Rex’s Place Newsletter January 2024

new beginning good health resolution good fortune hope new year fresh start love peace friendship look back prosperity look ahead crocus emerging from snow

The menorah’s candles burn no more, the presents are no longer under the tree, and 2024 has arrived. We hope the holiday season has been joyous, healthy, and safe for all of you.
As the year draws to a close, we take stock of the 12 months that lie behind and we think about what is to come. Recent years have forced all of us to adapt to changes that come at an unprecedented rate. It wears on everyone, to be sure. We all knew that the only constant in the universe is change, but there sure has been a lot of it over the last several years. Through it all, we have had the privilege of taking care of your dogs, getting to know your families, and being part of a larger community that begins with our dogs but certainly doesn’t end there. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your continued support of our small, local, woman-owned business.

In this newsletter, we want to look back briefly as well as glance ahead to new developments. We would also like to give you a better understanding of how things work at Rex’s, and how those things will continue to evolve.

So without further ado…

In This Issue

The Remodel…goes on…

We swear to you: they told us it would be done by August.

Now, we’re not naïve; we know nothing in the world of construction gets done on time. But this project faced some major wrenches in the works.

So…anyone out there ever deal with plumbing issues? How about commercial plumbing issues? Long story short: our building had been divided into separate entities for so long, with each tenant doing their own plumbing to suit their very different needs, that nothing worked anymore. Our long-term customers remember how we have had to work around our plumbing, even closing a few times, in years past. And when it came time to do this remodel, we could not invent any more quick fixes and it all had to be replaced and integrated. That alone set everything back a long time.

So what is done? Well, Boarding, for one! We now have a full 50% higher capacity than last year at this time. And, as you see here, we can keep an eye view of Rex's boarding kennels seen from aboveon all of it at once! Dogs and staff are both quite happy. The added soundproofing is also a big plus to the new Boarding facility.  We also have a dedicated room for feeding which is easily accessible not just for boarding but also for day care dogs that have lunch here as well.

The new Ball Room (not “ballroom,” but “ball room”) is also complete, though it currently is working overtime housing other activities as well.

The rest is still a work in progress. The new central entrance is far from complete, but it is underway. Not that you can tell from this picture…a red reception counter is almost hidden behind building supplies but you can see that we are creating much better, safer flow throughout the facility.
a hallway extends back, materials on the left and one open door on the rightFrom this hallway, we can move dogs and staff directly to different areas without having to navigate through crowds or other obstacles. Everyone gets to where they need to go much more simply and quickly once this is finished.

aerial view of training room with indications of main entrance, hall through area and doors to training room

click on this image to enlarge

Beyond the initial reception/intake area, things really are starting to take shape. The first thing past intake, right off the hallway, is the Training Room, a space dedicated solely to training. That’s it, the first door on the right! When you arrive for classes or private sessions, you’ll just have a few steps from the front door. This is where Manners, AKC Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy, and other obedience classes will be held. You can click on the image to see it full size; it gives you a good feel for how the whole facility will soon function. The gentle and active play areas as well as Day Care Plus and the Ball Room are further down the hallway.

Not all dogs will need to follow the hallway. To the north and south of the new entrance, there are also entrances to new and improved service areas. Puppies will go directly to the nursery on one side, and tiny dogs have their own room on the other. We have dedicated rooms — not just areas but real rooms with doors! — for laundry, spa services, and feeding. New floors improve the experience for everyone. As flooring improves, we continue to upgrade for better traction and less impact stress on joints. We also have an isolation room, and we’ll talk more about that below.

Save The Date! Rex's Place Grand Re-Opening March 1, 2024 Details To FollowSave the Date!

We will be sending official invitations out soon, but we are going to host our Grand Re-Opening on Friday, March 1st to coincide with the 14th anniversary of Rex’s Place doors first opening! There will be facility tours, agility demonstrations, and more! We hope everyone can join us — it’s so rare that we get to bring the two-legged friends in (this will be one time when you can leave your pup at home and come to Rex’s yourself!) so we hope you will stop by. Again, we will send full details a bit later. See you then!


New Year — New Classes!All ages, all sizes, all levels, all speeds - training at Rex's Place for all stages of every dog's life

Whether you got a new puppy for Christmas or you and your canine companion have been together forever, Rex’s Place has activities that will delight two and four legged friends alike! (And if you do have a new puppy, we can even help you get all your Saturday stuff done! Read on!) New classes start later this month! You can find the full schedule here on our Classes page!

Manners, Obedience, Enrichment

Manners and Household Obedience is a great way for everyone in your household to have a lot of fun. Game-based training is not just for the dog, after all, and since everyone in the home interacts with the dog, everyone is welcome in this class. Because the games are short, it’s easy to keep the fun going with your pup all week long and it continues to improve everyone’s quality of life!

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy

C’mon, admit it: that puppy has you up every morning waaaay before 8. So why not start your Saturday off with us — and we promise, you’ll have the rest of the day free to do whatever you want!

Our 8 AM start time might look daunting, but after each S.T.A.R. Puppy session, your baby will be sacked out for the rest of the day. You can run your errands and see your friends, and when your puppy wakes up again, you can delight in new, positive behaviors and activities that you can do to build confidence and manners! Trust us: you won’t be disappointed!

Small dog super dog Saturdays at Rex's Place, small white dog with a red capeSmall Dog Super Dog

Parvus sed potens: Latin for “small but mighty”. Sound like anyone you know?

Our Small Dog Super Dog class plays specifically to those strengths in small dogs — the huge personality, quick mind and legs, and the petite stature. With strategies and techniques just for your little superhero, this class will provide you with hours of targeted and helpful fun for harnessing all those superpowers!

Rally ‘Round for fun and activity

If you haven’t tried Rally yet, you really should.The Sport of Sit, The Sport of Stay: Rally @ Rex's K9 Sports Arena
If you’re thinking you need some more winter activity, Rally is for you.
If you need something fun to do with your dog that doesn’t involve, sweat, snow, or mud, Rally is the answer.

Rally combines brisk movement with a variety of obedience tasks that keeps you moving but not running, keeps your dog engaged and active, and provides good clean fun even in the worst of winter! You can try a single session or sign up for a 6-pack! While one dog and human work the course, the rest of the group does work on the individual skills from the course. Your dog will sleep like a baby afterward, but you’ll feel energized and relaxed. And no messy shoes!
Come join us in the Arena on Wednesdays! Sign up on gingr!

Rex's K9 Sports ArenaAgility Classes

Jim is launching the next round of Beginner Agility as well as Agility 2 and 3 this month. A couple of dogs who started with Beginner Agility last year are now preparing to compete! Agility is great aerobic exercise for dog and handler alike, and our state-of-the-art Forever Lawn turf  provides outstanding protection for joints and bones. Sign up on gingr for the skill level that fits you!

Flu? What flu?

No doubt you have heard about the new mystery dog illness all over the local and national news. While broadcasters areSad looking chocolate lab with head down, cartoon thermometer reporting that it’s so new it doesn’t even have a name yet, we have been following reports of this illness for over a year. So far, only one case has been reported in the Chicago metro area and it is not here. Local vets are on the lookout but have seen nothing at all.

What is this new illness?

Basically, it is like kennel cough, but the cough is productive instead of dry.

How dangerous is this new illness?

There have been deaths of dogs on the West Coast, but those cases involved dogs whose health was already compromised.

What should we do?

As with any other illness — kennel cough, canine influenza, or digestive upset — if you see signs of illness, keep your dog home and contact your vet. We are watching closely as always. Local vets have reported to us that they have seen the usual uptick in cases of pneumonia that they see every year at this time, but nothing else.
If your dog is boarding with us, rest assured that we will be watching closely and taking appropriate actions if we see any symptoms. As always, we will notify you if we notice anything. Meanwhile, we still pride ourselves that we have never seen a case of dog flu in our facility, and that we maintain the highest hygienic standards in our facility for both the day care and boarding. As part of our remodel, we even added a dedicated isolation room for dogs showing any symptoms at all at any time, no matter what is in the news.

If you want to read more about this latest development, check out these links:

At the risk of tempting fate, it bears repeating that Rex’s Place has never had a single reported case of canine influenza. Even during the first epidemic several years ago, when other boarding facilities in the area had to close and repeatedly disinfect, we never had a single sick client. We have been operating since 2010, and not one single case.

Introducing…our new partnership with EAS!

Rex’s Place is thrilled — really! Everyone is so excited about this! — that we are partnering with the Evanston Animal Shelter to provide day care and adoption promotion for EAS dogs who are suited for and will benefit from day care play and socialization!

This is a years-long dream come true for Kathy, who has wanted to partner with the Evanston Animal Shelter for years. “I really think that the dogs who can benefit from playing with other dogs should get that advantage, and I hope that as they make friends with our clients, this will cast a wide and receptive net for potential adopters in our community,” she said.

Selena (brindle dog with tennis ball in mouth)

Meet Selena!

Our first guest from EAS is Selena, a year-and-a-half old beautiful brindle “goofball” who enjoys playing with other dogs as much as curling up for a nap with shelter volunteers. You can read about her on the Evanston Animal Shelter website here (she’s currently the fifth dog on the page). For Vicky Pasenko, the EAS Executive Director, having Selena spend time at Rex’s is an absolutely golden opportunity. Said Vicky: “We want to keep her solid; the shelter environment is so stressful and there is so little opportunity for dogs to develop and maintain their social skills. Allowing her to play and engage will keep her healthy and it will give people a chance to see how she really is. The activity will help her when meeting potential families as well, because she won’t be as pent-up from everything here. She’s been here almost a year, and all of her foster parents know just as we do that she’s a great family dog. We are so happy to be able to give her every chance to find lots of friends and a perfect forever home.”

Ask Kathy

The questions keep coming in, and Kathy has answers!

Why can’t I ever get a real person on the phone?

We have addressed this questions many times before — here and here, for starters.
Once again: we can either take care of your dogs or we can be on the phone. If you are calling about making a reservation, go to your gingr page. We cannot see anything about your request that you cannot see. If we are full, we are full. Talking with you on the phone will not change that.

We do not return calls when they will take us away from the dogs, and we get on average 20 calls per day where the answer is in Gingr. Gingr tells you everything we can tell you about reservations. If you have a problem with billing or technical glitches, the fastest way to get help is to email us at [email protected]. Send details of your problem, and we will get your issue resolved as quickly as we can. But if you are only calling because gingr won’t accept your reservation, we will not be able to call you back — we can’t change the fact that we do not have space.

If you try to call us in the morning, we will not be able to take your call. We are simply too busy bringing dogs in and out. Drop offs and pickups are potentially dangerous and we will not take our focus off that task. We can either make you feel taken care of, or we can actually take care of the dogs in our charge. When our safety or dogs’ safety is involved, we will always choose safety.

I made a day care/pickup reservation for x o’clock. What if I’m late? What if you’re late?    

Time reservations are a peculiarity of gingr’s software. We do not pay any attention to specific times on day care reservations. On our website, we state the specific time windows for transportation and facility drop-offs and pickups. We cannot remove the selection in gingr for setting times for these services. Please refer to our website for actual time windows. You will find them at the bottom of all of the day care and boarding pages.
Long story short:

  • we don’t take dogs into day care after 11 AM.
  • We don’t allow anyone to pick up their dog before 9 AM M-F.
  • Dogs who are boarding that are brought to the facility before 3 PM will be charged for day care for that day (after the first night, Classic Day Care is included in the boarding price).
  • Dogs who are boarding must arrive before 5 PM M-F (if bringing your dog to boarding on weekends and holidays, follow the time windows on the website.)

Boarding Reminders

If you are boarding with us, please remember the following:

  • Food that is not packaged in portions or in a sealable, solid container will incur charges for each meal.
  • A reservation without a deposit is not reserved.
  • If you need to change your reservation, email us at [email protected] with the changes needed. You cannot change your reservation, but we can. Don’t cancel your existing reservation; let us change it for you.
  • Dogs can only be dropped off for boarding between 9 AM and 5 PM on weekdays, and during the morning and afternoon windows on weekends.


And that’s another Newsletter in the books! (Or on the web page…!) We also love to get your feedback, so be in touch! Till next time!