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Here's the Why


We have been in business for 7 months and people keep suggesting I start a Blog, so, here goes.

First, I have never done anything like this before so bare with me as I traverse this journey and, please, let me know what you think. Also, if you have a topic you would like for me to cover please let me know and I will do my best.

The hardest thing about doing this, for me, was picking a topic to start with. A few years ago I read a book titled, "Find Your Why" by Simon Sinek and so I thought I would start there.

Honestly, I never thought of running a dog kennel. I love animals and there is a large soft spot in my heart for all dogs. I grew up with dogs; I don't remember a time when I was growing up that we didn't have a dog or a number of dogs in our household. When I was young I remember always having Labrador Retrievers around. My Mom's mom was a breeder of Chihuahuas and we were always around small dogs at her house. My Dad's mom raised Rough Collies and we learned right away that not all dogs will like you, deal with it! This past summer my Mom and Dad had a conversation about not having anymore dogs; they currently have a Chihuahua and a Terrier. My Dad told my Mom that he didn't want to live in a house without a dog in it, ere go the reason they currently have 2 dogs. Before I got married my fiancee, now husband, was the proud owner of 3 cats and I was the caretaker for the Houston Baptist University mascot. We brought Kiza, Siberian Husky, home to see how she would do with the 3 cats. Things were going great while he and I were in the room, however, when we went upstairs to check on something we heard a loud noise downstairs. By the time we were able to get down the stairs we found Kiza happily standing at the bottom of the staircase proudly displaying one of the cats in her mouth. It didn't seem like she was trying to hurt it but she was definitely showing it who was going to be the boss. Lance and I had a long conversation and decided Kiza could go back to the University as the full time mascot and we would keep the cats. That didn't last long and when we moved to San Antonio after we got married we added two Siberian Huskies back into our family. Eventually we decided to re-home one of the Huskies, she was extremely hyper and anxious and we found a ranch where she would be loved, happy and have plenty of space to roam. Then we got a Black Lab, Nocello, and he and Suka, the other Siberian Husky became great friends and brothers. When we moved to Gillette we had to re-home the cats and we brought the dogs with us. The year we moved here Suka and Cello got out and we never saw Cello again. Then we adopted Kiddie, one of the best dogs we have ever owned, unfortunately she attached to Lance, not me (ha ha ha), and he had his first ever dog love of his life! Kiddie passed away last Spring at 13 years old and she is missed everyday. While Kiddie was a part of our family we added a few dogs, Suka passed away after being hit by a car, so we added Bailey, a Black Lab. Kiddie didn't like to play a lot and Bailey was still kind of a puppy so we got Grizzly, a Chocolate Lab. When we adopted Bailey we knew she had trouble accepting men and it took Lance about 6 months to get her to accept him. We decided to re-home Bailey after she started trying to bite Lance again, we thought we had broken her of this in the beginning. She is loving life, living in Michigan near a lake with a lady that loves to go running. Before Bailey moved to Michigan we added Shadow, a Black Lab, we call her Crack dog because she never seems to settle and stop moving. When we lived in Antelope Valley she would chase the 4-wheeler at 25 miles an hour around the subdivision twice. She and Grizzly were a great pairing and had numerous litters of puppies, if you own one, you know they produced some great dogs together. As Kiddie was getting older, with her being Lance's first four-legged dog love, we decided to add Princess Buttercup so Lance would have a new companion after Kiddie passed. And that brings us to how I got into this business.

I do not remember a time in my life that dogs weren't a part of it. It started when I was very young and my dad always had a Labrador Retriever around. We also had other dogs, I remember a Dachshund at one time, so I am sure there were others but the Labs seem to stay in my mind more than the other dogs. I remember my Dad's mom raised Rough Collies and my Mom's mom was a breeder of Chihuahuas. So my life was filled with dogs of all sizes, breeds and temperaments. Some of the Chihuahuas were definitely one owner dogs and didn't want to have anything to do with kids and the Rough Collies were very shy and would run to the other side of the yard when we would get close to the fence. We learned how to deal with dogs that didn't like us and dogs that loved us. It was a great experience growing up. When I was about 9 years old we moved from Mesquite, TX, just outside of Dallas, to Pearland, TX, just outside of Houston. We kind of lived in between the country and the city. We had an acre and a half and my siblings and I were always dragging home different strays. I remember at one point we had an Irish Setter and a St. Bernard that lived with us, why anyone would want a St. Bernard in that part of the country is beyond understanding but I had always wanted one and he showed up one day and they let me keep him. (People in our town knew that they could leave a dog on our doorstep and it would be cared for.) Over the years I remember having a Poodle, a Chihuahua, a Corgi and some other dogs that came in and out of our lives. We learned how to not get too attached because an owner could show up at any time and my parents wouldn't listen to "but I love that dog and it loves me, I should be able to keep it". They would simply explain that the people who came to get it loved it to and it was going back to them. Along with the various and sundry dogs we would bring home, there were always horses, a pony and a few barn cats, some goldfish, a couple of hamsters, a guinea pig and probably some other critters throughout the years. My life has always been filled with the love of four legged furry creatures.

Okay, on to the Second part of this and that is the why I am doing this. Last summer my husband, Lance, Byrds Handyman Services, walked into Keystone Kennels to talk to the owner about a job she needed done. While he was there the owner mentioned she was looking for someone to take over running the kennel. She didn't want to close it down because there aren't a lot of kennels in town and she didn't want to let the community down, but she couldn't do all the work on her own anymore. Lance mentioned that I wasn't working and I might be interested. After he and I talked we went and talked to the owner. She agreed to let me try it out for a few weeks to see what I thought and if I would be interested. Almost from the moment I started I was, and am, hooked. I love loving on dogs. Dogs love it when their owners come to get them but I love being able to stand in the gap when the owners need to go out of town and can't take them along. Little did I know that my parents were setting me up for a career I didn't know I wanted. I love learning knew things about the dogs, I am now a Certified Kennel Manager and am working on a few other certifications that make me better at my job. My staff is working on getting their certifications to qualify them to work with dogs and to learn a lot about dogs. I now have a certified trainer on staff and we have a groomer that shares the office space, Kali (Kay-lee) Spear, So Fetch! I am getting ready to break ground on 2 pens to start doing some daycare interactive stuff, bringing in agility training equipment and other fun stuff for mental stimulation for dogs. I can't wait to see where this goes and how much fun growing it can be.

The WHY -- it fills my love tank and my caretaker side!!!

Miss Kiddie running to Lance her favorite person in the world!!

Kiddie, Grizzly and Bailey

Princess Buttercup, our mascot!!

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