Jaden’s second family and home

Since we both have always traveled a lot, both professionally and personally, one of the most important things for us when we got Jaden seven years ago was to find a good kennel where he could stay if we both had to travel at the same time. The other reason that we wanted a kennel for him was so that he could get to spend time with other dogs and hone his socialising skills.
We checked out two kennels close by and it was very evident that Jaden did not even want to go inside them. One was a “well known” dog hotel close to the Munich airport but whenE376558C-69D6-4E19-8415-FA8007AF289A we got close to it, the barking that we heard from it sounded so stressful that we decided against it even without going in. That was when I remembered that an ex-colleague had once mentioned a kennel where her dogs were very happy. This kennel was a good 25-30 minutes away from us, it was a farmhouse where they not only took care of dogs but also cats, rabbits, birds and other pets. But since she had talked about it so highly and she loved her dogs, we decided to check it out.
And that is how we got to know the kennel Riffenthal and the Family Grandinger. The moment we drove onto the grounds of the big farmhouse, we were struck by how peaceful and scenic it was. Mrs Grandinger welcomed us with a warm and welcoming smile. She was going to show us around and we watched with amusement how our little 3 month old fur ball puppy stumbled after her eagerly and wanted to go everywhere with her, forgetting about us completely! And that C59EC7A7-BB18-440E-95FF-DC3E6287EF85was it. He spent a trial day there but we needn’t have worried – he even complained loudly in the car on the way back.
Many people “pitied” Jaden because we traveled so much and he was at the farmhouse so often. They could not understand that Jaden had a second home there. Every time we dropped Jaden off, he couldn’t wait for us to open the door and he ran inside without even glancing back. Mrs Grandinger once told us that he would go inside, march up and down the corridors of the doghouse announcing loudly to the other dogs there that he was here. And then he would go happily into his cubicle and run out into the garden. He loved charging through the huge garden and would be outside at every opportunity. Mrs Grandinger told us that when people came to check the kennel out for their dogs, sometimes they would let Jaden out into the garden so that people could see how much space there was for the dogs and how happy dogs were with the space they could run around in. We also learnt that Jaden was a very “easy and sociable” dog and got along with most dogs. He was also very obedient and never even once snapped at the Grandingers – this was a big surprise for us because Jaden has snapped at people including one of the vets. And as I had mentioned in my previous post, it was through the Grandingers that we finally found a great vet for Jaden.
We realised very quickly that Jaden was special for Family Grandinger. Mrs Grandinger called him “Bärli”(which is little bear in German) and Mr Grandinger called him his 86FAADE5-264C-41F2-A138-5380EDBB67AF“Bubele” (which is little boy in German). Shortly after Jaden started staying with them, they got a German Shepherd puppy too whom they named Honey (their last dog had passed away some time ago). Jaden and Honey hit it off very well and they would often run together. A few years later, their daughter Christina got a terrier  named Teddy. Teddy bossed over Jaden from Day 1. Everytime we dropped off Jaden, we would be warmly welcomed by both Honey and Teddy, something that they did not do with other customers as we were told. 
Jaden has stayed with the Grandingers very often in the past seven years. Every time we dropped off Jaden or picked him up we had a chat with them and so got to know more about their lives. They are very hard working and the kennel keeps them on their toes. Their kennel has one of the topmost ratings and the cat house is worth having a look at – it is very luxurious! And they also run a full fledged farm with a number of farm animals. They are warm and wonderful people with a huge heart for 78699C2C-7CDF-4C7C-B087-2A3412577AA6animals and nature. They work way over 12 hours a day, nearly 365 days a year. They haven’t traveled much but are more open-minded and tolerant than many others who have traveled all over the world. Mrs Grandinger in particular is a very warm person and we have had some very deep, honest and interesting conversations when she had some time and was not too busy. They have two lovely daughters and their elder daughter Christina helps a lot with the farm and the dogs. Jaden obviously adores her and I think the feeling is mutual 🙂 
Jaden has been with them the past two days while the movers have packed all our things. We will pick him up this afternoon and then we will start the drive to the Netherlands with him on Saturday.
Saying goodbye to Family Grandinger today is going to be difficult. For us (and for Jaden) they are not just the owners of the “wonderful” kennel where Jaden stays. They are Jaden’s second family and their farmhouse is his second home. They could offer Jaden something that we could never offer – the opportunity to have lots of dogs to play and romp with. His life at the kennel is very different than his life with us e.g. he loves to sleep on the floor there, refusing any blanket or sheet. Mr. Grandinger even bought him a special blanket but he refused to use it. He is out playing and romping with the other dogs and then sleeps exhausted in his cubicle.  They are always amused to see pictures and videos of his life with us (they follow him on social media) especially the fuss he makes when he has to get up early in the mornings. When he comes back from a stay at the farmhouse, he normally sleeps through the first day as if he is exhausted from all the fun he had 🙂 When Jaden is with us for a long time, we notice that he is missing something and we often bring him to the Grandingers for an overnight stay or a short stay just so that he can have a nice break too. We did that every now and then last year ever since we stopped traveling so much due to the lockdown. In the past years Jaden would know where we were going the moment we turned into the side road leading up to the farm grounds. He would start A579498B-F0D8-424F-979D-EB6A09E445BDgrumbling and whining to get out and couldn’t wait till we were there. Once there, he would shoot out of the car and run straight into the dog house 🙂 But he would be equally thrilled to see us when we picked him up. Jaden truly had the best of both worlds and enjoyed each moment. Here again he taught us what it is to live in the moment with no regrets. 
The Grandingers have been a very important part of the “beautiful bubble” (as Bernd calls it) that we built for ourselves here in Germany. Because of them, we could travel and be with our friends in Stockholm and all over the world knowing that Jaden was very loved and cared for even if he wasn’t with us. They also reminded us that there are people in the world who do not put us in a box because of what we look like or what we have. They are people who see and appreciate us for the people we are. We know that they will miss Jaden a lot and we hope that we can bring him back for a visit.
The words “thank you” seem too small to express what we feel. But since words are all that we have – thank you Family Grandinger for loving this little goofball of ours as much as we love him. Thank you for taking such good care of him, for giving him such a second loving home. Thank you for seeing us for who we are; for your warmth, openness and transparency; for the interesting and inspiring conversations and above all for being so authentic and real. We will truly miss you!

Jaden with “his” Christina

2 thoughts on “Jaden’s second family and home

  1. I think, we might just have found a kennel for our animals when we travel. Thank you so much!
    All the best for both of you for whatever awaits you.
    Create a new bubble 😄


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