At the heart of K9 Ranch there are two people. Two empathetic, compassionate people who long ago envisioned a place where dogs other than their own can be cared for, looked after, and protected — and then did everything in their power to make that vision become reality….

Owners, Operators and Outright Dog-Lovers

Anyone who’s ever looked into Julie’s eyes, or Ronn’s, when they’re in the company of their beloved pets, knows this simple truth: they were put on this earth to protect and care for dogs. It’s that straightforward.

Life, though — as we’re all aware — has the annoying habit of trying to divert even the most dedicated of souls from their destined path. It takes a strong and steadfast commitment to keep an ear attuned to our “true calling,” no matter how ruthlessly the hubbub of daily life tries to drown it out.

Julie

Although Julie’s career path wasn’t outwardly connected to her love of dogs, she managed to consistently listen to her calling, to consistently keep in sight the “fantasy life” that she and Ronn were picturing: a life that would enable them to be surrounded by many dogs, dogs that they could love, nurture and protect as though they were their own. Beyond savouring a profound sense of contented well-being in the companionship of their own cherished pets, Julie began to lay the foundation for her and Ronn’s eventual goal — immersing herself in course after course on kennel operation and canine physiology, achieving essential Pet CPR Certification, and even finding time to train, groom and enter Izzy, their champion Black Russian Terrier, in many dog shows.

Ronn

Ronn, too, found ways to cultivate and enrich the bond he shares with dogs, even though, like Julie, his career took him down avenues unconnected to these kindred creatures. He spent many rewarding years at the Toronto Humane Society, working specifically with their “Red Level” dogs. He also studied with a variety of working dog-trainers, absorbing their techniques and theories and applying them to his own experience-developed understanding of the canine mind and spirit. One of the trainers he learned from was Cesar Millan, the famous Dog Whisperer, and Ronn is proud to admit that he became a disciple of his. In fact, it was a conversation with Mr. Millan that gave Ronn and Julie the impetus to at last make their fantasy life a reality and establish K9 Ranch.

Lindsay

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” We’ve all heard this saying many, many times; but it’s not often that its meaning is embodied so clearly as it is in Lindsay, Ronn’s daughter, the thoughtful teenager whose involvement in K9 Ranch confirms that, yes, this is indeed a family business. Is being a dog-lover a genetic trait or is it something that kids learn by example? For Lindsay, the answer is very likely a combination: with Ronn’s love of dogs an inextricable part of her DNA and the unbreakable bond both Julie and Ronn share with dogs openly displayed throughout her life, Lindsay had no choice but to follow the same path. The canine call was irresistible! Lindsay’s ranch duties have transformed her into an expert cleaner of guest rooms, and a gentle but authoritative dog-walker whose company dogs especially enjoy because she’s skilled at listening when they enthusiastically tell her, in the many verbal and non-verbal ways they have, about the excitements and discoveries of their day. Lindsay has a special fondness for smaller dogs and loves to curl up on the couch with them, letting them know with her calm kindness that they are loved, that this is their home away from home. In fact, spending time with the dogs at the ranch, giving them the love and affection that comes so naturally to her — these are attractions powerful enough to compel this teenager to turn her back on her cellphone, believe it or not.

Saying it Out Loud

Part of the process of establishing the K9 Ranch facility, of course, has been for Julie and Ronn to put into words (for this website, among other things) the emotions and innate driving feelings that have motivated them all these years, giving them the strength and courage to persist in their objectives when negative heads around them were shaking pessimistically, when negative voices were saying really — a dog-ranch? But how to capture in words this emotional motivation? How to capture in words their understanding that every dog they care for is a beloved member of a family, and that the best place for them is with that family, in the family home? How to capture in words their desire to serve as a surrogate family, to provide a loving home away from home for dogs and peace of mind to dog-parents who must temporarily be separated from their canine children? How to capture in words their belief that a safe, clean environment is the absolute minimum that dogs deserve at this home away from home? How to capture in words their commitment to providing far more than just a safe, clean environment; to providing physical care, emotional comfort, and mental stimulation through a fun and healthy combination of outdoor playtime, restorative rest and relaxation, and enjoyable human-to-dog/dog-to-dog interaction?

In the end, Julie and Ronn gave up trying to put all these things into words and went back to looking after the dogs.

Activities

WE ARE ORGANIC


We work hard to maintain our 26 acres without spraying any pesticides. We can also say that for over 30 years this land has not ever been sprayed with any pesticides. We are proud of this fact.

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