Going on vacation can be stressful when you’re trying to find a loving home for your furry friend while you’re away. I went through every option from asking friends and family members to watch my dog to stopping by every local pet boarding facility for a tour and leaving with a frown and then I finally found the perfect dog sitter for my baby boy Jaxson. Woof! Downtown Pet Care is the best decision I’ve ever made for my little pup. Join us in an interview to hear about how the founder came to love this industry and what he expects in the future.
Q: What drove your passion to launch a downtown pet care service?
The first part of my career was based on the idea of making a lot of money in corporate America and then do what makes me happy with that money (travel, buy stuff, eat at good restaurants). That didn’t work to plan because I was always miserable. I would dread Sundays because that meant Monday was around the corner and my personal life was in chaos. So, this second act is based on the belief that I should do what I love and the money will follow.
The pet care business started out as a way to sustain myself and not bleed my savings while I worked on another career goal. Pet care turned into something much more indefinable with who I am: love for pets, respect for community, building relationships with a diverse group of people and the dream of owning my own business.
Q: What do you find your clients to like the most about your services? I personally enjoy getting text photo updates of my dog!
Peace of mind. The text updates and blog are ways of communicating my level of commitment and ensuring that the client does not have to worry about two of their most important possessions when they are away: their home and their pet.
Q: I love your blog! What made you get started with the idea?
I love the idea of providing my clients with insight into what their pet is doing while they’re away from the home. It was something I was always curious about when I was working 14-hour days at my previous job. Over time, the blog developed into so much more. I added storylines to the photos and started expressing the personalities of the pets through the blog. The blog gets over 900 views each month!
Photos from Woof! Downtown Pet Care blog
Q: What was your most unusual experience while pet sitting?
Post OSU-MI game, coming over to walk a pet whose parents were out-of-town. There was a guy hanging out on the back porch, which is a fenced in and secured area. He was incredibly intoxicated and asking about the owner (was she home, when she would be home, etc.). I threatened to call the police and he ran away. I immediately called the owners and together we figured out that this drunk was the landlord. Needless to say, they installed a security system.
Q: Do you limit that amount of dogs that stay with you at one time? What about breed or weight restrictions?
Typically no more than two pets stay with me at one time but it really depends on the temperament. Larger and highly active dogs require more attention, which means that two pets would be too much. I live with my boyfriend of 5+ years. He loves dogs but I still need to respect that this is his home.
Q: Based on your Google Reviews, everyone that has used your service has been extremely pleased. Are you considering expanding Woof! along with the Woof! culture to other areas in Ohio?
I have considered opening a bricks & mortar daycare in the Short North/Italian Village neighborhood. But, I’m in the process of launching a second business not related to pet care called Besa (www.MyBesa.org) a local nonprofit that connects people to social causes. My days are pretty packed with the two businesses as well as volunteer commitments. When it comes down to it, I love where Woof! is right now. I have 70 clients that really feel like family to me. Taking the business to the next step would mean that I lose a lot of that personal interaction that makes my days so bright. Some of my best moments of the day are a call or text message from a client that wants to share an adorable story about their furry friend.
Q: Do you have a favorite dog/cat client?
My grandmother likes to say, “I love all my grandchildren equally.” The same holds true for me. I feel like the uncle to dozens and dozens of fantastic companions. On a typical day I cared for between 10 and 15 pets of all shapes, sizes and temperaments. Just like humans, each has his or her own personality. For a few hours, I enter into a world filled with these loving companions. As you know, one of the best moments of the day occurs when you walk through the front door and are greeted by a wagging tail and slobbery kiss. Multiply that by 15 and you have my typical Monday! ♦