Welcome mat out for dogs
FARMINGTON — The Dog House will soon be catering to man's best friends to offer diverse pet services all under one roof.
Co-owners Nicole Johnson and Niels Schapochnicof said they aim to offer the best in caring, attentive pet services that cater to the needs of busy dog lovers. They want to make the lives of pet owners easier and more convenient.
Johnson owns two dogs, Mona, a small Boston terrier, and Beezus, a large Bernese mountain dog. Longtime dog lover from childhood, Schapochnicof is also a proud owner of a Bernese named Ella. He chose the giant breed after he falling in love with Beezus.
"When you see one of these dogs and know their demeanor, it is hard not to have one because they are super smart and very loving," Johnson said.
Bernese mountain dogs are part herder dogs and carters that hauled milk to town in Switzerland where the dog breed originated.
The Dog House plans to open this month on the northern edge of Farmington Mall off Highway 3. The animal hotel will be a 7,000-square-foot facility open seven days a week with indoor and outdoor playground areas where dogs can romp and run.
"Dogs need a lot of exercise and play and it is great how someone is watching your dog, and they are getting assimilation and they are enjoying themselves," Johnson said.
This doggie dream has been in the works for three years after Schapochnicof made a midnight call to Johnson, both loyal and fierce dog owners and dog lovers. They understand animal lovers are good people, they said, and want to help families and dog owners make life easier.
"We are pretty much doing it because we love our pets and what goes into it and all the aspects of being able to share this with other people," Johnson said.
"If my dog does not like you, then I don't like you," she added, jokingly.
"We are going to open our door with three main services, the boarding, the day care and a self-wash service, and most likely we are going to have a groomer on site," Schapochnicof said.
The self-wash dog service is a growing trend today where owners can bring Fido in for a shampoo and scrub inside a small business rather than at home.
"We provide everything and people don't want to get their house a mess and have their dog running around," she said.
The friends are independent business owners, but this is first joint business venture together. The Dog House also will have staff.
"There are not many places that are able to provide all the services that dog owner needs and we are trying to do everything a dog owner needs under one roof," he said.
"Our biggest thing is we really want people to know that we will be giving back to the community, locally so we like to keep everything as local as possible," she said.
The business will give discounts for veterans.
"Farmington has been so welcoming and it is such a great community, and honestly we do not know why any business would not want to come here because we have received such excellent service from end to end at City Hall where they have been so helpful and on top of things," he said.
Two years ago Johnson's dog passed away and she felt an immediate void in her life. "I didn't realize really how they comforted you and take away all the stress and anxiety and when she was gone, huge energy was gone in my life," she said.
Learn more at www.thedoghousemn.com.