Thursday, September 17, 2009

Planning Ahead

Have YOU hugged your Cardi today?

So, this kennel-without-a-kennel is seriously considering building a, you know, kennel.

My husband and I are thinking that next spring we may build a freestanding, 16' by 18' kennel building. If it goes according to the plan in my head, it will have:

  • 6 indoor/outdoor runs: 3'x6' pens inside with 3'x10' outside runs that have outer gates to allow access to the large fenced-in yard when appropriate
  • Rinnai heater
  • Air-conditioner for the summer
  • Built-in storage for agility and obedience equipment: tall cabinet for jump uprights, chute barrel, tire jump parts and tunnel; pegboard-and-bungee set up to keep teeter board, dog walk and A-frame parts upright and out of the way; and an overhead hanger thingie for jump bars and boards
  • Counter with cabinets and drawers for grooming supplies
  • Space for the grooming table with an outlet built into the floor underneath for the blow dryer
  • Space for a future large puppy pen

I have absolutely NO intention of my dogs, current or future, living out there, but I do want a viable work-day alternative to depending on my Mom to perform doggy daycare duties. It's great that she's always happy to have her grand-dogs, and I love her for doing it, but there are times when she really isn't feeling up to it, and it would be nice to have another workable solution.

I would also really like to become active in Rescue, but right now I live in a 1200 sq. ft. ranch with no good way to keep a strange dog separated from mine if necessary. Having the kennel would give me some flexibility in being able to foster a dog in need.

The great news is that my wonderful hubby is very good with building things. He and my father-in-law built the Weaving Shed below for my mother-in-law to house her Maine Island Rag Rugs business (she does a fantastic job!):

This building is, I believe, an 8'x10', so it's smaller than what I have in mind, but similar idea. It has the Rinnai, the air conditioner, and electric, and it is is abso-freaking-lutely adorable. And they built it for around $2,000. My in-laws have some great ideas for cutting costs, so the cost of building the kennel should be ouch but not OUCH! It helps that Dear Hubby is also quite skilled with electrical work, so we won't need to hire anyone to do that.

Since it will be a freestanding building and not an addition to the house (which would be MUCHO more expensive), it will unfortunately NOT have any plumbing. That's a major bummer, as I'd give my eye teeth for a raised tub, but that will have to wait for a future remodeling when we can swing it.

Interior flooring will most likely be linoleum. I'd love any recommendations for surfacing the outdoor runs. Concrete is not an option. But small grain crushed rock? Wood decking? Gravel? Grass? Anything else I'm not thinking of right now that should be included?


  1. First of all, my dogs all want to come live with you.

    An outdoor run suggestion is packed sand with pavers. Since there are rock-eaters out there, you don't want to use rock, and the crusher gets between toes.

    You are lucky to have a "handy" family that can build your kennel. Don't forget to post photos as it becomes reality.

  2. Our dogs are house dogs too, but I have three 7 x 21' runs in the dog yard - off converted-patio-dog-room - for days when nobody is home or to separate when there's girls in heat.

    Living in a place with lots of wood products, we have pavers in the front 4' of each run and behind that we have shredded wood/bark which we buy in bulk from biomass. We put in fresh bark as needed.