Solicitude for Special Needs Pets

A Three Legged Purpose

19It’s no secret our pets are important members of the family. We care for them like children, tracking their favorite toys, schedule and daily needs. For some, the day-to-day care required varies, based on age and circumstance. Just like us, as our pets’ age or face health hurdles, the care they require can increase and intensify. Some owners’ dedicate countless hours to administering insulin; rework their schedules to cater to time-sensitive medicines and treat their furry friend with optimum care. These owners sacrifice aspects of their life to provide a supportive, loving home to their senior and special needs pets, day in and day out.

Any pet owner understands the value found in trusted service providers. Whether it is a veterinarian, groomer, boarding facility, or daycare; finding someone that will care for your pet as if it’s their own, is truly priceless. For those owners with special needs pets, the comfort found in a trusted service runs even deeper. Alicia and Riney Kahler, founders of Sycamore Lane Kennels and Farm, have provided San Joaquin with top-notch services and a gorgeous facility to match, since 1985. For Kahler, her decades of experience in the dog show world have only strengthened her passion in offering boarding, day care, training and grooming for all pets, including special needs animals. With many repeat clients, Kahler and Sycamore Lanes often cares for animals their entire life. And as Alicia notes, “When pets age, many face medical problems, like Diabetes or heart issues.”

For this reason, some facilities might turn animals away after reaching a certain age, but Kahler understands this is when the pet needs a trusted boarding facility the most. “I can’t just say, ‘oh, this is too much of a problem for me,’ because these dogs are like my family; I’ve cared for many since they were puppies.” To instill the best care for these animals, Kahler has staffed her facility with educated, passionate and certified employees. Not to mention, at least two veterinary technicians on location. Through the International Boarding and Pet Services Association, Kahler and her staff receive continuous education focused in pet-based first aid and care. Sycamore Lane Kennels welcomes many different kinds of special needs visitors, ranging from senior citizens to amputees and disabled dogs. Kahler’s dedication to her repeat borders facing old age; extend beyond to special cases, like Babe, a ten-year-old Rottweiler-mix Alicia has cared for since 2007. “In 2006 she lost her leg in a vehicular accident,” Kahler says. “Her owners love her so much, they did everything they could to save her, and against the odds, they did,” she continues. “Shortly after her amputation she came to us and we’ve cared for her ever since.”


The facility’s gorgeous 130 acres, nestled in the heart of Lodi’s wine country, offers special amenities to cater to every one of their visitors’ needs. Although Sycamore Lane Kennels and Farms originally opened, almost 30 years ago, to service canines with special physical or medical needs, basic kennel services for healthy pets are also available. Today, the special needs animals have their own area, with 16 individualized runs. In addition, playtime is segregated based on the animals needs. And all guests are able to enjoy aspects of Sycamore Lanes that make the facility truly special; like the Zen Den, an area in which Kahler describes as a living room set up for snuggling and play. This room is designed to make your pets feel truly at home, give them a minute to relax on the couch, or sit on Alicia’s lap.

In addition to boarding and daycare, Sycamore Lanes keeps their uniqueness alive through additional specialized programs like Spa Days, where owners have the opportunity to drop their dog off for the day, and pick them up after hours of play, followed by a full-service grooming session. Group and private training classes, ranging from obedience to conformation training, daycare and special events stretch far beyond most boarding facilities, offering San Joaquin a truly well-rounded sanctuary for both pet and owner.

“For me,” smiles Alicia, “the best part is seeing these pets so happy to be here,” she continues, “I always try to care for my clients the way I’d want my dog to be cared for, and when I can see they’re excited to be spending time with us, I’m thrilled!”

For More Information:
Sycamore Lane Kennels and Farm
5111 W. Sargent Road
Lodi, (209) 334-1316