Rooms with a View
Reprinted from Dogs in Canada, January 1993 issue - as submitted by Pat Renshaw
Norma and Bill Dirszowsky, of Normandy Bichons, in Udora, Ont. (northeast of Toronto), have a kennel set-up that many will only dream about. The kennel building was already constructed when Norma and Bill purchased their home. Separate from, but with easy access from the lower level of their home, the building did require some repair and renovation. The existing concept was practical, but several trees had to be removed to allow more sunlight and maintain drier conditions in the outdoor runs.
The main kennel building has been updated to include stainless steel trim with a new-style skylight. The dog 'kitchen' (between the grooming and kennel area) has been renovated. A whelping room has been turned into a grooming area and a smaller, warmer inside room on the same level has become the whelping and nursery area. A french door on this room allows clients to view puppies without direct contact.
Between the grooming and whelping areas is a waiting/interviewing room and a showroom containing supplies (brushes, combs, crates, etc.) and specialty items.
Construction is of cement block, finished externally with white stucco and wood trim, doors and ramps. Norma and Bill have also put mini-venetian blinds on kennel windows for privacy, insulation and decoration. Although their layout is not easily expandable, Norma and Bill say boarding is minimal and only for animals they sell.
The original plan did not provide special arrangements for segregating males when bitches are in heat. However, if a stud dog is particularly overwrought when females are in season, he can be kept in the grooming area temporarily. Breedings are done in the grooming area, away from the other dogs.
If they were to start over, Norma and Bill would make no drastic modifications. They continue to make small changes as they go along. They say that, for a small breed such as the Bichon, their operation is ideal.
(Note: since the above was written, we continue to improve our facilities. We no longer offer boarding or grooming options, but prefer to concentrate on our breeding program, with a view to producing Bichons of excellent quality, health and temperament.)
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