The Dog Days story.
As told by the owner, Robin Blair.
Nobody grows up wanting to own and operate a doggy daycare; at least no one from my generation. Like everyone else I had a regular job. I managed commercial real estate for institutional investors like pension funds, REITs, insurance companies, etc.
My days were filled with budgets, capital projects, tenant relations, monthly reporting, vendor management, and keeping the asset managers happy. Blech!!
I’d been thinking about starting my own business but didn’t know what I wanted to do. I happened to see a segment on Animal Planet about a doggy daycare in Boston called The Common Dog. They provided doggy daycare and even had a bus to pick up the dogs from the owners at their offices around Copley Square. I thought that was a great idea and stored it in the back of my head.
Although I’ve always loved dogs and had dogs, most of my experience was with horses. I attended lots of seminars on dog behavior, read books, and did tons of research. Daycare for dogs was pretty popular in the western part of the country, but the east coast isn’t as pet friendly and daycares were few and far between. That meant there would need to be more work to educate consumers about what doggy daycare is and the benefits it provides.
September 11, 2001, came along and I happened to be working in Florham Park that day. We all left work early and went home, and I remember seeing the smoke in my rear view mirror as I drove on Route 78 on my way back to Hillsborough. I was thinking that I didn’t like being so far away from my family. That and a few other things helped me make the decision to start looking into my own doggy daycare. It took two tries, with two different properties, to get the approvals I needed.
Finally, almost five years later, we opened our doors on Independence Day 2005!
Closed sale of property at 281-283 Roycefield Road.
Site work starts and construction begins in the front building.
Grand opening! Front building is open for business.
Back building complete and open for business.
To look at the dog daycare landscape today as a whole, one would never imagine a time when the vast majority of people and municipalities simply just did not and could not understand it and what it's all about. And while today we are still going strong and the dog daycare concept has become almost commonplace in many places around the world, there was a time when that wasn't necessarily so, and when we weren't even sure we'd ever be able to open our doors.
But thankfully, the daycare model began to gather acceptance and our efforts gained traction every day. Finally we opened our doors in 2005 and folks finally began to see what an awesome place we were!
Check out these newspaper articles to learn more.
Plans and Drawings
Probably as exciting as watching paint dry, but part of our history nonetheless.