Hello Pet Parents!
First, a big thank you! It has been a whirlwind 5 months since taking over ownership of Luckydog. I can't thank you all enough for your warm welcome and continued loyalty. Everybody, clients and staff, have welcomed me with open arms and it means the world to me.As many of you have noticed, there have been a lot of changes occuring and the goal of this inaugural quarterly blog is to keep you informed of the happenings behind the scenes. In each issue we will include a section on management of the pack, feature an employee, address questions that have come up with clients, and showcase some social media highlights from the stars of the show - your dogs!
I make the following pledge to all of you:
- To run the business with honesty and integrity
- Address your concerns in a timely manner
- Continually strive to exceed your expectations
- Foster a work environment in which my employees will continue to thrive and grow
- Care for your dogs as I would my own (and in case you didn't know, Mr Bubbles may be the most spoiled fur baby on planet earth)
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. My ears are always open.Again, and from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Lots of love,
Dee Dee Fasquel
Owner - Luckydog
On July 1st, 2018 a changing of the guard occurred and we obtained our new owner. Since that time, a lot of changes have taken place. There has been a significant reinvestment in the business which includes improvements to the facility, reinstitution of successful past protocols, as well as an increased investment and commitment to the employees.
We have listed a few of the details below:
- The Deep Clean - On week two (mid-July) we shut down the facility for a day and the entire staff came in to do a deep clean of the entire building - front to back, top to bottom, inside and out. We broke down all of the kennels, removed and cleaned all bedding, and did a deep clean on the entire facility. Once the deep clean was complete it was time to make some changes. First, we installed a new air purification system, with monthly maintenance, in an attempt to reduce airborne disease transmission. Second, we replaced any suspected harborers of disease and posted specific cleaning guidelines recommended by the AVMA.
- The Rebuild - Next, it was time to invest in some luxuries for the pups. In the boarding area, we purchased elevated beds and new blankets for all of the Simple Suites. Deluxe elevated beds with hemp covered memory foam toppers, faux fur rugs, and elevated bowls now make up the private luxury suites and we are currently finishing up work on our new VIP Suite. This 180 sq ft space has a memory foam twin trundle bed, deluxe memory foam extra large faux fur padded rug, additional jumbo elevated bed, elevated bowls, a large screen tv, and nightly story time with one of our staff. Our Luxury and VIP suites also contain custom made art by local artist Alejandro Sarmiento. He has taken iconic rock star paintings and replaced them with dogs - transforming our Luxury Suites into Dog Star Suites. You can follow him on Instagram at @art_by_alejandro and scroll down to see his full bio.
The daycare areas have had a makeover as well. A new jumbo playset and pit ball game were added in the indoor area as well as 50 new chew resistant bones to keep playtime fun and engaging. New high quality cameras were mounted in August and the views are fantastic! When the sun comes out next year, we look forward to the addition of multiple shade sails, new pools, and an automatic mist system in the back. Stay tuned for some additional surprises as I am always on the hunt for new and exciting things to add to our arsenal.
- A NEW CLIENT EXPERIENCE - As most of you are aware, we launched new business software in early August. While we have experienced a few hiccups, the overall results have been well worth the hassle. You can now book online, upload vet records, update your profile, including adding pics of your fur baby(s), view our live cams, purchase packages, and more! The communication from our end has also greatly increased now that we can easily send group emails and SMS texts of your doggie daily updates. Keeping our Luckydog family in the loop. If you haven’t logged into your customer profile, please do, ease of use and convenience await! www.luckydogcare.com
Featured Employee - Kristen Frosland
Kristen began her career at Luckydog in 2007 at 19 with mostly personal experience with family dogs. After receiving behavior training as a new employee, she quickly developed an affinity for pack management. She became certified in Pet CPR and First Aid as well as a Certified Pet Care Specialist. After adopting her dog Vinnie, they trained and completed the Canine Good Citizen program.
Following techniques that suited her benevolent leadership style, she discovered Karen Prior’s Clicker Training and went to Clicker Expo in 2011. With a foundation in canine development and learning theory, she became Luckydog’s first Puppy Start Right Instructor. (Mr. Bubbles, now the owner, was one of her students!) In 2016, her skills as a trainer allowed her to adopt a 10 year old Corgi with separation anxiety, dog-dog aggression and resource guarding issues.
Roxy is now a loving, happy member of the family and a respectable canine citizen herself. Kristen is also in charge of training employees, continues to challenge herself through continuing education, and brings a passion to our environment that is unsurpassed. After over a decade of experience in this field, Kristen evaluates dogs of all breeds and helps Luckydog create a safe, fun environment for your dogs.
Pack Management 101
I hear it all the time. “You get to play with dogs all day?! That must be the easiest job EVER!” Ha. Fun, but not easy. While our main goal is to allow dogs to play and socialize, there is a TON of education, skill and diligence that goes into the experience your dog has while they’re here. Here are our tools and their applications:
- RECALL: We make sure your dog’s name is a magic word to them here so we can call them away from a potential issue. It is only used in a positive manner and we practice routinely to maintain its efficacy- every handler, every dog, every day!
- LEASHING: Anytime we see a dog in a situation that could lead to unwanted behavior, we swoop them up for a brief time out and walk around the room. This redirects their attention, allows them to release stress and gives us a moment to connect. Our relationship with each dog is a powerful tool and the foundation of our ability to change behavior.
- CRATES: While the above two tools are used most frequently, they aren’t always enough to reduce your dog’s arousal. You can imagine that with forty+ dogs running around, keeping the arousal low is of the utmost importance. Most crate breaks are short; 30 seconds to 5 minutes. For those dogs that aren’t crate trained at home, we start with a few seconds and gradually increase each time out as they learn to accept and enjoy the rest period. Dogs do not like to be in a state of prolonged high arousal and some depend on us to help them manage it.
- EX-PENS: These barriers allow us to control the size of the play space. As the dogs arrive in the morning, we keep the space relatively small so there is less running and barking. They also serve as time out spaces for large dogs or those that are not tolerant of the crate.
- THUNDER SHIRTS: These are body wraps we use to calm dogs struggling with anxiety or hyperactivity. The gentle pressure helps them feel secure and we’ve had great success when used proactively.
Our handlers go through extensive training so they can recognize unhealthy behavior and create positive change. It may not seem like a big deal for one dog to be barking, jumping or running non stop, but arousal is contagious in a group of dogs and as social creatures, they will mimic each other. All of these tools help us keep the noise and activity at a comfortable level, so that dogs of all sizes and ages can enjoy our play group. We will elaborate on these tools in future blogs.
We now have t-shirts, tanks, fleece sweatshirts and hats available for purchase! All items feature the Luckydog logo we all know and love, so you can show off where the cool pups go!