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Dog Daycare Honors Our Veteran Pack Members

     On October 29th, our dog daycare celebrated it’s fifth anniversary. Five years isn’t really that long. But when you own a business, five years is significant. This morning, as I sat to write, Facebook reminded me of a post I shared on this day that said:

“What an amazing day at the shop! Eight dogs who want to enroll in daycamp – a bunch of calls for grooming appointments – an unscheduled temp test – our first 20-day punch card sold! So busy it was a luxury to sit for a few minutes and eat lunch at 3 pm! Such a beautiful experience to share in the birth of a new business!” 11/27/2012


     We started off with very humble beginnings back then. One daycare staff, myself and Jason. Only a couple of dogs in daycare, the rest, dare I say, were “borrowed from friends” to do temperament tests! It was exhausting, working long hours, trying to build a clientele, and actually running two grooming shops at the time. Not only that, Jason and I were also planning our wedding. No pressure. No pressure at all!

     Last month, as Taylor and I reminisced about those early days, I became nostalgic, thinking about some of our early pack members. There was Ajax, who was our very first pack member. His mom bought the first punch card we ever sold, (on this day) which still hangs on the wall behind our reception desk. Ajax passed away a few years ago, but he was special, and we still think about him today. There was the Maltese sisters, Miranda and Lennox. They were small, and sweet, and mostly just wanted to be spoiled and held all the time. They have both since passed – Miranda a few years back; Little Lennox just this year.

     And then there are our veterans – Jasper, Samson, and Taxi. Those boys started with us on our journey, and are still a part of our journey today. We have had a lot of pack members come and go over the years, so it’s incredibly special to look back and celebrate these three dogs that share in the birth of Grateful Dogs Daycamp.   

     Jasper, a Wheaton Terrier, started with us right after Ajax did, in November 2012. Jaspers mom, Kim, has been friends with Jason for many years. She even helped cater our wedding. Our landlord gifted us with our first advertisement (see below), and Jasper proudly posed for his photo in it. He got his nickname “Prince Jasper” because he used to love sitting atop the crates and looking down upon the daycare, otherwise known as his “kingdom”. Since he has officially been here the longest, he definitely thinks he owns the place!

     Some of the things our staff have to say about Jasper are:

“When Jasper comes in, his tail is going 100 MPH. He’s always happy. He is the king of the castle toy!”

“He likes to be alone until you offer him pets and cuddling time, then he’s all over you!”

“I love how excited he is when he gets here, and how sweet he is.”

“I love when he is so happy he can’t control the speed of his tail. He loves people so much!”

     Samson, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, started with us in December 2012. He was just a puppy. As I stood talking with Samson’s dad, James, the day he enrolled in daycare, I knew he looked familiar, and then I realized, he had gone to school with one of my daughters! But that wasn’t how he had learned about us. It was just a coincidence. I suppose we are all connected on some level, aren’t we?

     It was so much fun to have a puppy in daycare; it kept things lively back there! Samson also got to be in the advertisement with Jasper. And I must add, it wasn’t easy getting a puppy to sit for a photo shoot! It has been a true pleasure to watch sweet Samson grow from a curly haired, wide-eyed puppy to the loving happy boy he is today.

     Some of the things our staff have to say about Samson are:

“He always has something to say! He has such a sweet face that you can’t ignore and you HAVE to pet him – you can’t help it!”

“He is always brushing up against my legs and just wants to be petted and loved all day.”

“I love how excited he gets when we play tug-o-war and how happy he gets when you pet him.”

“His ‘talking’ is the cutest thing ever! He has the kindest face and is the sweetest boy.”

     Taxi, a Golden Retriever, started with us right after the new year, in January 2013. It turned out that Jerry, Taxi’s dad, worked with a friend of mine. And Jerry used the very first coupon we ever offered, which came from the ad that Jasper and Samson posed for. Taxi surprised us right from the beginning with the biggest dog smile we had ever seen! Personally, I had no idea a dog could smile with all his teeth like that! Our Taxi Man is surely one of the happiest Golden's we’ve ever met, and seeing him not only makes your face smile, but your heart smile too.

     Some of the things our staff have to say about Taxi are:

“He is such a sweet boy with the best smile. He uses his pearly whites to get all the belly rubs and attention that he can!”

“He is so funny and cute the way he smiles and wiggles his whole body when you call his name!”

“He has the best smile! And he’s super loving and loves his belly rubs!”

“He cracks me up all the time with his happy smile! He is such a well-behaved golden boy!”

     In February 2013, Taylor started working for us. In many ways, the daycare is her “baby” just as much as it is ours. In April 2013 we closed the small grooming shop we had in Olympia and moved all of our groomers here to the Lacey shop. Over the years we have remodeled – expanding to make room for more groomers – and more daycare dogs.  

      From those humble beginnings where we “borrowed friend’s dogs” to today, where we have swelled to over 40 dogs in a day at doggy daycare, we are thankful.

      Thankful for our long-time customers who have remained loyal to us over the years.

      Thankful for our new customers who are entrusting us with their furry family members.

      Thankful to our staff who have hung in there and grown with us.

      Thankful to all our family and friends who held us up, supported, encouraged us, and cheered us on, in those early years, and even now, because there are always challenges when you own a business.

     Thankful to all the furry pack members who have been a part of making Grateful Dogs Daycamp what it is today.

      And thankful to Jasper, Samson, and Taxi, for reminding us of where we were when we began, and how far we have come. Today, we honor you.

      We are truly grateful.

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