Why Dog Daze? I answered my first calling and served as a Nurse, in many different roles, for 38 years. Now, I am answering my second calling by opening a dog daycare and boarding facility. Nursing was my love, but providing exceptional care to pups is my passion.
Let me share a little about my past to explain how the creation of Dog Daze unfolded. To do that, we have to go back to January 2020, when the pandemic was in full force...
In January, 2020 I was asked to move a 4 credit nursing college course completely online and rise to the challenge of using a new Learning Management System (an online integrated software used for creating, delivering, tracking, and reporting educational courses and outcomes). It was a difficult time for all nursing instructors and we had very little support from administration. Moving an entire course online was likened to doubling our workload. In addition to the challenge of building a new course, I continued to supervise students in the hospital setting. As you can imagine, the challenges the pandemic brought to hospitals, trickled down to student training.
At our university, students continued to attend clinicals in the hospital for the first six months after the pandemic began. But, due to the shortage of Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) hospitals were unable to offer visiting students and faculty the necessary PPE to protect them from COVID. Students, and faculty alike, were quarantined several times due to actual and potential COVID exposures. I felt sad for the nursing student graduates who were about to be thrown into a new position as a brand new nurse AND be expected to navigate the once-in-a-life-time challenge of working during a pandemic. In other words, as we all know, 2020 was a ****storm.
During all of this chaos, one of my family members was struggling with several major medical conditions. I, unfortunately, was unable to be the supportive caregiver I wanted to be as I was over burdened by the work demands placed upon me during the pandemic.
As all of this was unfolding, I began to question the logic of my actions. Why was I offering more to strangers than my own family? Isn't 38 years of service to the public enough? Did I think if I ignored the problems they would go away? Do I only define myself as a nurse educator and nurse practitioner? Would owning and operating a dog boarding facility lower my self-value? Let me say this, if the pandemic offered anything positive, for me, it made me commit to what I value in life. And, what I determined I value, more than anything else, is supporting my family and friends. I also determined I was tired of living in the city and yearned to be part of Hill Country living. It was at this juncture, and during these self-reflecting moments, Dog Daze was born! Dog Daze was created so that we could have the opportunity to live in the Hill Country, earn an honest living, and support each other.
Both my husband and I have trained and cherished all 12 family pets we have owned during our 30 years together. We love them like they are our children and we are both passionate about offering affordable care to pups across the Hill Country.
I’d like to share a few reasons why people choose Dog Daze over other dog care facilities:
At Dog Daze we do not keep your dog an extra day if you are running late.
We live on the property, realize life happens, and offer flexible drop-off and pick-up times.
We never charge late pick-up or drop-off fees. (We don’t believe in treating your dog like a rental car facility.)
At most facilities your family pet will be cared for by several different dog handlers. This makes it difficult for the pup to connect with and develop a trusting relationship with an individual handler. At Dog Daze there are 2 people the pups interact with: us, the owners, Shawn and Paul. That’s it! Every time the pup returns to the facility they feel at home because they have formed a relationship with us. The Pet Care Services Association recommends no more than 15 dogs per handler. At Dog Daze we always out perform this recommendation because our maximum capacity is 10 dogs! (That’s a 1 to 10 ratio at maximum capacity.)
In addition, we customize the care provided to your pup based on the needs of your pup. For example, senior dog care is always provided in the “In-Our-Home” care environment as we are very much aware of their special needs. To prevent accidents and reinforce training, young pups are always pottied at least every 2 hours. Anxious pups are never hurried and the trusting relationship is developed at their pace. I have gone through an official training programs to work with your pups with a focus on affection behavior reinforcement techniques and I am always happy to train pet owners on how to train your pups.
We live on-site so the pups receive close monitoring. For added safety, we have added remote monitoring. This allows us to visualize your pups day and night. In addition to multiple day time play and potty breaks, when boarding we always let them out at dusk to do their business and play. We feed and let them out again before 6 am each day. NO dog has ever escaped our fortified, six foot security fence. We pride ourselves in keeping your pup(s) happy, safe and secure.
And then there is Mia! Mia, our 2 year old rescue mix who has never met a stranger and does not have an aggressive bone in her body. At Dog Daze we have developed a formula to acclimate your pup to our environment. First, Mia will run up and down outside the fence line perimeter with your pup inside the secure environment. If tails are wagging and there is no “fence fighting” this will continue until the pups are tired. Then we will work with your pup to let them know we are the bosses at the facility. If your pup responds well, Mia and your pup will be placed together in the dog run under supervision. We use a thick leather leash tapping and vocals to disengage any overt aggressive behavior. Before you know it, friends are made and trusting relationships continue to develop.
Mia has gone through extensive training with a training collar, pinch collar, and off-leash training. She is still a pup so she is not perfect, but she is on her way to being the best dog to socialize our new pups. Please set up an appointment to tour our facility and meet Mia! She is a star!
We look forward to meeting you and your pup (s)!
-Shawn, Paul, & Mia