Thinking there was a need for a place where dogs could play with other dogs in a somewhat structured environment, a Montezuma County resident opened up a new business that she titled Doggy Care.
Anna Westphal is currently accepting dogs for her new business one day a week for now.
Westphal arrives at the Cedarwood Animal Clinic at 1819 E. Main St. at 7:45 a.m. every Wednesday to greet the dogs she will be caring for that day.
She said she once operated a similar business in Sacramento where her clientele was about 35 dogs every day, and after retiring to Cortez she decided to see if there was a need for this type of service here.
Westphal, who calls herself a dog lover, has 12 dogs of her own and knows what dogs like to do. She charges $20 for every dog that comes to the Cedarwood Animal Clinic for the Doggy Care business.
Westphal once worked in the mental health field, where she shaped the behavior for the mentally ill, and she said she decided then that she wanted to spend more time with her dog and started her business.
She said when a dog leaves the clinic after spending a day playing with other dogs they are usually extremely tired the next day.
She said this business is ideal for dog owners who want their pets to have some fun while they are at work. Westphal added the dogs themselves are becoming friends with the other dogs that attend Doggy Care.
There were five dogs Westphal was caring for on Wednesday, and she said she could probably handle up to 12 dogs a day.
She started the Cortez business at one day a week to see if this was something residents wanted.
This is heaven for the dogs, she said. They go home so tired. Dogs adjust to our lifestyles so easily. They all like to play,
Westphal said she has a lot of experience working with dogs and mentioned the business may not be for every dog and kind of knows what dogs will work and which ones will not.
Dogs generally want to get along with each other, she said.
She said the key is keeping the dogs active, and her job is made easier because of their attitudes where they just want to play and have fun for a day.
Westphal started her business in March because she wanted to ensure the weather was warm enough so the dogs could be outside in the fenced yard at the animal clinic. She said if the weather becomes colder there is a place inside where the dogs can still have fun.
She added the dogs are like little kids and need rest times because they cannot play and have fun for eight to 10 hours straight.
This is heaven, she said Wednesday morning. Nothing is better than watching dogs interact with each other.
She also said dog owners need to make reservations before they can drop their dogs off at the clinic, and added the pets also need to be updated on their shots.
For reservations, call the clinic at 565-6531.
Reach Michael Maresh at firstname.lastname@example.org.