Happy Tails is the life ambition of the owner, Jennifer Meyer, to improve the lives of companion dogs and support the transition of canines from the back yard to the sofa. Jennifer and her husband, Larry, built the dog salon with their own labor.
The Seven Saints
In November 2001, I moved to Omaha with my first husband, Perry; our two cats, Amas and Milo; and our two Saint Bernards, Sam and Chyna. I worked for a while as a government contractor, beginning a career as a software developer that was later to serve me well, but left the position in spring of 2003. I spent the summer doting on my two big dogs until my cat sitter asked me if I would consider fostering a Saint Bernard named Daisy Mae. Daisy Mae came to live with us the last weekend of July.
It was bad timing. Chyna, extraordinarily possessive with another female dog in the house, had undergone minor surgery a few days previously. The pain of recovery made her ill-tempered, and she took out her pain and frustration on little Daisy Mae. My cat sitter didn't exactly have an exit plan for placing Daisy Mae in a home. She had thought perhaps I might keep her. Chyna's attitude made that impossible, so I turned to the National Saint Bernard Rescue Foundation, Inc. (NSBRF) headquartered in Trail, Oregon for help. At the time, NSBRF didn't have a chapter in Nebraska. I was quickly inducted and became the chapter president of Nebraska. As a matter of fact, I was the whole chapter!
Daisy Mae turned to me for protection from Chyna, which made Chyna even more aggressive. If you understand pack behavior, you know it was a huge relief when I found a forever home for Daisy Mae at the end of October. Her new mom slept at night with Daisy Mae and her other dog, a Shepherd, in the bed. What more could Daisy ask for? October 28, Daisy Mae went to her new home.
October 29th, I was still congratulating myself on finding such an excellent home for Daisy Mae while cleaning house and baking. The phone rang around 10:00. On the other end of the line was Carol, the national President. A puppy mill situation across the Missouri River in Iowa yielding seven(!) Saint Bernard puppies had come to her attention. The local animal shelter had no room for them, so intended to euthanize the dogs. Carol needed me to take them in.
This put me in a bit of a bind, you see. Perry, loving and kind husband that he was, also put the happiness of his dogs first, and it was quite apparent that Chyna was not happy with Daisy Mae in the house. I might be able to smuggle in a puppy or two. I might be able to hide one under the bed, another in the closet. Perhaps a third in the bathroom. Under the kitchen sink would be a little tight. He would have noticed a Saint Bernard in his shower, I'm pretty certain, and that still left me with three puppies to hide. Dilemmas.
Do you hear that? The side walls are 10 inches thick so the neighbors aren't distracted by the occasional bark; however, most days Happy Tails is very quiet. The dogs are relaxed and play together gently. New dogs tend to talk more than dogs on repeat visits.
Do you smell that? It's the smell of clean. Dogs will be dogs of course, and there are lots of fantastic smells at Happy Tails. A dog simply must mark those smells. All urine and feces are cleaned up promptly and Happy Tails is scrubbed every evening.
Do you see that? No crates or cages. Happy Tails has a 400 square foot group play area. Four 80-square foot areas accommodate smaller play groups, for dogs that are intimidated by large groups. The bright yellow walls and French-baroque inspired motifs disguise soundproof and sanitizable surfaces. The artwork on the walls is all original.
Stop in for a tour any time. The entire salon is visible from the front door. Guests may tour the salon in the company of an employee.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to groom my dog?
A: That depends on what kind of dog you have and what you need done. We do everything from toenail clipping to dog dyeing. Dogs with fancy clips or thick coats, or large dogs take longer to groom and incur higher expenses.
Q: Should I bring my dog's food and blankets?
A: You should only bring food if your dog has food allergies. We feed high-quality food and treats throughout the day. We have a large supply of blankets and beds in the salon. Using your own blankets may make your dog feel as if he has to protect his things from strange dogs, a natural behavior known as "resource guarding."
Q: I'm afraid my dog might kill the bunny. Is it safe?
A. Your dog chases rabbits and squirrels because they run. Butters doesn't run. He was raised in a home with six children under the age of 10, three dogs, and two cats. Compared to living with six children, your dog is a sweet little bunny.
Q: What vaccinations does my dog need?
A: Rabies is 100% lethal, so we require all dogs to have a current rabies vaccination. If your dog will be in day care, we require Bordatella vaccination and recommend Distemper.
Q: Do you take Pit Bulls? What if my dog isn't neutered?
A: Yes, we take Pits. If your dog is good with other dogs, he's welcome. As long as your female dog is not actively experiencing estrus, she is welcome.
Q: Where do you walk the dogs?
A: In inclement weather, around the shopping center. In good weather, through the Valley Estates neighborhood. We have several established routes through the nearby neighborhoods.
|6300 Creedmoor Rd. Ste 116 Raleigh, NC 27612|
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