• Morning Routine at the DD Ranch

October 10, 2020

In this instalment of ‘Behind the Scenes at DD’ I’m going to lead you through the morning routine.
Everyone wakes up at around 6.45-ish after a nice long sleep and, as usual with all dogs, they wake up, take a good long stretch and then start complaining that they need a pee!
Everyone gets to only go out in the top yards (the two yards closest to the house, split by a center fence, that total about half an acre in size) first thing in the morning.
We don't ‘run’ the dogs in the field or down at Dingly Dell first thing because we like to feed breakfast by 8am and any time the dogs get a big-ass run their bodies need to rest for an hour to restore normal breathing before we can feed them.
So instead, they all have a mooch around the top yards for about 45 minutes, or as we like to call it, ‘sh*t, shower and shave’ time!
We put our hands on EVERY dog first thing in the morning to check for lumps, bumps or areas of heat.
Lots of our guests are older dogs who suffer from arthritis, and some of our younger guests can at times over-do it, running like lunatics, and that can result in muscle stress.
By putting our hands on every dog all over their body we can check for signs of inflammation as the body naturally responds to stress or inflammation in any area by sending a rush of blood to it. Think about your sore, achy knees....they feel a little warmer than the rest of your leg right? Or what about when you get bit by some assh*le yellow jacket (I hate them SO much!), that area feels like an inferno, doesn’t it?
That’s the body’s reaction to inflammation....
Identifying those areas and acting upon what we find can make a big and immediate difference in the quality of life for all of our guests.
Just last week, beautiful Portuguese water spaniel Lily Brecker had overdone it on one of her jaunts down to Dingly Dell, and though she was moving well and was happy as a clam, Aunty Kris discovered an area of heat in Lily’s back end during the early morning session.
She called me and we discussed a quick treatment plan which included a more restful day, heat wraps and a soothing massage. Lily was right as rain later that day.
Or maybe someone’s getting an ear infection? Very, very common at this time of year with all that nasty bloody ragweed playing havoc with the skin, and heat emanating from the ears is a pretty good way to tell.
We have a quick response to ear infections as they’re a misery for dogs, so straight away we use a special mix of raw apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide to rinse out the ear and restore the skins natural pH balance. We aren’t allowed to dispense pharmaceuticals without explicit instructions from the owner, so until we have spoken to Mum and Dad and agreed a treatment plan, we rely on holistic remedies like these which won’t cause side effects.
Most times they work quickly and completely fix the problem, nipping things like this in the bud.
We are always happy to share these remedies with our clients too, if you’d like. Another perk of bringing your dogs to DD!
After the morning ‘grope’ session has ended, and everyone’s ‘dropped a few friends off at the pool’ or ‘drained the main vein’ 🤣 everyone piles back inside to their respective lounges where they wait patiently (NOT!) for their breakfast.
I’m not kidding, it’s like listening to a gaggle of geese first thing in the morning and if we have three legged Coonhound Amos in the house, well.......lets just say we get calls from the Mir Space Station asking us to pipe down! Jesus, that boy can belt out a tune when he’s hungry! Think Scooby Doo, mixed with Pavarotti and Bobcat Goldthwait (the little comedian from the Police Academy films) and you get some kind of idea.
Some dogs are popped into our huge 6 foot by 4 foot crates for feeding, if they’re the kind that might steal their pals food....
Others are the most delightful and well mannered dining partners, happy to eat theirs next to their friends‘ bowl without even a sideways glance. As always, though, we are right there monitoring in case anyone even THINKS of any shenanigans.
We go from room to room, dispensing big bowls of warm casseroles, each to the recipients liking, “Sir? You ordered the beef pot roast I believe? And for Madam, the chicken?”
Once all of the bowls are slurped clean, we pick them all up, take them into the kitchen and, while all of the dogs settle down to rest and digest for an hour and a half, we wash the bowls thoroughly and then start the daily cleaning tasks.......washing the patio off, scrubbing and refilling the outside water bowls, picking up massive amounts of sh*t from the yards, getting laundry collected etc.
The heavy cleaning of floors, furniture and woodwork etc is done every day during the morning run times between 9.30 and 11am when all of the dogs are out going nuts in the field.
At 9.15, everyone downs tools and masks up, ready to head for the driveway to greet the incoming dogs or get ready to say goodbye to the leavers.
And then, at 9.30 comes the REAL fun. Cos that’s when the party in the field starts!
But we’ll cover that another time as that’s a whole ‘nother big story all of its own…….

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