Tuesday, February 16, 2010


My husband and I flew to a warm climate for snorkeling. Melissa stayed at the Animal Inn at Sky Run in Stewartsville, New Jersey. http://www.skyrunkennel.com/

For over a decade I have brought our Borzoi to Sky Run when we travel and cannot take the dogs.

Barbara, who owns the Animal Inn, is the breeder of two of our Borzoi, Yankee we acquired in 1991, and Catera who is nearing 13 years of age. For Melissa, this was her first trip away from us. She has been to many hotels and weekend training workshops with me over the past several months, but this was the first time for her to overnight without Paul or me. E-mails thru out the week assured us that she had settled in quickly.

So why make the out of state trip to Sky Run to drop off the dogs? Many reasons; it is fun to visit with my Jersey friends, and the accommodations for the dogs are spacious, especially dogs as large as Borzoi. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and a staff member is always on the premises 24/7. But most importantly is the renowned Sky Run pasture of rolling hills. Exercise is an understatement…it is a workout for the dogs to run in that fully 6 foot chain link fenced pasture.

For Melissa, at 5 months of age, exercise is a necessity. She could not be left for 9 days at a boarding kennel which offers minimal space, if any, to run. Puppies, especially large breeds, need to get proper exercise in order to develop properly. 9 days is way too long to go without being able to run at full speed and stretch her long legs to the fullest. It would be similar to leaving colt in a box stall for a week!!

I admit I am a fanatic when it comes to exercising my dogs, especially puppies. I don’t mean I go out and jog with them. Jogging a young pup whose joints and growth plates are not fully developed may tire him out but can do long term damage. Jogging a young pup, especially on asphalt, is courting with possible developmental problems with their structure.

Puppies the size of Borzoi need lots of free running which consists of leaping and twisting and turning. Playing with another dog is the best for this type of exercise.

A walk on a lead just does not give their muscles or lungs a chance to develop properly. They should have at minimum two play sessions where they tire themselves to the point where their tongues are hanging out. Aerobic exercise on a good running surface is a must. When Melissa is about 18 months or 2 years I will begin to road work her on my bicycle, but for now this puppy will have all the free running I can give her.

9 days at Sky Run was the perfect place for Melissa to be while we were on vacation. Melissa had the chance to run and run and run until she tired. She not only maintained the muscle she had, I believe she is in even better shape after her stay at Sky Run. Being away from home was just a part of her on-going socialization; she slept well, ate well, and met different staff members…..all part of being a well adjusted puppy. If you are in the area, check out the Animal Inn at Sky Run. We are already booking the dogs for when we are away on our summer vacation.


  1. It sounds (and looks) as though Melissa & her buddies had their own version of a week at the spa while you soaked up the sun in the islands. No one ever need feel guilty leaving a pup (or an adult for that matter) at Sky Run.

  2. Sky Run is a very special place as you well know Joy. A vacation for the dogs!