Dog day care and boarding center “Woof and Tumble” will officially welcome its new groomer, Heather Fawver, during an open house on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.
The barbecue, for humans only, is an effort to thank existing and new clients as well as to showcase the business’s facilities and the companies they work with.
Janet Naylor started Woof and Tumble three years ago when she couldn’t find an adequate boarding facility in the area with reasonable prices.
It was only after she looked into what went on at kennels and identified the qualities she figured were important that her husband advised her to, “Just go for it.” So, she became first-aid certified, set up the facilities and was open for business.
“I wanted something rural, friendly, easy-going,” said Naylor, who has found her home at last. She grew up in England and has lived in several different states across America. “I could never see myself moving anywhere else now.”
There are no plans to expand the facilities either.
“I want quality time with [the dogs],” said Naylor. “There are 14 kennels, but I don’t want to increase in size. You lose that personal touch. I couldn’t do this if we took many more in.”
The facility itself is impressive. There are 1,700 square feet of outdoor play area, divided into two sections. One is a simple dirt playground, with dog-friendly play equipment and fresh mulch. The other is a grassy, sloped meadow that offers a place for more active dogs to run around and play.
There are three buildings on the 1.5 acre property. One is Naylor’s house. Another is a garage with a room above it, which she has converted into the grooming station and a cool place for hyperactive dogs to visit during the day. Owners are even welcome to stay upstairs while their pet is being groomed. They offer water, refreshments and free WiFi.
The other building is a garage converted into the kennel — the coup-de-gras. There is a lamp on at night along with blue emergency lights for dogs who do not handle the dark well. Dogs get biscuits every time they go in the kennels. They have a chart on each door.
At night, Naylor plays classical music and has a movie on with the sound muted. She even keeps her own dog in the kennel.
“If dogs are not kept busy, they go looking for trouble,” explained Naylor. “We try to keep them out of the kennel as much as possible. They only spend around eight hours in there.”
“She lets dogs be free here,” added Fawver. “It’s really the best place. That’s why I decided to work here.”
Naylor and Fawver have known each other for two years. Before this summer, Woof and Tumble didn’t offer grooming services.
Fawver has previously worked at several different locations and has groomed a variety of breeds. She has even worked with show dogs. She will also groom cats.
The grooming facilities are accommodating and gentle. The shampoos are chemical free and can be hypo-allergenic.
Naylor and Fawver try to be accommodating to their guests. They can schedule a delivery or pick-up location for dogs being groomed. They are open 18 to 20 hours a day.
“We work with a lot of firefighter dogs,” said Naylor. “And they have such hours, sometimes they drop off their dogs at 5 a.m. and pick them up at 8 p.m.”
When asked if getting sleep was a problem, she laughed. “Yeah, it is. But I do what needs to be done to keep these dogs happy.”
Sometimes she will even spend the night in the kennel on a futon if a dog is having a hard time adjusting. Naylor runs a vigorous screening process to accommodate for the owners and their dogs.
For boarders, Naylor insists they do a trial run before their stay. She will spend an hour with the dog just playing and getting to know them. Then she introduces the newcomer to each dog individually. She even wants the dog to stay the night.
“I really need to know what the dog is like when away from his or her owner.”
The screening trial is free.
Naylor also likes to work with other businesses. She will recommend veterinarians and pet stores to customers, building a community for clients. Many of them will be present at the open house.
Customers frequently volunteer their time, offering to play with the dogs.
“It is very community spirited,” said Naylor. “We do as much as they do with children at school.”
“Except for finger-painting,” added Fawver.”
“Well, maybe we can dip their tails in paint and let them go crazy.”