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Book a kennel for Thanksgiving before it’s too late

The image of Denali, with his paws on Grandma’s shoulders and Grandma sort of tipping, catching herself on the large front window ... well, it’s the sort of image that’s seared into my memory.

Denali meant no harm when he visited for Christmas; he was just excited to meet Grandma (and who could blame him). Grandma wasn’t hurt either. Yet, as Mark and I plan for the holidays, we wanted to make sure that we could visit my family and visit them without reservation.

Sorry, Denali. You’re going to the kennel.

I inquired a month or so ago about a Thanksgiving reservation for Denali but was told I couldn’t reserve a spot until after Labor Day. So Tuesday morning (when I thought about it), I called up the kennel and booked his run for Turkey Day.

The receptionist took my information and let me know that a holiday reservation also required a $25 deposit. Non-refundable deposit. The reason? Some pet owners decide not to drop off their dog and fail to cancel with the kennel, which has a waiting list a mile long for the holidays. The business is out the cash and another owner is out a trip (possibly).

I called around to a few kennels around town, and pet owners can expect to pay a deposit for the holidays. Richlene Kennels asks for a $20 deposit. Co-owner Beth Buckler recommends that owners make a reservation at least for weeks in advance. If you have never boarded your dog before, though, she says to start checking out places six weeks in advance.

KD’s Kennel (formerly Canyon Kennels) asks for a deposit of half the expected cost of the stay upon reservation. (They charge a flat rate of $12.50 per day.)

New owner Dan Runkle also recommends booking a month in advance but is telling clients to consider doing so two months in advance “because we fill up that fast.”