Stop the grind, bring Grover and his tuxedo bee-blanket.
Kennels were once thriving businesses. I don’t know if they are now, I’ve never used one. But I know the vibe used to be “which place is taking yours?” And “do they do pick ups?”
Now, three years have passed since opening my Hepburn Springs dog friendly accommodation (sorry my SEO makes me write it weirdly like that) and oh the wonderful things I see and read.
It’s no longer “whoops grab the pooch” and a quick run to the back gate because they were hanging outside by themselves and we nearly forgot them (as if. Many of yours ride shotgun). We’re not last minute throwing their favourite mauled teddy bear in the boot for creature comfort in a strange place.
It’s “did you pack Grover’s favourite Monday sweater? You know he loves it for hiking (on Mondays). And what about his blankie? The one with the honeybees wearing tuxedos, of course! (duh)”. Side note, if you know of a blanket with honeybees wearing tuxedos I’d very much like one for myself.
Then we’re hitting the road for unforgettable, nature infused stays with our dogs.
Why has this changed so much?
Yes, the obvious events of the past few years but more than that. Why do I have seven times returning guests to Hepburn?
What guests say.
I recently flicked through the Guest Book to see what it told me.
“Dream come true” to bring our furry friends with us.”We were able to fully relax” knowing they were here.
It was “their home away from home”.
In fact, many returning guests now tell me they book the cottages FOR their dogs.
How can we validate this?
Well the answer’s clear to me. I’m happiest and most relaxed when my dogs are happy and relaxed. Is there anything better than those goofy smiles when they’re rolling around in possum poo? Except the goofy smiles without the possum poo, perhaps? A zonked out pooch after a sensory hike surrounded by wildlife? Cuddling with them on the couch or the bed like they do at home (like you can at my places, hint hint). With that massively important goal in mind, why wouldn’t we book homes with our pets front of mind?
And if you’re anything like me, your happiness is linked to your dog’s happiness too. And did you know it works both ways? Mika and Mana are more relaxed, behaved and fulfilled when I am too. And if you’re feeling a bit trapped, uncertain or concreted in? Time away in nature with your favourite fluffy things in tow becomes really important.
It’s also a life changer.
I follow a lot of guests on Instagram (I don’t usually follow back private accounts as I feel that might be creepy but tell me if it isn’t). And I see a LOT of changes after a cottage visit. Some lasting, some for a little while. Big life changes, clarity and powerful decisions. And whilst I’d never lay any claim to those decisions (especially divorces) I can say you don’t reach them easily in the hustle and grind of life and you’re less likely to reach them when stressing about your furry pillow back home.
And there you have it. Is a nature stay with your dogs a luxury? Or is it important self care so you can break apart if you need and put yourself back together as is the fun of life? Or simply sit and watch a sunrise with your pals in silence.
A labour of love. And we’d love to have you.