Business

Filling a need for our best friends

Tricia Lawrence, owner of You Had Me at Woof, hangs out with Kessa a golden retriever in the indoor area of the doggy day care. - Sharron Ho
Tricia Lawrence, owner of You Had Me at Woof, hangs out with Kessa a golden retriever in the indoor area of the doggy day care.
— image credit: Sharron Ho

Dog owners can skip the puppy eye routine when they leave for work with the opening of a doggy day care in town.

Tricia Lawrence is opening up a doggy day care and boarding facility called You Had Me at Woof on Nov. 5.

At five years old, Lawrence knew she wanted to work with animals -- particularly as a veterinarian. Now, as an adult, she’s traded her animal doctor dream to work and play with man’s best friend.

“My dream was to open my own business that had to do with dogs. I wasn’t sure sort of what route I wanted to go and I decided that Sooke should have a doggy day care,” she said.

Lawrence, who has been working with dogs over the last five years, is knowledgeable of dog training and has a canine first aid certification.

“I just finished a nine-month apprenticeship with a dog trainer so I could get a bunch of knowledge on how they work and think and play together,” she said.

She believes there will be a need for a doggy boarding house in Sooke with the surge of dog owners moving to the area.

“I think it’s a pretty big market, everyone pretty much has a dog if not two,” she said.

“A lot of the people that are building out here and moving out here usually work in Victoria, so they’re gone all day and if they have a dog, what’s that dog doing all day?”

You Had Me at Woof will have a 750 sq. foot indoor area and a large fenced yard for dogs to run and play.

The dogs will also be taken on daily walks and hikes around Sooke, including the Galloping Goose Trail and Harbourview Regional Park.

“There’s tons of places to go around here,” Lawrence said.

In the future, Lawrence hopes to build an outdoor jungle gym for the dogs and introduce grooming services and dog training.

In order to qualify, dogs will have to have their core vaccines and undergo and temperament exam to evaluate their sociability.

Dogs can be boarded for half or full days. If the dog is boarded overnight it includes a full day of day care.

The day care is located on 5715 Sooke Rd, in the old Esso gas station building.

To book a spot at the day care, or more more information, contact sookedog@hotmail.com.

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