENSIVE as it is, if I had to and I mean HAD TO, I would probably pay it. It's a little crazy cause that's a lot of money, I mean really, but that's how much I love those little dogs. Actually, I am leaning toward a pet sitter, but even that is making me nervous, I mean what if they don't show up like they say...still I think that is the more logical option, and it is half the price of the pet resort. Now, don't get me wrong, WE ARE GOING TO CSA, I love my dogs, but there is no way are WE are not going, but it's a little dilemma and I wanted to find out what you fine folks do. I tried to attach a little photo of my youngest dog, "Kirby"...hope that was successful. Name:  DSC00320.jpg
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  2. #2


    Kirby is certainly a handsome fella! We have one dog now, and it kills Bob to leave the dog. I travel for a living, so I am more used to it, but the dog is Bob's buddy.

    We have tried both a pet sitter and a reputable kennel. We are in the same boat you are - we do not live near any of our relatives. There are many, many reputable pet sitters out there. Check references, and you can be assured that they will show up. Your dogs will obviously be most happy in their own home. However, we also have found a very reputable kennel in our area. It is operated by a K-9 officer and a former NHL hockey player, so they have put some money in it. Be sure to tour the kennel prior to letting your dog stay there, and make sure they have socialization time.

    In fact, I have to drop our dog off at the kennel today because we are going away for the weekend. I absolutely hate the sad face I get from our dog, and the "Mom, please don't leave me here" eyes. It is haunting. But life is all about balance, and since I know that he is in good hands, I at least don't have to worry about him. And I always bring pictures of him with us. Good luck!

  3. #3


    We are going thru the same thing. We will be at Couples Swept Away 3 months from today - Dec 17th. (2nd visit)

    I have 2 goldendoodles - Ziggy is 6 months and Daisy is 3 months. They are high energy and need lots of attention. I think I have found a resort in Jackson TN - Waggin Tails Resort. Its an hour from where we live. They are expensive but they have sound reduced rooms which I like. My doodles are sensitive

    We also have a 13 yr old golden retriever and 9 outdoor cats. But my 80 yr old mother can handle those - they are calm.

    I love my doodles and love Jamaica - so I had to find a resort for the 4 legged kids. I have just included it in with the Jamaica budget.

  4. #4


    What a little cutie
    I completely understand how you're feeling. We have cats who are like children to us. Plus I used to have a dog and 2 horses, so going away then was next to impossible. One of my cats (who has since passed of old age) was diabetic and needed shots twice a day, so finding someone willing to do that was incredibly difficult.
    My preference, and what I did when I had all the assorted animals and went to Australia, was to have a pet/HOUSE sitter who stayed at my home. That way you don't have to worry about them forgetting to come by, or being really late or whatever. Plus it's company for the animals. A student who maybe lives at home and would love to have his/her own space for a bit could work. (Just be sure they're reliable animal lovers!)
    Another thing I looked into was vet clinics. One time I had an assistant from my vet clinic take care of them, which was great for the medicating part and I knew she was totally reliable. I did have to pay her a fair bit, but it was so worth it for peace of mind.
    Now we're lucky to have a neighbour/friend to swap cat sitting with, as she has cats and travels more than we do. So it works very well.
    My main advice is to find someone/someplace who you totally trust. If you don't feel 100% comfortable you'll worry and it will ruin your trip.
    Good luck to you. Keep searching and you find the right solution!

  5. #5


    What are we going to do with the dogs is question heard alot around my house come vaction time. Not only are we going to CSA for 8 days but we have to drive 2000 mile to grandparents house so they can wacth our 4 children. So we are gone 3 weeks plus And grandparents are a no go for dogs. We have tried boarding them but with two large dogs it cost almost as much as our tip to CSA. We have tried nieghbors, hated asking for so long. And finially have found what works for us. Is finding a college age student home for the summer, who wants a break from her parents. And make sure she and knows nieghbors know we are on vacation so any monkey busseness is not going to happen. has worked great for us.

  6. #6

    Default Housesitters

    You might check into a house sitter. I pay $40/night for someone to come and stay in the house overnight and take care of the dogs. I don't stress the dogs out by taking them to a kennel or "pet resort". I don't have to worry about all the extra vaccinations most kennels require as I believe in minimilistic vaccinations. The dogs get to maintain a pretty routine schedule in the comfort of the own surroundings, a true pet resort

    Check at Vet offices as Vet Techs often house sit and at high end dog food stores for places to find house sitters. I do a trial run with the housesitter by an easy overnighter before I trust them for a longer trip.

    Good luck. I know the feeling about leaving the girls back home but sometimes you just need a trip with out them.

  7. #7


    They actually have a certification program for petsitters now. National Association of Pet Sitters: We are moving across the country soon and I was going to check this out when the time came for us to be able to vacation again if we don't find someone we know by then to do it.

    To locate one:

  8. #8


    Oh Papaya... We're in the same boat. This is our second trip to CSA, we'll be there 12/12 through 12/24/10 and absolutely cannot wait!! Hubby and I have 3 furry felines, fish and a huge chocolate lab named Charlie Brown.. these ARE our children as well. I told hubby it would be the dream vacation if we could at least take Charlie with us.. he would really love the beach!! We still have 3 months to figure out who will housesit/babysit. It is very expensive to hire a house/petsitter and the thought of them being in a cage for 12 days just saddens me. We have friends who can come by, but I want to know they are being very well pampered. Not everyone can treat our "babies" like we do. How would you really know if the "sitters" skip a day or two. Just makes me crazy to think about.

    In our area, there are what's called doggie spas, expensive, BUT... someone is always with the pets 24/7 and will even video tape play time throughout the day and email you the video clips. I feel more comfortable with a place like this than a sitter. At least the extra money spent will ease the mind some.

    We love to go away, but I am so very anxious to get back home to my babies. I hope you find a great solution for your babies.
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  9. #9


    Don't feel bad about your love for your dogs. We don't have children and have 2 cats that are, indeed, our children. I have a great friend who is a pet sitter and she is very responsible, is insured and bonded. I recommend you check out this option and interview the person. I know my animals would be much happier at home than in a kennel. Maybe your vet has a recommendation? To ease your mind you could even ask the person to email you each day....Couples has a computer room so you could get a report each day. Where are you from? Others might be able to recommend someone in your area?

  10. #10


    I would have to agree that a strange kennel would probably not be the best option for your little babies. Small dogs can get very sick very quickly when they are stressed. I would go for a pet-sitter. Being in their own environment and with a similar routine would probably be the healthiest for those adorable puppies. Perhaps you know of a responsible high school or college student who could use the extra cash. My friend who has two small dogs uses her doggie daycare that offers kennel service too, but her dogs are already used to the staff and their routines because they attend the daycare a few times a week and it's the same place they go for grooming. It's a little pricey, but well worth the peace of mind she has knowing they are well cared for. Good Luck!

  11. #11


    If people can leave their kids, you should have no problem leaving your dogs. Look into a pet sitter and check references. Only pay half (or none) before you leave and have a designated time that you check in with the pet sitter at your home number every day. You can also have one of your friends check on the sitter too. If you have any friends with teenagers, you might find a cheap and good pet sitter that way. I think you may be surprised how liberated you will feel once you settle in at your resort. I miss my kids, but I love not having that daily responsibility when I'm gone.

  12. #12



    Our dog Bailey (we always called her our 1st born) was our "child" too before we had our 2 girls. We spent a lot of money on her over the years of her life. Many people gave us a very hard time about that. She needed an extensive medical procedure that cost us thousands. BUT - she was our baby and we would do anything we could for her. She lived a great life after that procedure and we never regretted it for a second!

    With that being said - I know that my husband and I would spend the $600 for boarding to ensure that our doggies were safe and well taken care of. I know it's a lot of money but they are your children!!! If you feel ok about spending the money then I say do it!!! When you consider that the price is for 3 dogs for 8 days it really isn't that high of a price IMHO. Hopefully you'll come up with a good plan that you'll feel comfortable with and will be able to enjoy CSA without worrying about your little ones back home!

  13. #13


    I'm sure it's as difficult for you to leave your babies as it is for us to leave ours.
    We're lucky because we have an amazing friend who comes and stays at our place and watches our daughter and assorted pets, and my Mom will pitch in for a few days as well.
    In the past, when we're all going away, we have put our two dogs in a very good kennel close to home. It is hard to leave them, but thankfully our kennel treats the dogs well.
    Good luck!

  14. #14


    We found a vet's office to board our two pugs. They come back so much happier than the PetSmart kennel we used to they give them a bath the day you pick them up, free of charge, so they don't STINK to high heaven.
    Jamie & David
    CN 11/2005 & 10/2008 & 11/2011
    CSS 9/2007, 9/2009, 9/2010, 11/2011, 9/2012, 9/2013
    CTI 9/2013, 11/2015, 11/2017

  15. #15


    Hey there. I completely understand not wanting to take vacations without the "babies." It's always tuff to leave my Boston. If you trust your vet clinic you can always ask if any of them are pet sitters. I worked in a vet clinic and can tell you I loved pet sitting for our clients. I would either stay at the clients house so the dog was in their home tuff or they would come stay with me if the owner didn't want a stranger in their home.
    Otherwise there are kennels that offer all sorts of amenities. Like a tv in the room and play time. But I'm with you that I would rather have a person play and baby my little guy while I can't be there.
    So advice is to check with your vet. They usually have good recommendations since they only have your babies best interests at heart :-)

  16. #16


    Papaya, you need another kennel!!

  17. #17


    We have a in home sitter keep our dogs. Let them know your concerns and have a friend check on them too. That way they have plently of visits. My sitter also sent me email and let me know how they were doing. No worries...go and enjoy

  18. #18


    We feel the same way, luckily we are blessed in that they can stay at the in-laws but I still worry about one of them getting out or something because they don't stay in their yards unless leashed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Wheaten children, Oscar and Charlie!
    Attached Images Attached Images      
    Erika & Sean

  19. #19


    We have a 4 1/2 yr old golden retriever named Shylo. In Feb. we are vacationing at CSA for 2 whole weeks. Thankfully, I have an 18yr old son at home to take care of her but I'm not sure if she will miss us the most or if we will miss her the most. She's such an emotional dog. This is the hardest part about vacations.

  20. #20

    Default all the doggies that miss out......

    i have stolen the idea from another thread,
    so lets all post our "furry kids" who dont get to enjoy couples !!!
    i miss them everyday that we are there and even made our petsitter skype with them when we went last time i know im crazy !!!

    these are our two blue heelers callie (age 12) + juneau (age 10)

    Attached Images Attached Images    
    CSA - 3/19/2008 -3/25/2008
    CSA - 11/4/2008 - 11/11/2008
    CSA - 10/7/2009 - 10/14/2009
    CSA - 10/10/2010 - 10/19/2010

  21. #21


    I totally know how you guys feel. Thankfully I have someone to look after them who has loads of land and keeps them in the custom they are used to but no matter what it wont stop me from missing them.
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    Last edited by K Glaister; September 20th, 2010 at 07:44 AM.

  22. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by Margi View Post
    If people can leave their kids, you should have no problem leaving your dogs. Look into a pet sitter and check references. Only pay half (or none) before you leave and have a designated time that you check in with the pet sitter at your home number every day. You can also have one of your friends check on the sitter too. If you have any friends with teenagers, you might find a cheap and good pet sitter that way. I think you may be surprised how liberated you will feel once you settle in at your resort. I miss my kids, but I love not having that daily responsibility when I'm gone.
    Margi, it is sometimes hard to find someone who can take care of our four legged friends...much harder than finding someone to take care of kids. We are lucky to have a good friend to take care of our cats, Patches and Phantom.
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  23. #23


    Charlie Brown looks just like my old chocolate lab, Newman!!! Newman has been gone for 2 yrs now, and I still think of him every day. The best thing you can do for your dog is get them used to the situation BEFORE you go away. Actually, the 2nd day I had Newman as a pup, I took him to the local kennel for a play time and some sniffing around. He got treats and lots of attention. Then... from that time on, he LOVED it there!!!! When I would drop him off, I never even needed a leash, I would open the car door and he would BOLT out and run to the door of the kennel. If you can afford it, it's a good idea to kennel your dog once in a while (but of course, do your research on the kennel). Same thing for housesitting -- get someone overnight a couple of times before you leave them for a week or more!

  24. #24


    Thank you all so much for your advice, kind encouragement and of course the wonderful pictures of your own fur-babies. All of the pictures are great and I know we all are at least a little bit sad to leave those babies behind, but it is so great to see them upon our return. It's actually one of the few WONDERFUL things about returning home after being at Couples.

    Due to the limited time left until this years trip (October 13th) it looks like I will use a Pet Sitter's Services this year. I checked out a few of their references and I feel a little better. BUT I will definitely look into some of your alternate solutions for my next vacation. Thank you again for your help. Dog Lovers ROCK!!!! Cat Lovers are ok too!

  25. #25


    We have had luck so far finding someone to stay at our house while we're gone to watch our little doggie. Since we both work at home and treat our sweetheart like a queen, our consolation is that she is doted on for 51 weeks of the year, like her own Couples Resort. Then it's Mommy and Daddy's time to be treated like a queen and king. Then we look forward to coming home and the great reunion before the big countdown to next year begins. Enjoy your stay and hope you find someone you really trust so you can relax and have the time of your life!

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