As a retired international All-Breed and Obedience Dog Show Judge, certified with the Federacion Cynologique Internacional based in Belgium, you can imagine I love dogs and dog shows. Over the years, I have judged international shows in Venezuela, Columbia, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, and the United States. I need a dog or two within petting distance always, and I believe the dogs in my life realize this for there is always at least one at my feet. I never had my own dog when I was a child because my father’s work required several international relocations and traveling with a dog was more complicated way back then than it is now. Anyway, I say that I am making up for lost time and now have many wonderful dogs!

I studied Art and Architectural and Interior Design in college and was finally able to design and build the kennel we now own and manage. Aside from the contact with all these wonderful pets, we have met and made friends with many dog lovers during the 30 years we have been in Charlotte. With spacious interior kennels, each dog has his own see through door to his own outdoor run, the largest in Charlotte. The vibes in the buildings are extremely good. Even newcomers settle in peacefully and nobody cries or whines. I know that because we live right here and sleep well.

The kennels are separated by six foot walls inside and four foot walls outside so there is no fence fighting but they can see each other across the hall. Soft classical WDAV music plays constantly. The kennel walls are a soft shade of green that was scientifically determined because it is soothing for the dogs. Even though some folks still think that dogs are color blind, this color works soothing wonders.

Outside, we have seven fenced-in playgrounds where we can play, retrieve, or have sniffing and exploring sessions, or “I’m sitting, please keep on petting me” sessions. Seven o’clock in the morning we go in and open their doors and they all go out barking joyfully to greet the new day and take care of other matters. There are relatively few nighttime ‘accidents’ inside.

We take great pride in the cleanliness of the kennels and happiness of the dogs. And that goes for the cats as well. The cat kennels are Formica lined, not cold stainless steel. Six of the kennels have see-through back walls and can be strategically located in front of the window so they can watch outdoor activities. The cats love to sit in front of a window and will spend hours just watching the birds and the dogs playing outside. They seem to need that. The cat room has just been painted a light lavender, which is soothing to the cats.

Next time, we’ll talk about grooming!!!