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WHY we do what we do

We all have our stories and reasons we are driven to do what we do. This is ours


Photo of family dog walk in Cheshire countryside with dogs

In 2000, we lived in the lovely semi-rural village of Plumley, Cheshire. As part of our family, we had two beautiful Golden Retriever girls, Anna and Abby. Such a soft, kind and gentle breed. 


They had a life full of cuddles on the sofa, big luxurious dog beds and a calm peaceful home. Two much-loved, very happy girls. 


We booked a two week holiday in Florida USA and looked into petcare options available.  

This story doesn't end with the dogs dying prematurely - don't worry, we wouldn't do that to you

Mary Puppins Luxury Home Dog Boarding Cheshire

Kennels in Tarporley came highly recommended. We spoke to the owners, went to meet them and asked lots of questions. While we weren’t allowed to look around the kennels or facilities (all normal practice apparently), we felt reassured that our girls would be sharing a kennel together and would be fine.


They’d never stayed anywhere like it, but they had each other as comfort and options were limited.  The price was low. The kennels seemed professional and well-run. It’s hard to know what you don’t know until you’ve experienced it. 


We went on our holidays. Felt guilty enjoying ourselves without them but we deserved the break.  We didn’t receive any photos/videos or updates as that’s not what kennels offer.  So we just had to hope that they were being well cared for. 


After a refreshing holiday in the sunshine, we went to collect them. The owners said they’d been fine.  No trouble at all.  

Mary Puppins Luxury Home Dog Boarding Cheshire
Golden Retrievers in garden in Cheshire
Dog sleeping in home kitchen

When our girls were brought out to us, they didn’t even recognise us. They both looked totally spaced out and dead-eyed.

Shell- shocked. Not the happy reunion we were expecting.  


We put them in the car and took them home. They are very still and quiet. And very smelly. Their golden coats were filthy. 


It took us 2 - 3 weeks to decompress them, reassure them we were back and they were home again. We hadn’t dumped them for rehoming because we didn’t want them anymore. We loved them very much and they were our family. We’d just gone on holiday. 

Mary Puppins Luxury Home Dog Boarding Cheshire

They very slowly began to realise they were home and came out of their shells.  Their personalities returned. 


We don’t know what they went through. And never will.

They had no physical signs of neglect/cruelty so we can’t say that anything nasty happened to them. 


But they most definitely experienced psychological and emotional trauma. As we now know, they’d withdrawn into themselves as a survival mechanism and trauma response. They’d both shut down. Often seen in traumatised rescue dogs. 


The constant noise of all the dogs barking at the kennels, the stress of the other dogs, being away from us and the sudden change in environment from comfortable calm home to stark concrete-floored kennels was too much for them.


We swore we would never put any of our beloved dogs into kennels ever again.  It still upsets me to think about it. 

Mary Puppins Luxury Home Dog Boarding Cheshire
two dogs relaxing at home in Cheshire
cavalier king charles spaniel luxury dog home boarding

While we fully recognise that there are excellent kennels out there and kennels suit some dogs fine, unfortunately it’s not been our personal experience. 


Our girls both went on to live happy and relatively long lives with us until they were 13. 


Our next dog, Missy, a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, inspired us to set up Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding exclusively for small dog breeds UK.  Very much a home from home, luxury dog holiday, and premium dog boarding Cheshire experience.  All the love and cuddles they need, 100% kennel-free, 24hr Dog Nanny care and only the very best for sensitive small breeds. 


We’re not the cheapest petcare option and we never will be.  We personally know the true cost of the cheap option. 


Our lovely clients come to us as they most value the highest quality bespoke care for their precious family members. We love your little ones and they feel it. 

Mary Puppins Luxury Home Dog Boarding Cheshire
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