Heather Brown is making her dream of running a doggy daycare and training facility a reality as she and business partner Amber Skahl work from sun up to sundown to get Playful Paws Inc. ready for opening.
Although Brown, 31, has dreamed of opening her own training facility since she was 14 years old, it’s been less than two months since she saw the former auto detailing shop space at 613 Main St. and realized she’d found the perfect spot.
“It’s been pretty busy. We hauled a lot of garbage out of here,” Brown said, as she and Skahl walk from the reception area into the huge back space. “It’s a big enough space, it will allow us to do all the things we’ve always wanted to do.”
Although the space is enormous, Brown and Skahl are going to cap the number of dogs in the daycare to 55. As part of their vision of “one-stop shop” for dog owners, they are planning a variety of different services – everything from doggy day care, to grooming to specialized dog training.
There’s a three-kennel area for “unsocialized” dogs, each with access to an individual play space, along with an “integration” area for dogs to transition from home to daycare. Off the main area they’re also creating a Hound’s Lounge, where older dogs or others in need of a break can enjoy some quiet time.
For people who’d like to have a clean dog come home after a day of roughhousing, Brown and Skahl have hired two dog groomers and will offer a “play and bath” package.
Dog PAWties will be on the menu – in fact, one keen customer’s already booked a special birthday party for her furry loved one.
Brown and Skahl have contacted area shelters, a move that was so welcomed, their barely renovated facility became the hub for the 50 rescue dogs that came to the area from California on Valentine’s Day.
“It was very emotional. We want to be involved in the work the shelters do...the volunteers do so much, it’s incredible,” Brown said.
All staff are fully trained in St. John Ambulance Dog First Aid. Brown has completed and animal sciences course and has worked with several dog trainers over the past 10 years.
Playful Paws is located at 613 Main St, Unit 3 (near Beazley’s Bowling Lanes). Check www.playfulpawsinc.com
Meet the rescues
Mar. 17: 12 – 4 p.m. Meet the rescues at Playful Paws, with several local shelters, and some of the recent arrivals from California, attending.
Mar. 18: Official opening day.