We're home from our trip and trying to catch up with all I've missed while we were away. Thank you for the responses. I'm very happy to report that Boone loved his stay at Rover Resort. I thought for sure he'd be traumatized by the experience but he completely enjoyed himself. We did talk to him all week long before leaving, telling him he'd get to play with dogs all week and we'd be back to get him in 7 days. We're convinced he knew something was up because he was overly clingy for 2 days before we left. When I took him to RR he ran off to play and never looked back. He's been there many times and knows the routine. They asked if I needed to follow him to say goodbye but we'd already talked it all out and were good to go. We called each day to check on him and he was playing hard, eating well and adjusting to the night time routine. They also sent pictures through out the week.
He had a private room with private outdoor patio. During the day he had friends in his room & played with them in the yard too. At night he was alone in his room from 7:30 pm until 7:00 am. They moved a crate into the room and left the door open so he could use it if he wanted. We had instructed them to put his blanket, stuffed dog, horn and antler in the crate just like home. He was also able to wander outside onto the patio at will through out the night. I know he loved that!
We weren't sure what to expect when we picked him up. We were hoping he'd be excited to see us but I know he never wanted to leave when I took him to daycare there. He didn't run the other way but he also didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave! I think that's a good problem to have. I'd much rather him love it there so much he barely misses us, than to be so distraught he makes himself sick. The staff gave him a ton of love and attention. They commented that he loves every single dog and person he encounters. So true! He was sound asleep within minutes of getting in the van. And he's done nothing but sleep since we got home. They told me he played hard every day and would sleep for 2 days...I think they nailed it. The only thing he didn't like was the bath they gave him before we got there. They said he howled like crazy. He isn't found of getting wet.
i don't have any amazing words of wisdom for those of you boarding in the future. I'd just stress the things we found that worked:
I think taking him there so often before the actual boarding was very important. He knew the staff and they knew him. He also knew the routine and the lay of the land. He only had to adjust to spending the night.
Taking his own food and treats was a good choice. He ate slightly less the first day or two and then ate normal amounts the rest of the stay. Even though the feeding instructions were in the computer, I also wrote them on the bag of food, on the top of canned food, and on the cup used to scoop the food. We all know people get busy and things get mixed up. There was no way there would be any question about his eating routine!
Having his own favorite things from home may have helped when he was alone in his room at night.
Having a place where he was free to run and play was so important. He would not have done well in a boarding place that put them in crates.
We put his name on everything. That included his antlers and horn, toys, food. Nothing was lost or misplaced but I like the suggestion of having a backup for favorite toys & blankets.
Make a list of boarding facilities in your area and visit them. Ask for a tour. Ask questions. Check out customer reviews online. If they have cameras, log in during the week at random times. We ruled out one place by seeing things on their cameras that concerned us. We found the perfect place for Boone. It's a long drive for us but so worth it because he loves it so much.