August Newsletter

 

Dear Valued Customer,

It has been a very busy first summer for our new dog kennel. We now have 462 customers and 581 dogs registered on our client portal. Since spring break, we have operated at or near full occupancy.

 

Our kennel was designed to be small and intimate with lots of personal attention. Even so, we have worked to expand our capacity to serve a customer base that is growing faster than we ever imagined possible.

 

When we opened last October, we had 22 indoor kennels and 2 outdoor play yards. Since then we have added 4 additional indoor kennels and 5 additional outdoor play yards. Next week we are adding 12 additional indoor kennels, bringing our kennel count to the maximum feasible for this facility.

 

We are hopeful this additional capacity will provide some temporary breathing room.

 

Even so, the instances where we have had to decline reservation requests or even decline admission on arrival have risen and these occurrences are as disappointing to us as it is to our customers.

 

We are taking preliminary steps to see if it could be possible to build an additional facility on our farm. Even if this were to happen, it will be well into the future.

 

For now, our focus is on improving our reservation and confirmation procedures. Although the following will be repetitive for many of our customers, many new customers will hopefully benefit from understanding our reservation policies and procedures.

 

Boarding

 

Our kennel was conceived and designed as a safe, comfortable and fun place for dogs to board overnight, including extended stays. Most boarding engagements involve a customer’s need for the service due to travel or emergencies. Most daycare stays involve the customer’s want for their dog to have a day of play and exercise.

 

In booking our limited capacity we do give preference to boarding over daycare.

 

Customers are encouraged to book and manage boarding reservations online via our customer portal. Since we do not make all kennels available for online booking, customers should call the kennel if you get a full notice. In most of these cases we have been able to accommodate the boarding reservation.

 

 

 

Daycare

 

Reservations for daycare can be requested by phone or email. Daycare reservations are confirmed only by email at the time of the request and each Sunday we send out the confirmed daycare schedule for the following week. All our staff has been trained not to confirm daycare verbally.

 

Customers can check future reservations, including daycare, on the online customer dashboard. Under the “Services” menu select “My Calendar” and you will see a calendar with all future boarding and daycare reservations for your dogs. If you believe you have a reservation, but do not see it on your calendar, it means the reservation is not in our system, and therefore is not confirmed. Regular daycare customers are encouraged to check your calendar periodically and call the kennel if you were expecting a daycare not shown on the calendar.

 

Daycare reservations beyond one week are subject to availability, even if confirmed at the time of the request. We have not yet had to bump a confirmed daycare, but it is possible this could occur in the future and we do not want any daycare customers to be surprised if it does happen.

 

Boarding and daycare services are offered on a first come first served basis. During the recent holidays, we were able to accommodate most of our wait list customers.

 

Holiday Schedule

 

The holiday schedule for the remainder of 2017 is as follows;

 

Labor Day                                           9/1 through 9/4

Thanksgiving                                      11/22 through 11/26

Christmas/New Year                           12/22 through 1/3/18

 

During these periods, all boarding rates are increased by $5.00. Also, daycare is not allowed during these holiday periods.

 

Online User Credentials

 

If you are unable to log on to the customer portal we can help you. We have access to your user name, but not your password. If you remember your password but forgot the user name we can give it to you. If you forgot your password, you can go to the log in screen, enter your user name (get it from us if your forgot it) and click on “Reset Password”, then enter your email address and the system will email you a new password.

 

If this does not work you can call Pet Exec at 1-888-738-3935, ext. 2 and they will help you refresh your online credentials.

 

 

Photos and Videos

 

We enjoy putting photos and videos of your dogs on our Facebook Page which is;

 

https://www.facebook.com/Laureloakfarmkennel/

 

The most limiting factor we face in doing this is the very slow internet speeds we experience constantly. At times, we barely have enough speed to run our operating system. We are working on a plan to fix this which should result in better and more frequent coverage of your dogs.

 

We will respond to special requests for photos and video if we can.

 

We appreciate all the comments on Facebook, but we do not monitor Facebook for messages. We do endeavor to respond to your emails promptly.

 

Thank you for your business.

 

Janie Hodges

 

 

July Newsletter

 

Dear Valued Customer,

We are being challenged almost daily by dogs arriving for daycare without a confirmed reservation.  The most prevalent comment we are hearing is that the customer thought one of our employees verbally confirmed the date. We need to remind all our customers that boarding and daycare at our facility are provided exclusively by reservation.  Boarding reservations are confirmed automatically by email. Daycare reservations are not confirmed automatically by our online system We are now operating at our full capacity and expect this to continue. To provide the quality service we expect we can not over book our facility and to ensure that we do not we have to strengthen our daycare reservation policy and process. The following changes take place immediately;

  • All daycare reservations will be confirmed by email. The most effective way to request a daycare reservation is by email. Requests may be left by phone or in person, but the visit is not confirmed unless and until you receive a confirmation email.
  • Daycare reservations need to be made 2 days or more prior to the day of the visit.
  • Each weekend we will email customers with daycare reservations for the following week to confirm their visits. If you think you have booked a reservation and have not had it confirmed by Sunday night please call.

Our daycare program is fully booked until after the 4th of July. If you have a daycare reservation and no longer need it please let us know, another customer will use the space. We are hopeful that our online provider will work with us to enhance and automate our daycare system. Even so, we have limited space for daycare and we can not over fill our kennel. We regret any inconvenience caused by these changes and will work with you to meet your dogs needs. Sincerely, Janie Hodges

 

June Newsletter

 

Dear Valued Customer,

Your response to our new business has been overwhelming. In the eight months since our opening almost 350 customers with over 500 dogs have registered with our kennel. We are truly grateful so many have entrusted us with the care of your dogs.

 

We are now experiencing full occupancy on a regular basis. Our forward reservation book and new customers suggest that this will continue

 

Our online reservation systems have proven to be convenient for our customers and us. However, as we reach peak capacity we realize that our operating system will allow over booking. Changes to our reservation policy are described below which are intended to avoid over booking.

 

We are pursuing both short and long-term solutions to provide the capacity for more dogs.

 

Our commitment is to provide every dog that comes through our door with a quality away from home experience.

 

Boarding:

 

Our kennel was designed for boarding of dogs. We welcome new boarding customers and encourage online boarding reservations. If you get a full night notice when trying to make an online reservation please call the kennel to check availability. We do not allow online reservations to book 100% of our capacity because we have to consider the size of dogs in the boarding population relative to the sizes of our kennels.

 

Daycare:

 

We have reached full daycare capacity on weekdays on a regular basis. To continue to provide our existing customers with quality daycare service we have to take the following steps:

 

  • Online daycare reservations are no longer available. We are working with our online vendor to see if there is a way to restore online reservations consistent with our capacity on any given day. In the meantime, the best way to make daycare reservations is to email or phone your request and we will confirm promptly.
  • We have suspended the sale of Daycare Packages to new customers. All existing package holders may renew their package for as long as desired. Many of our daycare package customers book regular schedules and we will continue to do this for you by email or phone.
  • We have created a Daycare Package waitlist. As existing daycare packages expire and if not renewed, a new package will be available to the next wait list customer.

 

Our dog care philosophy does not allow dogs to stay outside all day, during any season. We believe all our dogs, whether boarding or daycare, need periodic indoor stays in their private kennel to rest at room temperature.

 

Grooming:

 

As a reminder, we offer three levels of dog grooming service;

 

Level 1: Do–It-Yourself dog wash. For less than $20 you can wash/dry/groom your dog using our bathing equipment, dryers and grooming tables. Get your dog clean and leave the mess with us. Hours for the DIY wash are 10AM-7PM Weekdays, 9AM-7PM Saturday and 12PM-7PM Sunday.

 

Level 2: Kennel Wash and Dry. Our staff will bathe and dry your dog and can provide nail trims, ear cleaning, face cleaning, brushing, de-shedding and de-matting. Appointments can be made online, by email or phone, for service during business hours. Kennel Wash typically takes an hour and dogs can stay for full or partial daycare at a discounted rate

 

Level 3: Full Grooming with a Haircut. Our groomer, Charmaine Wilson is now scheduling regular appointments on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  An easy way to schedule a full grooming with Charmaine is to schedule online from our website – www.laureloakfarm.net. Under the Services tab select Grooming and scroll to the page bottom. You will see a calendar with highlighted grooming dates available. When you click on the date you will see the times available. If there is a time that works for you click on the time then Continue and you will be able to complete the reservation form online. If this is too much, call or email and we will schedule your grooming appointment.

 

A haircut grooming can take from 2-6 hours, depending on the size, hair and temperament of the dog and the procedure. Certain dogs need a break during grooming and they are introduced to the daycare program while not in the tub or on the table. Daycare fees do not apply unless the dog is dropped off for a full daycare visit with full grooming.

 

 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to handle the increased occupancy we are experiencing. We have been able to add additional play space for dogs and we have brought on several new employees. We are planning improvements to our Facebook page including better photo and video coverage of your dogs.

 

We are committed to providing your dog with quality and caring service.

 

Janie Hodges

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have loved this kennel from Day 1! — Leesa W. on Facebook