Update regarding Shila

July 4, 2017
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I’ve been researching the details of moving Shila to Wisconsin. Here are some updated notes – feedback is welcome!

Kennel diagram

(1) People always ask if Shila is a wolf mix. I’m going to describe her as a “malamute mix” (malamute/husky/GSD), and if people inquire further I’ll say she’s supposedly a Tamaskan dog, which are bred to look as much like wolfdogs as possible without actually being wolfdogs.

(2) Steins (a local garden store) carries Shila’s current brand of food (Taste of the Wild, Bison mix), so no problem there.

Future site for the kennel

(3) There are some mobile vet services in the area that perform home visits with a van filled with vet equipment. They’re intended for dogs that don’t do well at vet offices. Sounds like a great idea for Shila -- or is there something I’m missing here?

(4) When we move Shila, I’m prepared to camp out in a tent near the outdoor kennel if she starts howling because she’s lonely. Long term, I’m thinking of building a simple tiny house for myself near the outdoor kennel.

The garage – a possible temporary kennel site

(5) If howling becomes an issue, I’ve looked into various outdoor sound barriers, like they use at construction sites. Supposedly, a wall of hay bales is effective at muffling dog sounds from outdoor kennels.

Interior view of garage with door open

(6) As a fallback for severe weather or excessive howling, I’m thinking of having a temporary kennel ready to set up in the garage. The garage has windows and the garage door could be left open, so maybe Shila would be okay with it for short periods. (She would likely also eliminate the chipmunks currently living there.) Long term, if this setup proves useful, we might consider adding skylights or a “sun tunnel” to the garage to make it feel more outdoor. Mech also suggested the greenhouse as another possibility. But hopefully the outdoor kennel will be sufficient.

Interior view of garage with door closed

(7) I’m not sure we'll actually use them, but what are the rubber horse mats actually called and where might I find them? At the moment, I’m mostly curious about their dimensions.

The greenhouse – another possible temporary kennel site

(8) I’ve included a preliminary diagram of how I think the kennel fences might be set up. The irregular shape of the outer kennel is to avoid a tree (indicated on the diagram).

Another view of the greenhouse

(9) I’m planning on traveling back to Buffalo on Saturday for a few days to work on packing up the apartment and to visit Shila. The important stuff at the apartment needs to be moved to Wisconsin before I can move Shila, because once we move Shila I won’t be able to travel to Buffalo again until Shila settles in, which may take a while.