By Ally Harris
Feb. 12, 2015
After a stressful day at work, you come home and eat dinner. By now it’s dark outside, and all you want to do is sit down in front of the TV and have a glass of wine. But, the dog has been cooped up all day and needs to go out for a walk.
It’s not difficult to imagine. In fact, for many dog owners, this is a daily reality, particularly in the winter.
Luckily, Paws on the Beach is here to help.
Paws on the Beach is a dog kennel and daycare centre in Charlottetown. Linda Weeks, who has run the centre for a little over a year, says there are numerous benefits to leaving your pooch in their care.
“For a lot of people working full time, it’s hard – in the winter time, especially – to get your dog out for a walk or get them enough exercise and play time.”
But while you’re hard at work all day, your pup can be spending the day tiring themselves out, Weeks said.
“They go home and they sleep and their owners feel good that their dog is getting the proper exercise. They also don’t have to worry about taking them out in blizzard conditions.”
Rebecca Murphy, the centre’s groomer, said “A lot of the parents say when they come in and pick their dogs up and take them home they’re just relaxed and all they want to do is sleep.
“Usually a lot of them will take their dogs here to burn off their energy.”
The more active dogs spend most of their days playing outside, but in the height of winter they get to come inside and warm up.
“Usually by the time they’re in for a half hour, they’re crying by the door to get back outside,” said Weeks.
With all this activity happening throughout the day, it can get pretty hectic at Paws on the Beach – but Weeks wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s busy and chaotic and mostly fun. We laugh a lot and joke around a lot. It’s like a small family here.”
The family consists of Weeks and her staff, as well as up to 20 dogs who go to daycare and numerous dogs who come in throughout the day to be groomed by Murphy.
“I’ll do anywhere between four to five dogs a day,” she said.
She said the previous groomer had knee problems so she couldn’t do any of the bigger dogs.
“So I started off grooming retrievers, and then they kind of discovered that I had this little hidden talent behind me and I started off doing a lot of Shih Tzus.”
When the previous groomer went on sick leave, Murphy took over and learned the doodles and the schnauzers.
“I was kind of her little sidekick for a while and then they got me doing Shih Tzus and stuff and learning all that was fun.”
“Fun” definitely seems to be the key word to describe a typical day at Paws on the Beach.
Weeks said you never know what the dynamic of the day is going to be.
“It’s like kids when they’re together playing. If you get one kid who’s in a bad mood it can throw off the whole group, or you introduce a new member and it gets a little exciting.”
But the best part is simply getting to spend time with the dogs, she said.
“The dogs are the whole reason why I wanted to do this. They’re amazing, they’re fun, they’re frustrating and annoying sometimes but they give you so much affection and they teach you how to live in the moment.
“It’s almost like they know each other and they have special friends of the group, dogs they get along with better. It’s fun for them. And then I get to have 20 different dogs and not have to pay their vet bills.”