Work at the kennel starts bright and early, like seven in the morning, bright and early, and it all starts at this white board.
"All you have to do is look at that, and you know who is in the kennel," said Nittany Greyhounds President, Ellen Aschenbrenner.
That includes the greyhounds currently up for adoption through the kennel's rescue group, and other breeds being temporarily housed while their owners are away.
"Like over here, we have three schnauzers that are staying," said Aschenbrenner.
Each stall has its own bin, which is filled with food, toys treats and anything else the dog came with, plus a list of care guidelines and feeding instructions. Which, let's be honest, at seven in the morning, is probably what these guys care about the most.
Kennels with only one dog, are a lot easier, because the bowls slide right into their cage.
"So basically, you just put it in there like that, and close it up," said Aschenbrenner.
The hardest part, is getting it to lock into place.
Top it off with a little water, and an after-breakfast treat, and then the cleaning crusade begins.
Bowls get cleaned and disinfected after every meal.
"I'm on a roll now," said Sarah. "There's no stopping me."
"Oh boy," responded Aschenbrenner. "I've got some more things you can clean then."
And she wasn't kidding. Because after we cleaned the bowls, it was time to clean something else.
"Ok Sarah, we're going to pick up some poop," said Aschenbrenner.
That goes for the poop out in the grass, and in their runs. And you don't just pick it up, oh no...that would be too easy.
"We're going to examine his poop," said Aschenbrenner. "It's very important"
That's right, you have to analyze it for consistency, worms or any other sign the dog could be sick. Once it's been examined, you've got to scrape it off, scrub it down, and wash it away.
"Look!" said Sarah. "It's so clean, you could eat off of it."
"Well, I don't know if I'd go that far," said Aschenbrenner.
Once the outside is clean, you move back inside, to examine the bedding. If it's clean, you reuse it. If it's dirty, or if a new dog is coming in, you replace it.
"Laundry is a constant battle," said Aschenbrenner.
And since wet spots can dry over night, the kennel resorts to some less scientific methods of determining their cleanliness.
"So, you might have to do a sniff test," said Aschenbrenner. "So pick up Rocky's blankets and see if they smell."
But chances are, even if the bedding is clean, the kennel isn't. So, you sweep it up, scrub it down, mop it up, and dry it down. And then? It's ready to go.
"That's what we do, pretty much every day," said Aschenbrenner. "There are always other jobs, but those are the daily ones."
Which means, after an eleven hour day, it was time to call it quits.
"Everyone is calm and relaxed, they're sleeping, and you're done," said Aschenbrenner.
For more information on the adoptable greyhounds you saw in the piece, or to board your dog at Nittany Greyhounds, just pay them a visit in person, online or over the phone.
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Port Matilda, PA
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