Vacations for lucky pets in Delano, MN


facebook-icon  twitter-icon  instagram-icon

About Abbie Lakes Kennels

Dogs are what we are. I’m an engineer. Jill is a health and fitness professional. We enjoy music. As loving parents, we have raised 3 great children. We have had numerous other kinds of pets including a raccoon, chickens, a boa constrictor, birds, cats and horses. Through all the years, and all the changes, dogs have remained a consistent part of our lives.

Newly married in the early 80s, when our lives weren’t stable enough to provide a good home for a dog of our own, we volunteered at the Animal Humane Society, where eventually we fostered a pregnant buff and white Husky that we called Honey. We found that raising a litter of pups in a small Minneapolis condo was an unexpected challenge (go figure!).

When we finally decided to get a dog of our own, we bought a Weimaraner who was aptly named Captain Chaos (Casey). He was our child before children. He went everywhere and did everything with us. We learned dog obedience together, and hunting (upland and waterfowl). We joined the local and national breed club and participated in all their activities including conformation and tracking training days. He enjoyed it all, and made us feel like we were accomplished dog people. Its funny how many dog people have a similar story of their first dog actually training them, when they thought they were training their dog.

As members of more than a few dog clubs over the years, and foundational members of the AKC Pointing Dog Hunt Test community in Minnesota, our commitment and devotion to dogs has never waned.

In 2001 the opportunity to turn an avocation into a profession came our way and we opened Abbie Lake Kennels in Delano, Minnesota. We are in it for the dogs first. Our focus is on safety, then fun, then value. We are proud that we are frequently told that our guests become excited well before they reach our driveway.

At about 30 years into our dog career little is as honest and special as a wagging tail. God willing, we’ll be saying the same thing 30 years from now.

I’ll end with a favorite story.

A man, walking through the heavenly fog came upon his dearly departed dog alive and as happy as could be. He knelt down and was rewarded with sloppy dog kisses all over his face. Though his companion was in a pretty bad way when “the time” had come, now his dog was eager as a pup, with bright eyes and a shining coat. His wag grew from the middle of his spine. When the joys of reunion had be sufficiently celebrated. The man resumed his journey, as any walk should be, with his dog. Such lightness in his step he hadn’t felt for low so many years. It’s easy to feel young in heaven with your best friend. And walk they did, towards a golden glow in the distance. Soon they came upon a towering white marble wall, beautiful and polished, without imperfection. “Hey Boy’ the man said, “Heaven must be quite the place if this is the fence”. Along the wall they trekked. It wasn’t too long before a golden gate came into view, and beside it stood a man in a perfect white robe. “Here we are boy.” with all the excitement a man could have in his heart, “All we could ever ask for is just inside that gate.” The gate attendant looked up from his paperwork and said, “Welcome sir. We’ve been expecting you. People you know are eager to see you inside. You’ve lived a virtuous life. You are welcome to enter. Except that dogs aren’t allowed. “ A range of emotions ran through the man. Unjust. Unfair. Disappointment. How can a man be asked to make such a choice? After deliberation and consideration, the man said to the gate attendant, “If you don’t mind, I don’t think I’m going to go through those golden gates just yet. You see, it has been so long since my dog and I were both happy and healthy, and could really enjoy each other’s company. I think I’ll spend some time with my dog. Please let my friends in side know. They will understand my delay”. Off they set, undeterred by the unreasonableness of the earlier encounter. The warmth of the day was only surpassed by the glow in man heart and his dog’s too. This is how forever should feel. And along the path they came upon a split rail fence, and then a gravel driveway, and a kindly old man resting on a stump, reading a book. Pleasant greetings exchanged, the newly arrived asked the man on the stump, “My friend, would you be able to point me to some place where we can get a drink of water. You see we’ve been walking a while, and before that, my companion here had been waiting for me to arrive for some time.” The man on the stump said, “My friend, right up that driveway, you’ll find a well with the sweetest water you’ve ever tasted. You and your dog as welcome to all you can drink.” “Thank you”, replied the traveler, and “Thanks for letting my dog come. Back there, at heaven’s gate, the gate keeper said they didn’t allow dogs.” My friend, said the man putting down his book. “That wasn’t heaven.” Confusion came over the traveler’s face. “But, I don’t understand.” He said. Rising off the stump, the man with the book knelt down to scratch the dog behind his ear, and shake the dog’s offered paw. He then stood up and with a fatherly arm around the traveler’s shoulders walked the pair to the well, and pumped it a few times for them, while he explained. “You see, this is Heaven. That back there is the final test. No man who would desert his best friend is welcome in here. You most certainly are. Welcome. You are home now.”

Welcome to Abbie Lake Kennels.