Zeppelin Doisy, a boisterous 6 year old boxer mix, is a frequent boarder in the kennels at Rock Bridge Animal Hospital. As a kennel assistant, caring for Zeppelin various weekends throughout the summer months and the beginning of fall has given me the opportunity to really get to know him and his consistent positive attitude. Arriving on Saturday evenings to begin the weekend after-hours care, Zeppelin always anticipates the attention he will receive as we start the shift.
The kennel assistant’s main goal is to provide reliable care to our boarders in both a low stress and compassionate environment. This is achieved in many ways. For example calm music is played throughout the boarding area, and curtains divide the kennel to minimize how much the dogs bark at each other. And we always find time to give plenty of attention to the boarders while we handle them. Zeppelin is one of the boarders that understands our routine, and makes sure to have a little fun during the process.
Entering the kennel area can sometimes get loud with barks and howls (especially right before dinner time) and Zeppelin always enthusiastically joins in the conversation. Zeppelin cooperates as he is led to the outdoor area for a bathroom break, but he makes it clear that there is also time to play, get some attention and maybe a couple treats, too! He never fails to put a smile on my face when he is boarding in the kennels and his genuine happiness is something that makes him so special and a joy to work with.
Dinner is prepared for each dog while they are outside, and of course Zeppelin devours his with gusto. After taking care of both the canine and feline boarders, the kennel assistants finish up the chores and begin winding down before leaving for the rest of the night.
Zeppelin stands out to me because of his unwavering excitement for every aspect of staying overnight in our kennels. Even when the task is as simple as recording the boarder’s weights, he is thrilled to participate (even if that means he is a little squirmy on the scale). Whether it’s the evening rotation or bright and early Sunday morning, the weekend kennel shift is guaranteed to be an enjoyable time when Zeppelin is there eager to greet me, along with his wagging tail.
Written by Madeline