Nancy Tinker and Sharon Johnson, owners of Goin' to the Dogs in Carlsborg, have a daytime solution for dog owners: doggie day care and doggie day school.
Dogs, like children, must be fed, watered, bathed, played with, supervised and taught to behave appropriately, Tinker said.
And when you go to work or to shop and go out to lunch with friends for a few hours, you must decide what to do with the animal.
"This is something we've talked about doing for a long time," Tinker said. "People here may not be that familiar with the concept, but it's a growing trend across the nation."
Goin' to the Dogs offers full-day care sessions, half-day care sessions and hourly sessions by appointment. During that time, dog owners can request that the animal attends "doggie day school."
"If you work during the day and don't want your dog home alone, particularly puppies that need guidance, or you are gone for the day with company shopping and don't want a time constraint, or you simply want your dog to get some interaction with other dogs, this might be an option for you," Tinker said.
"If they are here you know they are not going to get into trouble, like chewing on furniture or an electrical cord. They are taken out regularly and get interaction with people and other dogs."
The doggie day care room resembles a children's day care facility, with separate fenced-off areas for small dogs and large dogs. Each room is filled with toys, beds, blankets and even Little Tikes plastic play equipment.
"When the dogs are here they are under constant supervision," Tinker said. "They are not put with dogs that could be unsafe, and you won't come home to a dog that's torn down the Venetian blinds or gotten into the garbage and eaten something they shouldn't have."
At doggie day school, dogs are taught to walk on a lead without pulling, sit and stay and to come when called - the No. 1 request by clients, according to Tinker.
"In this neck of the woods, people take their dogs with them a lot so good behavior is very important," she said. "They aren't born knowing - we have to teach them."
With more than 50 years canine training experience, Tinker said she has "seen it all."
"People get a puppy when they've never had a dog before, or maybe after their old dog of 13 years passes away and they don't realize or remember how much work it can be," Tinker said.
"It can be a rude awakening for people when they bring home a young puppy - life changing."
What some people might view as a chore, Tinker thrives on.
"If you don't have the time or energy to train your dog, ask us about our training plan," she said. "An experienced trainer will work with your best friend while they are with us. Your dog will learn manners and social skills, and we will have fun teaching them."
Goin' to the Dogs is an established grooming and training business that's had a presence in Sequim and Port Angeles for 15 years.
Combined, Tinker and Johnson - business partners - have almost a century of canine experience. Tinker's parents started showing dogs in 1929 and she followed in their footsteps. Johnson spent 17 years as a veterinary technician.
Classes - group and individual - include puppy obedience for dogs under 6 months old, beginner obedience, intermediate obedience, competition obedience, rally, beginner agility, advanced beginner agility, intermediate agility and advanced agility.
Dogs' best friends
Dog owners have a lot of options when it comes to taking care of and teaching their beloved furry friends good manners and tricks. Dog grooming, boarding and training providers in Sequim include, but are not limited to:
Aunt Harriet's Bed N' Biscuit, 683-5683
Country Paw's Resort, 582-9686
Dungeness Ranch Pet Resort, 681-0939
Greywolf Animal Behavior Center, 683-2106
Legacy Canine Behavior & Training, 683-1522
Olympic View Kennel, 683-2404
Salty Dog Salon, 582-0661
Sassy Lady Pet Resort, 417-8272
A more complete list of dog care-related providers is available in The Local Pages.
Make pup into
Goin' to the Dogs training and grooming center, located at 53 Valley Center Place, offers doggie day care and day school. "Students" are supervised and encouraged to interact with others.
Female dogs must be spayed by 6 months, and male dogs must be neutered if older than 1 year.
Full and half-day sessions are available, as well as hourly sessions by appointment. Discount prices are available if purchasing a five-day, 10-day or one-month pass. For more information, call 681-5055 or go online to www.gointothedogs.us.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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