MORRISBURG–Are you one of those dog owners who feels guilty when you pack your suitcase to head off to a wonderful holiday without your best friend? Does that look of ‘what am I gonna do without you when you’re gone’ tug at the heartstrings?
Well, we all need a break, and we can’t always take our four-legged friends along and that’s where Anjo and Kathy Norg come in with their Come By Chance Boarding Kennels.
The Come By Chance Boarding Kennels, located on Ferguson Road in South Dundas, has been in operation for three years and offers a comfortable safe environment for dogs and cats at reasonable prices. Getting the boarding kennel up and running has been a labour of love for Anjo and Kathy.
“We bought our property 15 years ago with the intention of building a kennel,” says Kathy from the comfort of a rocking chair in the front reception area of the kennel. A self-proclaimed dog lover, Kathy says, “I’ve always had dogs. I wanted multiple dogs, but my husband eventually said ‘no more’. I’ve had Newfies, German Shepherds, really the whole gamut in my life.”
Kathy says it was quite a process to get Come by Chance up and running. Following three to five years of research, Kathy designed the kennel of her dreams which has now become “more my baby. He [Anjo] does work on it, and my son helps on the weekends too, but it’s my job mainly. It’s not that difficult. You get to sit around, watch television and pet doggies.”
The kennel name comes from a small town in Newfoundland, Come by Chance, located “up the road” from where Kathy’s father is from. This and “the fact that we came upon the property by chance about 17 years ago”. At the time, friends of Anjo’s parents who had property to sell, overheard that, “we were looking for property at the end of a road.”
All this Kathy explains as she relaxes in her rocking chair, petting a gorgeous Burmese Mountain Dog guest and keeping an eye on a wall of monitors showing what her other guests are up to. It is not until later, during the visit, that Kathy mentions her day starts at 6 a.m. and continues until her guests are tucked in for bedtime at 10 p.m.
The long day has included not just the one on one time spent with the dogs, their care and feeding, but the cleaning and chores.
Come by Chance is a “high end facility” she explains. “We have heated floors and piped in music, and I provide a nice, safe environment for the animals. Dogs like Classical Music, that’s the music of choice.” In addition to heated floors, a modern HVAC system, keeps the guests warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Since Come By Chance Boarding Kennels opened, business has been steadily increasing.
Rooms are booked for overnight stays, visits of two or three days, and weekends. There are often two-week visits while moms and pops are vacationing, and, “we have a number of regular weekend customers.”
Kathy has also accommodated dogs on extended stays when an owner is dealing with a medical issue.
A number of visitors to the area who are camping or staying in hotels have also discovered Come by Chance and now leave their pets while they are out and about enjoying their holiday…sightseeing, golfing, perhaps visiting a local tourist attraction.
“I have quite a few repeat visitors from Toronto and Quebec City, Gatineau, even North Carolina. They can’t leave their dog in their camper or hotel, so they leave them here. They are close by, so they can come and see them, or pick them up, whenever they want. Dogs are such a part of the family these days. They travel with their families who bring them here.”
With the tourists in the area and the number of campgrounds, Kathy has built a good summer clientele. She says her slow period is generally from the end of March break until school is out in June. That’s when maintenance and renovation work gets done at the kennel.
To keep all the visiting dogs safe, Health and Vaccination Status Certificates are required and dogs must have kennel cough vaccinations. From April to November, guests must also be on a vet approved flea and tick protection program.
Guests at the Come by Chance Kennels are accommodated in comfortable suites with full-height, insulated walls. On the interior wall is a windowed steel door that opens into the facility’s main central hallway and on the exterior wall is a doggie door which opens onto an outdoor run, with a heated cement floor to prevent ice and snow buildup in the winter.
The dogs are free to go in and out all day, and from the outdoor runs, they can be released into large outdoor play areas for some quality play and exercise time.
All rooms are hypo allergenic, mold and mildew resistant and are secure and safe. Each windowed door has an exterior curtain that can be raised and lowered depending on the guest’s need for privacy.
Suites come in a variety of sizes to handle various sized dogs, those with mobility issues and multiple dog families.
A cat room, with high rise cat condos and secure outdoor play area completes the facility.
“When it started coming together, it was stressful, but it is well worth it in the end,” says Kathy. “It was really good to see it come to fruition.”
Obviously a dream come true, Kathy now has her business and the opportunity to spend quality time caring for some great dogs and cats…and from one animal lover to another….it doesn’t get any better than that.
For more information on the Come by Chance Boarding Kennels please check out their website or call 613-978-3300.