People are often unhappy when they get dog tired, but a tired dog is a happy one, in the opinion of the owners of Grove City's first day care operation for pooches.
They're hoping to prove to a whole lot of local pet owners their theory that dogs would rather be weary than wondering what to do with themselves.
Dennis and Carla Eaddy are poised to open Dogs Rule! in 5,000 square feet of space at 4095 Hoover Road, just south of Ask Powersports.
It's a business enterprise the couple hopes will thrive and expand to additional locations, but one that almost wasn't.
Mayor Richard L. "Ike" Stage initially planned to veto any City Council approval of the special use permit sought for Dogs Rule! He expressed concerns that barking dogs would rile residents of nearby Knapp Drive.
"My problem is not the concept and certainly not with the people, it's the location," Stage said at the Feb. 3 council session.
Although Dennis Eaddy had to abandon plans for a fenced-in outdoor exercise area for Dogs Rule! clients and accept a one-year trial period for the special use permit, in a strange way the mayor's threat may have helped stir even more interest in the day care operation.
That's because Dennis Eaddy, in pleading his case before council back in February, made a comment that has become a something of a mantra for the new enterprise:
"A tired dog is a happy dog."
It seems to have struck a chord with pet owners in the Grove City area, according to Dennis Eaddy, who said people have been calling their Columbus home number to find out when Dogs Rule! was going to open.
"One woman has called every couple of weeks: 'Are you open yet? Are you open yet?'" Carla Eaddy said.
That woman's dog will become the first official client for the day care operation.
"We're as thrilled to be here as people are to have us," said Carla Eaddy, whose parents, Judith and Paul Heizer, reside in Grove City.
"Dogs are very social," Dennis Eaddy commented. "They would rather be in a pack, be with other dogs, than stay at home all day."
Size was vital when scouting a location for their doggie day care business, according to Carla Eaddy.
"We wanted the biggest space we would find," she said. "The socialization is very important, but exercise is the biggest thing. They can come and actually run."
"This is a great location," Dennis Eaddy said. "At least, we think it is."
Dennis Eaddy is a general contractor who has owned his own business, Multicraft Construction, since 1991. He's been preparing the Dogs Rule! space in his spare time, which has delayed the planned opening somewhat.
The business is open for evaluations and temperament tests, Carla Eaddy said, but an open house is planned for Saturday, May 30, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Carla Eaddy has worked with animals for much of her life, from the time she was a teen and cleaned kennels for a West Side breeder. She spent 10 years working in the rehabilitation barn at Darby Dan Farm in western Franklin County and then briefly attended Otterbein College with an eye toward becoming a veterinarian before marrying Dennis. She next spent a year and a half employed at a small-animal veterinarian's practice before moving on to various office manager jobs.
"What started this, I knew I wanted to have a business with animals," Carla Eaddy said.
Exactly what type of business came into focus as a result of sadness: the couple had to have their 16-year-old chow put down. They soon adopted a rescue chow, Sabre, now 2 years old, as company for their other chow, 14-year-old Sassy. In taking the new dog to obedience classes, Carla Eaddy learned how many of the other owners relied on day care for their canine companions.
"It was just a perfect match for us," she said.
"She really realized that there was a big need for this," Dennis Eaddy said. "Grove City had none, so it was great for us."
"There's just a huge amount of dogs in the area," Carla Eaddy said.
And some of them are quite huge, she has noticed, but the owners of smaller animals need not be concerned; Dogs Rule! will have separate space for the more diminutive dogs and even an area set aside for more elderly animals.
Pricing is based on the frequency of visits and number of dogs, according to the enterprise's Web site. Business hours will be 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and dogs spending a full day once or twice a week will cost the owner $20 for the first animal and $18 for an additional one. Customers coming in three to four times a week would pay $18 for a full day for the first dog, $16 for a second. A half-day of play, with drop-off time from 1 p.m. on, would cost $12.
A package pricing policy is being developed.
Dennis Eaddy thinks Dogs Rule! can eventually handle between 50 and 60 clients, but that's going to be determined based on what works best for the animals.
"Safety is the bottom line," Carla Eaddy said.
"If they trust us with their dogs, they will be taken care of like one of our own," Dennis Eaddy added.
More information about vaccination requirements and how to contact the owners is available at www.dogsruleddc.com.