The Reynolds Family

Kennel Essay Contest…What has Reynolds Kennels Taught Me?

Every year Reynolds Kennels has an end of summer campfire night.

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Just some good ole’ campfire fun

We have so many teenagers that work for us that it is important to have a fun night of marshmallows and chocolate.

Our employees are friends with each other too.

Derek and I love to watch them jump on our trampoline, chat about going back to school… just being kids.

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Taylor and Tegan

As a  “get ready for school” activity, we ask all the kids to take a few minutes to write an essay based on a topic we give them.

We offer some cash prizes to the top 3 entries…and frankly, it can be very entertaining.

In years past, the topics have been subjects like…

“How Poop and Slobber has changed my life” and “When I look through a dogs eyes I see…”

Those are a couple of examples.

This years our topic was….”Since working at Reynolds, the most important lesson I’ve learned is…”

Here is our first place winner this year, Ryan Elder.

(Sorry it is a bit dark…it is night time)

We love how creative these kids can be. We love to hear the many angles that this working experience shows them about life. We appreciate that they can see beyond just the kennel tasks to see that they are learning skills they will use beyond their time with us.

Great Job Ryan!…and everyone else who participated.

Derek and I enjoyed our bonfire night and maybe…just maybe…. they are ready to get back in school…not!

~Just Krista


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Our New Kennel….Almost done.

I know many of you have been around at some point the last 8 months. We got the go from Washington County over a year ago. We FINALLY could move forward on the construction of our new kennel.

Building ALWAYS takes longer than expected. Our situation is no different.

Construction has been kind of fun to watch. When they poured the gigantic slab of cement last fall, it was overwhelming.

That slab would have made a great basketball court!

The Walls are Up.

Projects like this always make my head spin.

Nice Covered Area.

Derek is a licensed contractor. Listening to the engineers/contractors as they were speaking a language (I clearly did not know) was always a treat.

I’m glad Derek can speak a second language.

Now that the siding is on the outside and all the drywall is hung. Samantha and I are in charge of painting the inside.

She has been such a hard worker.

Madelyn took Samantha to the store and she found some red cowboy boots.

We let her know if she earns half the money, we can get those “Footloose” boots.

Samantha (5) The best kennel painter ever.

She has been painting with me that last few days. I have been very impressed with her diligence.  She painted all the nail holes in all of our base boards. That is no small task. She has almost earned enough money. ($25.00)

I’m sure she will be sporting her new fire feet soon!

Fun with our paint brushes.

But what makes me happy is that Samantha will be able to walk through the halls of our kennel for years to come and remember her part of building our family business.

We wanted to have the kennel  finished a few yesterdays ago.  Things just don’t go as planned.

We hope that by the end of July, we can show you a facility that will bring you peace when you leave your furry four legged family member with us.

We want it to feel like their other home.

Thanks for all your support with our next big step in our pet world.

Who knows, maybe when we have emptied the current dog space …maybe we might start kenneling cats :0)

Now wouldn’t that be an interesting idea.

~ Just Krista


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Schools Out… Time to go to work!

I just finished my sons last band concert. That is my que that summer is on the way.

Most kids can sleep in until 10:00am  just because they can. That is a luxury our great staff at Reynolds Kennels gives up to work here.

Bright and early at 7:00am (on the dot) we are releasing our guests outside to empty that full bladder and stretch their legs.

As you can tell, we have lots of teenagers that help out. We learned very quickly that kids play…dogs play…perfect match!

We have such a great bunch of people I just need to take a minute to introduce them to all of you.

(bottom to top) Derek, Taylor, Madelyn, Corey, Ryan, Luis, Ashlee, Savannah, Tegan, Spencer, Nick, Andrew and (of course) Julie.

Ella, Spencer H , Jane, Colin and Lauren are not there. (Krista behind the camera)

We have a couple new people this year but most of this group has been with us at least 3 years. Some are going on their 6th year. That says a lot!

They love being with your animals.

Every year we have a big staff meeting to get our new dog lovers up to speed. Plus ,we like to remind our veterans of our positive goals for our summer season.

I always find Derek’s wording on some of the meeting information sheet quite interesting.

For instance (and I quote)

We want to see petting, hugs, loving, touching, squeezing during the dog run. Again, we are talking about the dogs and not each other!”

Where else would you read that during a staff meeting?!

However, this one is my new favorite.

Wednesday is not only hump day but also poop day.”

He was referring to the waste being removed each week….but I wish you could have seen all the looks that were being passed around that meeting after Derek read that out loud. I recall a bit of snickering and a lot of shifting in their seats. Always entertaining for me.

Even though our summer is not the time the Reynolds family vacations, it is my favorite time of year.

We love to see all of our great staff as much as we can. They help Derek and I be better people.

It is fun to watch these kids grow up over the years. We are on our third round of high school graduates. It is truly a blessing for Derek and I to witness.

We not only teach these kids how to care for dogs. We watch them learn how to communicate with you (our guests) and with each other.

They learn to respect each dogs breed to better take care of each dog individually.

They learn a good round of ball throwing calms not only their canine friend but it brings a peace to them as well.

I could go on and on…and on!

Derek and I even help with advice about their “love ” lives. :0)

I just wanted to give you all a glimpse of who your dogs get to rub shoulders with (or slobber on) this 2014 summer.



Hope to see you all soon…I’ll be the one with the smile on my face.

Happy Summer!

~Just Krista

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Planting Flowers and Raising Flowers. Two different things.

Work, Work and more work is the life on property.

We love to have room to run and have the extra privacy that space gives….but with more space comes more work!

Not just dogs are on our list of  “to dos”. We want our furry guests (and their parents) to come to a beautiful place too.

Flowers are always helpful to accomplish this.

Olivia and Samantha wanted to help with the flowers this year.

We packed up in the car and headed to the nursery.  Little girls love bright and beautiful. They picked orange marigolds and some sort of rosy something. I love their excitement  to add color to our yard.

But… all they wanted to do was plant those flowers. Participation with the weeding and preparing the flower bed was not high on their list.

But I am not the parent that lets any of her kids just do the fun part….they have to help with the hard stuff to enjoy the  fun.

Kids don’t learn how to do hard things anymore. We parents have made life just a bit too comfortable.   I don’t know why my generation choose to forget to teach patience and hard work.

Instant gratification without earning  has become the norm.

When the tough moments of life come (and they will) our children struggle to endure hard things.

Hard work is such a good thing!

Everyone feels great after completing a hard assignment or paying for something with money THEY earned.

That is just what today was going to teach my girls.

We three went to work!

Occasionally, we had to stop to take a snack break. Sometimes we had to refocus.

In the course of the  “hard part” of our project, we got our hands dirty.

Slowly the weeds cleared. Old leaves and twigs were raked. Mole holes were filled.

We were able to talk about little girl concerns.

We even found a worm!

With our faces sun touched, we spread out all the dirt clods and we finished planting our new flowers.

We found that worm a new home.

In my opinion, it turned out beautiful!

Olivia choose the perfect places for all those marigolds and Samantha clearly had dirt under her fingernails.

I know our kennel clients will drive in this summer….maybe notice our flowers….maybe not.

But I know when I see the splash of color in my yard every day…I can smile.

I accomplished (for just a few minutes) just what I choose to do… Raise Flowers!

Little human ones.

~Just Krista



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The Reynolds are business people. One of my friends daughter said one day.

Yes, we are business people. Actually, I like to say we are in the business of serving people.

My 7 year old, Olivia, definitely has her parents strong entrepreneurial streak…even at a young age.

Sunday night we mentioned that on Memorial Day it is a big day for dogs to be picked up.

Olivia announces:

Let’s sell cookies…Kennel Kookies.

Why Not!kookiesale 001

We got out the chocolate chips….some sugar and flour.

Of course, we dug out the secret recipe from Mrs. Claus at the North Pole. She is the expert cookie maker and Reynolds only sell the best cookies. :0)

What I love is Olivia’s attention to detail.

She choose her business location right next to the Reynolds Kennels sign so everyone knew who she was working for and her customers park there to pick up their dogs.

She made a sign not only to hang for the table but one that would sit on the top of the table…just in case her customer stood to close to the table and they couldn’t see that sign anymore.

Samantha contributed the OPEN/CLOSE idea.

Of course, I was quality control with the product…(a couple of tests just to make sure)

Derek coached them on their approach….and we let them do their thing! (Yes, Samantha had a  itch We promise she never touched cookie! ) LOL


Boy, I know they are cute…Admit would be really hard not to buy a Kennel Kookie!

After paying for their product ingredients and a little tithes to serve others…they earned a big 2.50 each!

Excellent first day of business…100% profit margin…1,000,000% smiles and fun.

Watch out business world…Olivia is growing up!

~Just Krista

(Thanks kennel friends for supporting my children)


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It’s All About Teeth!

We give tours here at Reynolds kennels. People want to see what a typical day is for Reynolds Kennels.

Most make an appointment . But there are those who like to drop in unannounced because they don’t want us to plan for them.

Is it clean? Are the dogs being treated well? Is everyone happy to be here?

They all declare they want to see where the dogs will sleep…We ALWAYS show them.

I’m VERY proud of my teeth!

Then they comment before leaving, “If you would not have shown us the kennel…we would not have booked!”

Many kennels don’t want you to see the back areas…just for that reason. They are not kept clean.

I have a very clean kennel!

A tour I had yesterday was a little different…

The gal got out of her car.

She was just what I expected from our conversation on the phone. A upper middle class lady. Her dog is her child. Up to date on all the fashions…Her 4 inch heels spoke volumes.

I showed her through the dog kennel.

She showed me pictures of her dog.

She wobbled around the property in those shoes.

Then she said something interesting to me…” I am happy with everything you do here. I knew this was a good place because you have all your teeth.”

Then she went on to say, “You and your family are not what I expected.”

I was a little taken back but I just laughed. But I have been processing her comment all day.

What I think she meant was…” I’m surprised white collar people have chosen a blue collar world.”

I’m going to think about this one for a while.

-Just Krista

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Bathing Buddy…Washing the Fun Away.

Buddy is Dirty.  That’s a good thing!

I know we give dirt a bad rap.

We get mad that it is tracked in on our clean floors.

I have to sweep the dirt out of my bed sheets. I went and bought dark brown sheets so I don’t see the dirt I sleep in every night.

Dirt is on my clothes every day. We have plenty of piles of dirt that need to be weeded , raked , moved or just plain looked at.

When our furry guests near the end of their stay, it makes us proud to see all the dirt on some of their bodies.  We know that they have been wrestling with their new pack friends. Rolling around on the tennis balls to make sure their scent is clearly rubbed in. Digging a good hole in the dog run… just because they can’t do it at home.

We love dirt!  We love that your dogs have had hours each day to collect the dirt we wash down the drain.

Our kids are just like these precious dogs.

Dirt proves that they are out making a witches brew out of grass and dirt for the chickens. Or pulling up rocks to see what is crawling underneath.

I love that they bring in the dirt attached to a worm or one of my flowers that has just been pulled out of my flower bed. Just to say that they love me.

Dirt is good for all of us!

We just wash it down the drain today…then we look forward to getting dirty tomorrow.

–Just Krista

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Samanthas’ Thoughts….Uncensored!

Samantha and I are driving to swimming lessons today.

Samantha and Zoey

Sam: Mom, Do you like poodles?

Me: Yes, I love poodles. Do you?

Sam: I like most poodles.

(30 second pause)

Sam: Why do poodles start with poo?

Me: I’m not sure but we always say the whole word not just that shorten word.

(15 second pause)

Sam: I’m glad they aren’t called PEEDLES!


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Little Girls…Little Dogs…Lots of Love!

We rarely let our two youngest daughters join us in the dog run.

Big, rambunctious dogs are not a good fit for little people.

But on a busy week like this we are able to keep all the little dogs separate. My little girls jumped at the chance to help us tonight.

We love how dogs make our kids feel….Just Loved!  You can’t pay money for that feeling. I wish all kids could have the constant opportunity to feel unconditional love.

Thanks Penny for giving my Olivia kisses!

–Just Krista

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Spring Crazy!…Monday

Spring break is not the same for us at Reynolds Kennels. The word “break” should be changed to CRAZY.

Madelyn with Homer and Shasta

While our clients are out soaking in the sun or hunting for snow, we are filledl to the brim.

I love these busy times.

We get to see all of our staff often. Dog energy is high. We go to bed tired and happy. (just like our dogs)

Our spirits are fed with your dogs unconditional  love. Our young staff  learns the meaning of hard work. Our clients know that their dogs are having fun.

I dropped off my youngest children at their gymnastics camp this morning. I couldn’t help but think all of our kennel guests are at their camp as well.

They get to be in a “dog park” four times a day. Mixing and socializing with our great staff.

More important, they mix with each other. Dogs love to be with their own kind.

Just imagine how your heart melts when your dog is waiting to greet you at the door….times that by 50!

I’m going to post a glimpse of our world everyday this week. Enjoy! We are. :0)

–Just Krista


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