dog camp Archive

Peepers out

Peepers out a record 12 days early

BREAKING NEWS: Peepers out, global climate change in the back yard. We have a pond here full of these little frogs people call peepers. They “peep” in the spring. The peeping can actually be quite loud. If you stand at the edge of the wetlands or the pond when they start in the evening, the noise can hurt your ears.

In the winter, they bury themselves in the mud. One male frog comes out and starts singing his mating song. The other males don’t want to be left out, so they all come out and sing too.

When one male comes out, they all come out. So, one night some time in March or April, it’s quiet. The next night, it’s loud. It’s like turning on the light… So, I have been writing down the date of this marker of spring for a few years.

February is out of the question… or was.

2017: February 25

2016: March 9

2015: April 3

2014: April 6

2013: March 30

2012: March 12

2011: March 17

2010: March 19

2009: March 27

2008: April 1

10th Annual Fetch Competition

For ten years, I have held a fetch competition here on Christmas day. This year, 2018, we decided to do it up right and make it a real event. It was incredibly fun and more events like this are definitely coming up. What a great job! Sometimes I’m out there clearly having so much fun, it hardly seems fair to call it work.

Coyotes and Eagles

There were five bald eagles on a branch behind the barn last week. Five. Never heard of such a thing. A coyote came right up to Vern’s house across the creek and looked him in the eye for 10 seconds before running away. Also not common. The pond froze so thick but so clear I could see fish swimming under there I didn’t know I still had. We installed a wood stove in the barn, vented the water heater and the furnace. Holes poke out in every direction like the kennel was stabbed. The coyotes, I hear them. My dogs hear them. The guest dogs hear them. But they don’t come too close. I have never lost an animal to a coyote, knock wood. There is a snowstorm coming perhaps this weekend but it felt like snow today. We have been splitting some trees a neighbor took down and I’m going to finish the winter with more wood than I started with. That also has never happened. I just want one phone number and one place to do communications by text, voice, and email but that hasn’t happened yet. Kind of surprising. I’m reading a book about Winston Churchill and he was as blind about India as Hilter was about Russia. I don’t mind cold, really. Some of the dogs love it. Poncho would stay out all night just enjoying the breeze.

Add your Glencadia reservation to your Google calendar

Once you have made a reservation and we have confirmed the reservation, you can log into your Glencadia account and see the dates and times like this:

You can pay, modify the reservation, all good stuff. Also note that now you can add the reservation to your own Google calendar so that someone remembers to be home from 6 to 10 PM or so on the Monday and Thursday we are coming to pick up the dog.

If you click to add to your calendar you will see this:

Make sure you note the right time — after 6PM in the city, other times by agreement. Now you’ll have it where you keep all your other appointments!

New feature!

Using the GPS tracker

If you go to, you can watch the vans as they make their way around the city. As the van gets close to your house, get ready and we’ll meet you out front. If you need an update, click the chat icon on this page or text +1-518-203-1537. Thanks for working with us to make the pick up and drop off process as smooth and quick as possible.


Luxury is not quality

Our family of country mice went to the city and had a great city weekend. One thing that’s healthy about being in the city but not working is it reminds me what living in the city is like. I lived in New York from about 1990 to 2005 so it really isn’t a foreign place or anything but still, it’s getting pretty far back there in my past.

I noticed a hair salon with a number of high-end Macs they were using to make appointments with customers. Now, you can make the same appointment on a $150 Chromebook that you make on a $3000 Mac. But that’s kind of the point: anyone can make an appointment on a $150 Chromebook and get their haircut somewhere. Only some people can make their appointment on a $3000 Mac and get their hair styled in a facility that pays $20,000 a month in rent.

But is the hair styling any better? If a human being opens the door for you and calls you “sir” is there any difference to when the robotic automatic door opens at Walmart?

I’m all for quality. Food: we are in a CSA, have a garden, raise our own sheep, keep bees. Quality is important. I can see that it might be the same with clothes, even a camera, or anything.

But I think there is a type out there that is a confusing luxury for quality. Luxury is a con. You are either fooling yourself or someone is fooling you and laughing at you behind your back. That’s luxury. You are paying for nothing, fluff, or an illusion. You get what you pay for? No, sometimes you get something quite poor for a very high price. It looks nice on the plate. The reviews of the restaurant are good. But its mass hysteria: the food is not actually high quality.

On the topic of dogs in the city, I noticed that some people definitely have a dog as an accouterment to their overall lifestyle. The same luxury/quality dynamic is definitely playing out in the business in which I find myself participating. I just can’t do participate in the luxury con. It’s not in my nature and it’s morally questionable.

Anyway, we had a terrific time in the city and did some high-quality activities, and none of them were inexpensive in this case.

The algorithm as god

It’s a strange world where an evolving commercial algorithm — a bunch of ideas, suppositions, experiments, results, and prejudices of a team of people over time codified into a system of action — becomes a god. It has power. It’s not listening to you. It’s fairly arbitrary. Sounds like a Greek god to me.

In 2012,  we had a dog fight. Knock wood, we haven’t had a fight since. If you think about it, with hundreds of dogs here, socializing– not pretending to socialize– how could there be so few fights? Because we’re good at organizing dogs– we were good before and have only improved our methods with time– and have huge amounts of space. Our record of safe socializing is excellent and the last thing anyone should worry about is socialization gone wrong.

When you google the business, however, this one incident seven years ago is all over the place. Why? Because it was published in a source that Google considers major and reliable. As part of Google taking the primary place among a system of established business, Google’s search algorithm is highly biased toward other established players in the same system. If the system thinks a source is reliable and big, then it seems like time is not a factor in the compiling of results.

What happened was I had an aggressive dog here. I isolated her up carefully, as I wouldn’t want her to hurt anyone. The owner did not advise me that the dog was aggressive to other dogs before we brought her here. Although she was alone, her growling and snarling somehow triggered the nice dogs on the other side of the door fought with each other. Either one dog didn’t realize who was growling and snarling and mistakenly bit the wrong dog or the negative energy from the other room just transferred to a different area, as happens with dogs.

Anyway, as unfortunate as that was, everyone was eventually okay. I learned that negative energy can pass through a closed door. People still see the story — published in 2013 about something that happened in 2012 — and I have to talk about this incident more than I’d like. Ask anyone who works with dogs about people and accidents and customers. Anyone. Caesar, the dog whisperer, was sued.

Since 2012, we have completely revamped the facilities. More people, different procedures, not much the same, except Google insists on this not going away ever. And, honestly, we’re pretty much full much of the year and business is great and it doesn’t really matter in that sense, as illogical as it seems from my point of view to have to discuss something that happened so long ago. I think Google should factor time more significantly into their search results and factor out pro-establishment bias more. That would improve the results, closer to reality and further from the potential manipulation and distortion from a few well-positioned people as opposed to the natural interplay of people and time. But who am I to criticize a god?