This week’s midweek mugging recipients are Cindy James and Nikki Drake, partners at Petite Urban Pooch.
Located at 2353 Agricola Street, Urban Pooch caters to small dogs and the people who love them—offering doggy daycare, puppy school and a dog lounge.
“We concentrate on the relationship between humans and their dogs, and providing the environment where that can really flourish,” James said.
While at daycare, the dogs are able to go for a swim in the backyard, take naps, play with toys and enjoy the company of the other animals.
Daycare is usually no more than 12 dogs at a time, to ensure it’s “fun for them and fun for us,” while still being safe, James said.
She said daycare is ideal in the winter months, as many small dogs struggle with snowy streets and aren’t able to get as much exercise outdoors as they can in the summer.
“They socialize, it’s good for their psychology...because dogs can get lonely and sad, so coming here they get their exercise, they can have lots of fun,” Drake said. “They drag their owners here, they know where they’re going.”
James and Drake decided to introduce a dog lounge after realizing the fun they have playing with dogs all day was too good of an experience to keep to themselves.
“We have a lot of our customers that will linger,” James said. “They just want to come in here and we thought, why can't they?”
The lounge is available Thursday and Saturday, and is open to customers both with and without a dog. Those who wish to join are invited to sign up online through the Urban Pooch website.
The store also hosts special events, with Pugs n’ Pints coming up on Aug. 30.
For those with young dogs, Urban Pooch offers puppy school on Mondays. The sessions give young dogs a chance to learn how to interact and play with others.
“They discipline each other—like our older dogs are the instructors,” Jame said. “They teach them the ropes, and how to behave in the pack.”
Along with day time activities, Urban Pooch offers overnight stays for pets. James said they strive to make the experience as close to what the dog is used to as possible.
“It’s usually one on one...and we just spoil them rotten,” James said.
Along with taking care of dogs, Urban Pooch partners with the Littlest Pet Bakery to offer specialized dog treats such as donairs, tacos and “pooch-tine.”
They also make their own alcohol free “dog beer,” from bone broth.
“It’s kind of cool to come in and fill a growler full of beer for your dog,” James said.
For Drake, one of the best parts of the job is how positive the environment is.
“The owners are happy, I think that’s probably one of the most amazing parts of the job—and obviously, being surrounded by dogs all day,” she laughed.
“I always say I think I was a dog in another life, like I connect with them...it’s that connection that I love,” she said.