The following is a reprint of an article from the August 9, 2007 St. Clair Times:
Kelly Run Farm allows dogs to enjoy time away from home.
by Kellie Long
Kelly Run Farm sits near Odenville, nestled at the headwaters of Kelly Creek and surrounded by acres of timber and ponds.
It’s a boarding kennel with a different philosophy on dogsitting, and it’s also a vacation place for the stars - the four-legged kind anyway.
“We tell folks when they go on vacation not to send their loving companion to puppy prison, send them on vacation, too,” said Kelly Run Farm owner Dyxie Pauly. “Their dog will love staying with us.”
Clarke and Dyxie Pauly started Kelly Run Farm Boarding Kennel in 2002 after searching in vain for the right person and facility to board their own champion golden retrievers.
“We were unhappy with our boarding options,” Clarke said. “Typical boarding facilities are where the dog is stuck in a box. Our field-trial-trained dogs crave extreme activity and they love to exercise. We had no real options for boarding, so we bought this property and started boarding for some of our friends as well.”
Pauly said that, after great success boarding dogs for friends, Clarke and Dyxie branched out and made it a full-fledged business.
“We're typically full year round,” Dyxie said. “We’ve got boarders who are here for just a couple of days up to weeks while their families do home improvements or other business.”
Clarke said what makes Kelly Run Farm a great facility for dogs is the relaxed dog-centered environment where the pups are taken for long walks at least once a day and are allowed into a fenced exercise/playground area at least four times a day.
“We have 31 acres here with ponds so they can run and swim if they like,” Clarke said. “It’s more like a doggy summer camp than a boarding facility.”
The Paulys themselves have an ingrained love of dogs and require that same love from their kennel employees.
“When you’ve got 40 dogs that need walking you need a lot of help,” Dyxie said. “Most of our employees are high school-aged young people who love animals. At first we found it hard to get help, now they call us and ask if they can come to work for us.”
Clarke and Dyxie have bred and trained golden retrievers since 1999. Clarke calls himself an amateur trainer for hunting and field trials but has the ribbons to prove his accomplishments.
Kelly Run Farm welcomes all breeds and all sizes of dogs. Last week, the Pauly’s many golden retrievers were joined by a weimaraner, a couple of Alaska malamutes and a Shih-Tzu mix. Smaller dogs are typically kept inside with the climate-controlled dog runs, while larger dogs are kept in the outdoor runs where ceiling fans constantly circulate air.
Outdoor runs also have custom insulated doghouses that help keep the pooches cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Kelly Run Farm is not just the vacation spot for everyday dogs either. One regular tenant is Duke, the golden retriever from Atlanta who made his name in the Bush’s Baked Beans commercials.
“Duke lives in Atlanta, but he stays here with us when his family is away from home,” Clarke said. “The current Duke enjoys his time here as did the Duke that preceded him.”
Dyxie said the philosophy of Kelly Run Farm is simple - keep the dogs happy and healthy.
“Our goal here is to provide a pet with a safe, healthy and happy environment where he or she can enjoy him or herself while their owner is away,” Dyxie said. “A dog will have the time of his life here with us, and often, they get more attention here than they might at home.”