Thursday, July 19, 2012

Comfort Kennels in Seville offers pets, and owners, stress-free vacation experiences.

Akron Empire would like to welcome guest writer Marissa Marangoni, a professional writer, educator, great friend and pet enthusiast who had such a great experience with Comfort Kennels in Seville this summer that she wanted to share it. Thanks, Marissa!

Do More than Drool Over Your Next Vacation—Book It! 
by Marissa Marangoni

When my husband and I made the decision to adopt two puppies a few years ago, we understood that our lives were no longer going to include the word “carefree.” Gone were the days of staying out all hours of the night and not worrying about when we would return home to work on “potty outside,” or if our latest couch purchase would find itself screaming for mercy in the jaws of a ten pound ball of big brown eyes with the saddest whimper that even the devil couldn’t ignore. While the responsibility of dog ownership turned out to be a pleasure, there have been many occasions where our people lives have been rather complicated by our canines’ inability to care for themselves.

Because our boys are nervous, fearful, and needy, I knew early on that boarding Herbie and Franklin in a standard kennel wasn’t going to work. I shuddered at the thought of the damage they may cause in a traditional kennel—chewing , scratching, interrupting sleep—and I couldn’t imagine them easily socializing with a pack of ten to twenty dogs turned loose in a play area as so many kennels advertise today. Luckily, trainer Jennifer Mauger from L’Chaim Canine referred me to Comfort Kennels in Seville, Ohio. And before I even made the trip out to visit the farm, the warmth and knowledge with which owners Dee and Greg Brenner spoke regarding their kennel and dog visitors set this concerned dogmom at ease.

Comfort Kennels is housed on a 14-acre farm in Medina County. Dee and Greg live on the property and have quick, convenient access to the kennel, which is under camera surveillance from their home when they are not in the building. When I first spoke to Dee about boarding my dogs, she explained that the main goal of her establishment was to offer animals (they take cats, too!) a home away from home, where stress is as minimal as possible and the needs of every boarder are met. One of the many ways this is ensured is that only eight to ten dogs are boarded at a time at Comfort Kennels. This allows for no dog-to-dog interaction and plenty of individual attention.
Comfort Kennels emphasizes the following services for its visitors:
·       Space/environment management
·       Usage of calming music designed by Through  A Dog’s Ear
·       DAP therapy (dog appeasing pheromone) diffuser and spray on the bedding, kennel walls etc
·       Lavender spray on the kennel walls and doors
·       Petting and massage including TTouch
·       Thundershirt therapy
·       Positive reinforcement methods for introduction to the kennel environment and daily interactions
·       Clicker training for positive reinforcement and mental stimulation
·       Mental stimulation
·       Exercise
·       Attention to emotional needs
·       Competitive pricing with lower rates to board more than one animal at a time

About a week before our departure date, my husband and I drove our mutts the twenty-five minutes from Copley to Seville and were greeted promptly by the Brenners. We took the boys, on leash, into the office, where Dee suggested we let them sniff around and get used to the place before we toured the facility. The facility was impeccably clean, smelled fresh, and was bright and welcoming. Dee showed us a small section of kennels that are currently in use for the dogs at night, but these spaces are on their way to retirement as construction is currently underway to ensure that all boarders at Comfort Kennels will soon stay in their own separate bedrooms. In the center of the building is a living room that emulates the comforts of home, including a couch and plenty of toys with which the dogs can play. In the front office, the dogs are encouraged to hang out with more toys or take a nap on the cushion in front of the fireplace while Dee and Greg go about their daily duties. The idea at Comfort Kennels is that the animals there should feel as if they are having a normal day like they would at home. So, as Dee stressed, when she and Greg are preparing food, doing laundry, making phone calls, or just doing work around the farm, there is always a dog beside them.
Herbie and Franklin enjoying the scenery at Comfort Kennels.

What I really like about Comfort Kennels is that it caters to animals of all personalities—whether they are your pretty average cat with attitude or a dog afraid of his own shadow. Herbie and Franklin stayed at Comfort Kennels for a week, and during that week, Dee texted us daily with updates and pictures of the boys adjusting to and playing at the farm. Dee and Greg quickly noticed that our dogs were not doing well in the fenced kennels at night, so they moved them to the living room area instead, where my boys were more than happy to spend the night curled up on the couch together.  One of my biggest worries about leaving Herbie and Franklin at a kennel was that they wouldn’t get enough attention or activity. Luckily, a typical day for a dog at Comfort Kennels includes around eight hours out of the kennel. Those eight hours include supervised play in the field, walks, games, attention, companionship, training, and napping.
The living room area where guests enjoy the comforts of home during their vacations.
Herbie hanging out in front of the fireplace in the office at the kennel.
A guest enjoying the bright, friendly atmosphere!
Herbie and Franklin enjoying some attention from Greg in one of the fenced play fields.
Comfort Kennels caters to its clients. Whether a dog has severe separation anxiety, a history of dog-reactivity, or simply wants a lap to curl up on, Dee and Greg are happy to tailor stays to fit each canine’s needs. Over the course of the week when my husband and I were sunning ourselves at the pool, through the texts, pictures, and Facebook posts, we got the sense that our dogs weren’t simply being cared for at Comfort Kennels, but that they were being loved. When reunited with our furchildren, we were covered in kisses (and hair) by calm, happy dogs. Before leaving the kennel, Dee and Greg handed us a complimentary goodie bag—complete with a tennis ball (that Herbie promptly absconded) and a CD of wonderful photos the Brenners took of the boys during their stay.
Dee even offers her lap to guests who don’t fit on it.
The benefits of choosing Comfort Kennels for our dogs’ boarding needs, surprisingly, did not end when we picked the dogs up and headed home. In fact, nearly a month later, my husband and I are still surprised by the ways in which our dogs’ behaviors have changed. A week at Comfort Kennels seems to have shaped our guys into more manageable and independent creatures. They listen better, sleep better, and seem to enjoy each other more than they did prior to their vacation.  In short, if you’re hesitating taking a trip because you don’t know who will take care of your high-maintenance pets, I strongly suggest you consider boarding them at Comfort Kennels. The Brenners truly love what they do, and they’ll make sure your animals enjoy their time away so much that they’ll have no idea you’re out having fun sans pet hair on your clothes. 

You can reach Comfort Kennels by phone at 330-331-7454 or 440-829-4366 (cell) or by email at Check them out and like them on Facebook, too!

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  1. This place sounds awesome! Thanks for the review! I just sent her an email about boarding for us :)

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