Covered in hair, sweat, water, and yes… poop, I have completed my day's adventure in Taylor Crossing Animal Hospital's Paws Mahal Pet Resort and Doggie DayCare.
So what's it like taking care of over one hundred doggie daycare campers plus dog and cat boarders? Well, let's look at 6 things you never knew happened at our pet resort and that should give you an idea.
There Are 9 Boarding Areas Spread Over 12,000 Square Feet
6:20AM the floodgates open.
Time to clean, feed, walk and LOVE all the furry friends who have enjoyed a night at camp Taylor Crossing.
There are 9 boarding areas spread across 12,000 square feet at this veterinary hospital's campus…each area's guests demanding our undivided attention. The noise level is high, as the guests don't mind barking to let us know it's feeding and potty time.
Feeling like a fish out of water, I watch as the resort team synchronizes tasks like honeybees. It is a professionally choreographed routine…each member knows exactly where to go and what to do when they get there.
One group walks, loves, cleans, and feeds while the other group continues more cleaning, laundry, and bathing.
The third group is busy in the reception area bringing pets back to their respective daycare or boarding areas.
The pace doesn't slow for the next 5 HOURS but the laughter and excitement are contagious.
Zac, our Resort Manager, has definitely found his "pearls" as everyone in his department works together keeping a non-stop pace until lunch.
After lunch, the process starts over again, with just as much enthusiasm, laughter, and patience exhibited at 6:20AM.
Cleaning And Laundry Never Stop
Hallie starts the day with the morning cleaning rotation. Her responsibilities are daunting and include sweeping, mopping, and sanitizing the ENTIRE resort area. And that means the drains that collect ALL the waste, hair, and food, must be cleaned too.
It is stinky in the trenches but fortunately, this job is rotated daily.
As Hallie is cleaning the floors and drains, other resort members are cleaning suites, small dog condos, traditional condos, and kitty condos. There is always a bucket, broom, or mop in hand.
A Daycare Staff Member Burns 400 Calories In Two Hours
The excitement continues in every direction.
I get caught following a line of dogs headed to the play yard.
I meet up with Robyn who is running to catch up with her "furry" line leader, Jett, a huge Great Dane. She yells, "Watch out for the Danes' tails and feet! You will get hurt if you're not careful." As 5 Great Danes trot by, I heed her warning.
Time to run, throw balls, skip, climb in tunnels, climb ramps, wipe off slobber, break up arguments, rub bellies, and scratch backs.
After 15-20 minutes, Robyn yells "let's go," claps her hands, and instantly all campers drop their toys and head for the gate.
Time for the next group, then another, and then swim sessions.
Two hours of non-stop action has to equate to a 400-calorie burn! RIGHT?
Resort Workers Change Clothes Up To 4 Times Each Day
I quickly learn that rain boots are a necessity as getting wet comes with the territory.
And with our southern heat and humidity, shedding is a constant too.
However, we can't stop there, adding to the slobber, dog/cat hair, and splashed water is the occasional "I love you" urine. Yes, sometimes a male guest will mark a resort worker's leg as his territory.
Needless to say, wearing clean dry clothes can mean up to 4 CLOTHING CHANGES a day.
The swims start, and in no time I am drenched and wishing I had a pair of rain boots and a dry shirt. I also get my first fresh "poop pile" to clean and water makes it messy! I find out quickly, this is one of about 40 piles I will scoop today.
As pool action continues, so does the cleaning, feeding, laundry, dishes, AND bathing.
I also forgot, the birds and fish in the cat room must be fed and their cages and aquariums cleaned.
Spas Aren't Just For Humans Anymore
Soaked, stinking, and covered in hair, slobber, and a poop-urine combination on my pants, I head to the bathing room.
Whitney is a pro and in no time one of our guest's nails are clipped, his ears are cleaned, and anal glands are expressed: "Not all dogs are this cooperative" Whitney explains, "but it's nice when they enjoy the spa treatments we provide… ok Mrs. Lauri make yourself useful and hand me the shampoo!"
I do as I am told. There are 6 different shampoos to choose from and all sorts of conditioners, specialty combs, and sprays. It looks like the inside of a human hair salon.
Whitney is on her 17th bath and has a few more to go before she starts dishwashing duties. Meanwhile, Zac's crew continues walking boarders in a separate play yard.
It's daunting to think of the numerous details required for every 'i" to be dotted and every "t" to be crossed. But this resort team is the best and each member takes pride in his/her assignments for the day.
Dogs Like To Poop!
Do not be fooled, walking, feeding, loving, bathing and playing are not the only job requirements. Where there are dogs, there is poop and it must go somewhere.
The poop is "scooped" from the entire Taylor Crossing Campus and every poop bucket in each play yard emptied. It is a stinky nasty job but a requirement in order to keep the campus clean. After scooping, all the morning baths must be brushed out and afternoon baths started.
It's 3:00PM walking, loving, feeding, cleaning, bathing, brushing, and laundry continues until closing hours approach.
The mad rush of discharging 100 plus daycare pups and checking out boarders is approaching. The resort staff takes one last deep breath, and the discharging marathon begins.
As Practice Manager, it is a complete joy to join our staff members in their respective departments. It helps me appreciate on a different level the hard work each employee puts in every day to provide tender loving care to the guests and patients we have the pleasure of caring for at Taylor Crossing Animal Hospital. I am blessed to be a part of this incredible hospital.
Thanks, Resort Staff for allowing me a Bird's Eye View of what you do each day. I might stink but I had a BLAST!