There are so many things to love about living here in the NW but I recently discovered one more thing....The Yeller Cab Pet Taxi. This is one of those ideas I put in my "why didn't I think of this?" category.
Here are a group of folks that saw a need - transportation for your pet when you are not able to drive them yourself and filled it beautifully. However, they didn't stop there - They offer a wide variety of walks, off leash runs, quick 'pit stops' and more. This service is wonderful for us who work a lot of hours and perhaps don't give our best friends the excercise and stimulation we really want them to have.
You can visit them on line at http://www.yellercab.com/ and register your pet for their passport and see all the different services they offer.
How about day care? We are really blessed here in Portland to have doggie day care in just about every neighborhood. I take my Boma-Lomma to several day cares in town and here are some things to note;
1) Your baby must be current in their vaccinations - always a good thing anyway but required for day care (if you visit a day care facility and they don't require this, walk away!!!)
2) Bordetella (kennel cough) is another vaccine you will need - this is a highly contagious disease and you should have your dog vaccinated for this if they are going to be with other dogs. The most common way to administer is through a mist sprayed in their nose. Trust me, they really don't appreciate this much but a treat and 15 minutes and all is forgiven!
3) Visit the day care and check it out thoroughly. See where the dogs spend most of their time, meet the handlers and folks who will be interacting with the dogs. Some places have web cams you can log in to and watch what happens. This is your best friend. Make sure your trust is warranted and that the people who work there not only love dogs but have a good understanding of behaviour and meaning.
Most day cares will or should require some sort of temperment test to make sure that the experience will be good for your pet and the others at the facility. This usually requires you to drop Fido off for a visit of 30 minutes to an hour to see how everyone gets along.
It's not free and many of us can't afford to take our dogs every day but I highly recommend giving your pooch the opportunity a few times a month if you can swing it. Lots of socialization (which helps when you go to the dog park), plenty of playing, and a stimulating environment which goes a long way to having a satisfied and relaxed best friend.