Been awhile since I wrote something here on the blog and there is some communication from us here with the dogs and camp and you out there as dog families that could be a bit better so let me take a crack at a few topics: 1) photos and video sharing, 2) weight loss, 3) the intercom at the gate.
I did not see my dog on Instagram!
You might think that I carefully comb through the hundreds of photos we take every day and pick the very best to post to social media, carefully checking off which dogs were featured in each post, and making sure there is balance and quality and no great photo goes unposted.
No. Sorry. Instead, in hectic racing mode, while covered with mud (you did see this one right?) I make some kind of “gallery” or whatever up to try to keep people somewhat happy while I am still in the barn and dogs are crawling all over me. In this process, good pictures get missed, and the post is only some kind of sample of the morning.
Meanwhile, I try to gather all the photos and videos from all the staff and start them uploading. Up here in upstate New York, our internet frankly SUCKS DOOKEY. And we’re uploading like 600 photos. They really aren’t going to be all there until the evening.
I have been doing photo galleries by the day. Here is one we put up today. Notice how the URL has glencadia.com and then the date 8-6-21. I will do them all like that, plus there are links to the posts on the front page.
I know there are a lot of photos for even one day at a time (click to load) and it’s hard to find your dog. It’s hard for us to find your dog as well! We’ve been trying because there are some really good pictures mixed in there and we wouldn’t want you to miss them.
One day AI will be good enough to find all the dogs but right now, Google still thinks a sheep is a poodle. Plus, your dog might be running away from the camera but you can still recognize him or her from the back. That counts as a photo of your dog! And I bet Google does not have a team working on developing an AI that can recognize dogs by the shape of their tails and anuses.
The fact that it’s hard to find your dog is due to a couple of factors that are actually positive: we are not staging photoshoots (like the others). We open a gate and let dogs run around in a huge field of about four or five acres. Sometimes your dog is far in the back and hard to see. That’s a good thing for your dog!
We could put your dog in a confined space and make them sit one by one and get portraits. Then we would be using our staff time to FAKE STUFF instead of actually having a ball and playing and doing something REAL. But you would definitely have a picture of your dog every day and the picture would be beautiful.
Given that they are free and running around, we do our best to catch some nice portraits. Sometimes the dogs don’t cooperate.
We cannot put cameras to live streaming a barn with 8000sf of space and 20 acres of fields. If people are not going to file through 600 photos to look for their dog or wait two minutes until the end of the video, they are not going to sit there and look through 15 cameras and wait for their dog to come into view. And like I said, our internet sucks. And we like taking photos and videos and sharing them with the customers, but at some point good, old ephemeral reality is going to have to kick in.
Of course, we also post a video every few days. Here is one from today. If the video is longer than two minutes, people often stop watching. I know this because of Google analytics. Then customers text and say they couldn’t see their dog… so I try to keep the videos short, but then inevitably, some dog is going to be cut randomly.
In short, we’re working on this issue without compromising the actual fun stuff we do. We would like to encourage the customers to try to find their dogs in our galleries and be patient as we comb through the pictures to try to find some to send you direct links.
My dog is too skinny!
You will note please in our last video our new handy dandy scale with gates. If a dog is here for two weeks, we often find we bring the dog home and the owner says, “Wow, my dog is so skinny!” Dog camp is a bit of fat camp for dogs – they run and play all day. I try to explain that going to camp is like running a marathon and going to an all-night rave for the dogs. They have fun, but it’s intense. Some dogs are also too excited to eat or otherwise stubborn.
We here, however, might not always notice. If a dog is healthy, happy, seems good, from day to day, if they are losing weight but eating well, which happens, we might not notice.
So, obviously, weigh them. Every day. But… if you have to try to convince them to each sit… stay… wait… and then you can’t see the weight… it wasn’t working. Today we got a new scale and built in a room to make them stand there and get a number.
In the next few days, we are going to start sending everyone a very short video (a few seconds) of their dog with the weight. Maybe not every day, but a few times a week. So, if we send you a video and your dog weighed in at 28 but a week ago, when he arrived, we sent you one where he weighed in at 30, we will know, and you will know, and we can discuss if this is okay (maybe good) or if we need to try some different feeding tricks.
Push the button
Anyone coming to the Glencadia (please note and respect the hours when we are open) will please note the box on the gate.
We should all have walkie-talkies in there with the dogs and if you press the button and announce your presence, we’ll come out and help you get in.
Thank you, everyone.