Sep 152003
Authors: Jamie Way

Henry may look like a typical dog to the untrained eye, but in

all actuality, he is socialized.

Around Fort Collins, kids and dogs alike wake up early and head

off to day care. Busy puppy parents are now able to send their

beloved dogs to the doggie-sitter with the same ease as taking a

child to daycare.

“Dogs are like kids; they have little cliques,” said Liz Blasio,

an employee of Progressive School for Dogs, 28464 Hwy 257. “Not all

of the dogs play together.”

Progressive is made up of a 1,200 square foot room where dogs

are free to wrestle and play with toys until noon, when naptime


Blasio said the dogs are allowed to play with a variety of toys,

from balls to bones, but not chewy toys because “chewies will cause

a fight.”

At many doggy day care locations, dogs are screened before

accepted into the program. Non-neutered males are often rejected

because of their aggressive tendencies.

“They have to pass a sociability test,” said Calida Troxell of

Dapper Dogs Salon, 4417 E. Prospect.

If no chronic aggression is displayed within the first 10

minutes, the dog is generally allowed to enroll. “We can work with

personality quirks,” she said.

Interior design junior Sarah Tarnoff, whose dog Henry attended

It’s a Dog’s World, 1015 S. Taft Hill, under her veterinarian’s

recommendation to socialize the dog, said she was satisfied with

the service, because she did not agree with leaving her dog home

alone all day long.

“It’s run like a day care for children,” she said. “They want to

know if your dogs has had all its shots and who its veterinarian


Tarnoff said it is very cheap, unless you leave your dog past

closing time. If you leave your dog there for too long, many

companies will put your dog in a kennel, which you have to pay


“It’s like getting your dog towed,” Tarnoff said.

The doggy sitters are not just your average dog lovers off the

street, they are well-trained at respectable obedience schools. The

owner of The Dog Club even has a doctorate in psychology that she

uses to help delinquent dogs.

Denise Prueit, of The Dog Club, 2439 S. College, said that a

variety of people take advantage of their service.

“We have (clients who are) veterinary students, teachers,

construction workers, doctors and a variety of business people, as

well as people who stay home that want their dogs socialized,” she


If your best friend is lonely and in need of socialization,

doggy day cares can be found throughout Fort Collins, some even

equipped with swimming pools.




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