Edmond Going to the Dogs?
The long-awaited opening of the Edmond Dog Park last month was not just cause for celebration for the area’s thousands of dog owners. A growing number of successful dog-oriented business owners are thrilled at the community’s commitment to dogs. The owners say Edmond is one of the most accepting cities in Oklahoma when it comes to pampering, nurturing and catering to the needs of dogs and the people who love them.
From doggie day care facilities and gourmet dog bakeries to self-serve dog wash facilities, doggie spas and vacation retreats, the Edmond area has everything and anything a caring dog owner could imagine.
“Edmond has it all and is continuing to add more and more for dog owners and pet owners of all kinds,” said Cris Carey, owner and proprietor of Carey Pet and Home Care.
“The people of Edmond are some of those who long ago began to understand that dogs need to be pampered and nurtured and cared for on an individual basis.”
Specializing in home care as well as pet care, Carey offers her clients individualized services to address all their home care and pet care needs. Bonded and licensed through one of the nation’s most respected pet care organizations, she provides her clients with the comfort and satisfaction of knowing they have placed their home and their pet(s) in the hands of someone they can trust.
Another area business that offers pets the chance to stay at home and still receive care when the “owner” is away is Cat ‘N’ Canine. Cat ‘N’ Canine is committed to the premise that “dogs do better at home” than in a kennel atmosphere.
Based on that belief, for the past 15 months they have focused their attention on providing in-home sitting services to pet owners, on the premise that it offers owners the satisfaction that their “children” are comfortable and safe. It also offers those “children” the comfort of being in their home surroundings, where things smell familiar, look familiar, and feel comfortable and safe.
Another group of Edmond business owners have also improved upon the traditional kennel approach by offering doggie daycare along with overnight and extended “lodging” for pets in a much-improved environment.
Camp Bow Wow is part of a large nationwide chain of pet care facilities offering “away from home” lodging and daycare in a pet-friendly environment. Each Camp Bow Wow, including the one in Edmond, features live Web cams, allowing dog owners to view their pets from remote locations throughout the day.
The camp features cabins with cots and fleece bedding for overnight campers. It also provides all-day play environments and climate-controlled facilities. Camp counselors are certified in animal first aid. The camp works closely with local animal shelters to assist in raising awareness about spaying and neutering, as well as fostering and placing animals.
Theresa Hope and Mickey Grubbs, co-owners of Dogtopia in Edmond, were among the first doggie daycares operating in the Edmond area and one of the first such businesses to offer webcam viewing capabilities. Webcam viewing allows the working “pet parent” to check their dog’s activities via the internet while at work during the day or when away on vacation.
“It gives them a sense of security to be able to log in and see their pet playing or eating and they know that their pet is doing fine,” Mickey said. “It’s just a small part of our service, but it’s one that many of the clients really appreciate.”
Dogtopia also offers transportation service for busy owners, two indoor climate-controlled play areas and a long list of doggie treats and specialty items. They also offer parties at Halloween and other holidays.
Max and Elsie’s Pet Resort also offers “cage-free” boarding and lodging on a daily or extended basis, along with special homemade treats and a veterinarian technician on staff. Guarding the health of all dogs on site is their first priority.
“To ensure that our clients and their owners are satisfied, we keep no more than 25 dogs, so we can provide special attention at our doggie spa,” said co-owner Lisa Frye. Her business partner is Crystal Yascavage.
“We not only offer cage-free lodging, we also offer five-star lodging and care for these animals which includes doggie movies, classical music and gourmet treats.”
For owners wanting to immortalize their pets through photography and/or hand-painted masterpieces, Edmond offers two of the best and most talented people in Oklahoma: photographer Kelly King and animal artist Bettina (Betty) Trice.
Kelly King, owner and proprietor of Kelly King Pet Portraits, turned her artistic ability and life-long love for dogs into a career. King was a senior in college at UCO she came up with the idea of doing pet photography.
“I have an intense love of animals and photography, so I decided to combine the two. Once I received my Bachelors of Art in Photographic Arts I started my own business as a pet photographer.” King said. “That was four years ago and I am loving it! I work out of my home and do on-location photo sessions. I go to clients’ homes, to parks, dog parks, etc.”
“Every pet is unique, so every session is fresh, fun and new! With every different animal, there come different challenges.”
Bettine Trice, an artist for more than seventy years, has long been known for her animal sketches and paintings. She also does a great amount of commissioned portraits for owners who now treasure paintings of pets that may or may not still be living.
Having raised whippets for years, Trice also teaches art at a local facility, helping others turn their passion for dogs and their interest in art into a hobby that satisfies both loves.
When it comes to cleaning and grooming those precious little pets, Edmond offers some of the most unique services in the industry, such as Wash Dog and Blue Ribbon Pet Boutique.
Chris Gill moved to Oklahoma four years ago and saw the need for a quality self-service pet washing facility in the community. He answered that need by opening Wash Dog. At Wash Dog, owners can enjoy an indoor facility (nice on bitter winter days or sweltering summer afternoons) where they can wash, dry, groom and pamper their special pet(s) in a clean, comfortable environment.
“I have two dogs, Amico and Trout, and I used some of the other self-service pet washing facilities that had been available and, to be honest, thought they weren’t very sanitary and didn’t offer some of the services that pet owners and pets deserved,” said Gill.
“First of all, we have someone actually on duty, on site, when we are open, and that’s a comfort, especially for our female clients. Next, we clean and sanitize the washing areas after every use, so that each client has a clean area, clean towels and whatever they need. We have five tubs – one giant tub for the really large animals. We supply everything a client needs, from shampoo and towels to blow dryers and doggie cologne, along with a long list of specialty items,” said Gill.
In business for nearly 25 years, Blue Ribbon Pet Boutique owner Janie Drake insists that she and her staff “only do” what every dog grooming business ought to do to please their clientele and the animals they service.
But, in reality, Drake and her staff go all out to give dogs and their owners the ultimate in service and care, whether that service is a simple cut and shampoo or a long list of any of their grooming and pet care services.
“Of course we offer a full line of grooming services,” Drake said. “But one of the things that has become popular is the boutique gift and accessory line that we carry. We have the bright colored pet carriers that are really popular (in lime green and hot pink), as well as OU and OSU snap-on collars, sweaters and scarves. We even have a line of talking stuffed animals for pets, and those have been really popular.”
Although several of the day-care and pet care businesses offer doggie treats as part of their service, the Barking Dog Bakery has made it their complete and only business for the past three years.
Owner Sheri Lanier (who insists it is her poodle Oliver who “runs” the place) stresses that each and every one of the dozen of creations they offer is made with a focus on the overall health of the pet in mind.
“Whatever it is we have, or whatever it is we create for a specific dog’s nutritional needs, it is always the health of the animal that is our first priority,” she said.
“We use only holistic ingredients and nutritional recipes that are designed to meet the individual nutritional needs of each pet, one by one. If we have to create something that we don’t already have for a pet, we do it, and we do it knowing there is another pet out there somewhere that has the same needs as the one we’re working with right now.”
Lanier and her staff even offer cakes for doggie birthdays and other special occasions. She can also arrange doggie birthday parties to be held on site.