Friday, 2 May 2008


Whilst we were away over the recent holidays, Xena went to kennels. And, as with many things out here, you have to leave your UK concepts behind.

First – kennels are few and far between. There is only one in virtually the whole of Herault. And it is a 45-minute drive away.

Secondly – it is all outside. Each dog has its own LARGE enclosure with a little wooden house for sleeping or lounging in, raised off the ground. For toy (read spoilt!) dogs there are a few enclosures with underfloor heating in the wooden houses. But Xena is a hardy English dog! No central heating for her!

Kennel cough is basically non existent – the dogs are out in the fresh air all the time, come rain or shine.

Xena comes back exceedingly healthy looking, with a thicker coat than she went in with and usually no voice. Yes. She believes in joining in with all the barking, the whole time she is there. After three days, she could not even work up anything better than a hoarse wheeze at the postman when she saw him. That was it for the next week and a half. A sore throat and an appetite.

Sussex spaniels are not the greatest eaters at home, so put her in a kennel and Xena sulks and refuses food for the first three days. After that she nibbles OK. So when she got home this time, it was into the dinner bowl with a vengeance!

Xena also comes back knackered. For a dog that sleeps twenty hours in every twenty-four at home, it comes as a shock to be kept awake by all your noisy neighbours at kennels. There are people living in housing estates back in the UK who would sympathise with her!

The only negative to the kennels is that it is in a bauxite area – which means red mud. Famous for it. And she comes back covered in it. And ready for a bath.

Before the bath though, we (for we, read ME!) generally cut out any knots, trim her hairy feet and ears, and clip her nails – well one nail at a time because as soon as she realises what I am up to, she refuses to come back to me!!

The cat is delighted to see the dog back home and arrives to provide the sympathy – whilst Xena is sulking for the umpteenth time about her homecoming. Unlike Xena, the cat LOVES being brushed. But since it is totally unnecessary with a shorthaired cat, she seldom gets to enjoy herself.


Jan said...

We missed you! Welcome back to blogging!

Lesley said...

I agree! Welcome back! I have missed reading your daily activities xx

Ann said...

Glad to see you back. By the way, I know that Xena goes to a kennel,who looks after the cat?

Jacqui U said...

Yep, I am just about back up and running again. But not a lot happening round here to chat about. We need some gossip and scandal.....

The cat looks after herself when we are away for a few days only. She has a catflap (it is a dog flap as well!) that gives her access to all her favourite rooms in the house.

We fill up a big bowl with her dried food and a large bowl of water. Our neighbour keeps an eye out as well, and pops in to check on her.

However, she is a cat that spends a lot of time out and about, and we usually only see her every couple of days anyway. She only thinks we are not around if her breakfast is not there when/if she deigns to come home!