Pet owners know how much work one dog is, but what about six?
Charese Yanney, owner and managing partner of Guarantee Roofing, Siding and Insulation Co., owns six dogs but considers the work worth it when she comes home after a long day and finds them waiting for her.
“They’re always happy to see me when I get home,” she said. “It’s nice to come home and relax with them. Each of their personalities is so different; it’s just kind of fun.”
Yanney lives in Sioux City, where only three pets are allowed per household and only two of the same kind. For example, a house can have two dogs and a cat, or two cats and a dog, but not three dogs or three cats.
In order to have her six dogs, she had to get signed permission from all neighbors within 100 feet of her house.
“I believe if you are going to have an animal, if you have one or however many you have, you have a responsibility not only to take care of the animal, but also to your neighbors,” Yanney said. “If they bark, I’ll bring them in right away. I pick up after them right away.”
Not only does Yanney have six dogs, but they are also all standard poodles, which means they take up a lot of space and require extensive grooming.
“They are groomed a minimum once a month and sometimes they are bathed in between,” she said. “They are a lot of work, but I think they are the best dogs.”
Yanney didn’t always have poodles -- she started with Chihuahuas -- but she was sold on poodles after getting a miniature poodle from her brother.
“I liked it because it didn’t shed,” she said.
Later, she got her first standard poodle from a breeder near Omaha and his intelligence sealed the deal on the breed.
“I picked him because he went to the bathroom on the newspaper and he came up to me and grabbed me by the bracelet,” Yanney said. “I actually had him housebroke the weekend I got him, so at six weeks. He couldn’t hold it very long because that muscle isn’t developed at the young age, but he always told me when he had to go out. That really sold me on poodles.”
Twenty-eight years later, she has the six poodles (three of which she bought on the same day in 2011) and has added an African Grey parrot named Gem to the mix.
Birds and dogs don't typically mix, so Yanney has to keep an eye on the parrot to make sure it stays safe.
“Two of my (poodles) would like to eat him,” she said. “I have to watch them pretty closely.”
African Grey parrots are one of the smartest animal species, a fact that is clear to Yanney.
“The parrot calls each of the poodles by name,” she said. “If they start barking, he will tell them to stop and make a noise like he is knocking on a window because he’s heard me do that when the dogs bark.”