Stow resident Nancy Binzel simply adores dogs — so much that she’s established a full-time business that allows her to play with other people’s pups all day long.
– which opened in late January at 3073 Graham Rd., in the Crossroads at Fishcreek Plaza – brings to life a 25-year dream for Binzel.
It was a dream that started out as a joke.
“A friend and I were talking about day care for kids, and I was looking for a job at the time,” Binzel explained. “I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if there was a day care for dogs and I could play with people’s dogs all day? That would be so fun.’ We laughed a lot about that idea.”
Binzel’s still laughing today, but it’s because she’s the owner of “the happiest place in Stow.” Six days a week, area pet parents are dropping off their canine kids to run and play in the 2,800-square-foot facility.
Other dog owners are staying to play, as Double Dog is more than just a day care facility. Binzel also offers indoor recreation, billing the facility as an indoor play park – a real draw for dog owners during the cold winter months.
There are plenty of squeaky toys, rope tugs, balls and agility course equipment, along with plenty of canine companions that ensure lots of exercise for pets.
“When you have a dog and that dog is tired, you feel like a good dog parent. It alleviates guilt,” said Binzel, 47.
Area dog owners and their pets are invited to check out the facility during Double Dog’s “Yappy Hour Grand Opening” celebration from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday. Mayor Karen Fritschel will cut the ceremonial ribbon at 4:45 p.m.
The event will feature refreshments for dogs and humans, raffles, giveaways and free indoor recreation time for people and their canine companions.
Many area residents have already found Double Dog’s array of services and pricing appealing, and they’re coming back repeatedly.
The facility is completely cage- and kennel-free, offering a large open area for healthy recreation. A separate area offers flex-space, allowing employees to provide a haven for smaller dogs, if needed, and the ability to group dogs according to age and activity levels.
“Safety is the top priority and any dog who needs some quiet time to regroup will be given that opportunity,” said Binzel.
The facility’s flooring is top-quality 3/8-inch rubber, which provides a hip-friendly non-porous surface that’s perfect for dogs to run and play on.
Binzel, a certified dog trainer and self-described “certifiable dog nerd,” is currently Double Dog’s only full-time employee. There are 10 part-timers on staff, including one manager who is certified in first aid for both humans and animals and another manager who is in veterinary school.
Before being accepted as a Double Dog client, all dogs must undergo a short temperament evaluation to ensure safety for all. Owners must attest in writing that their pets are current on rabies, DHLPP and bordatella vaccines, as well as consistently using flea and heartworm medications.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Arrangements can be made for early drop off. Available packages include “Play,” a two-hour drop-off play session for $7.50; the half-day “Sit,” at $15 for up to five hours; and the full-day “Stay,” which is $24 for more than five hours.
Savings are available to multi-dog families in the form of a 10 percent discount for each additional dog. Double Dog also offers a 10 percent discount to teachers, members of the military and anyone employed in an animal-related facility.
Binzel offers indoor recreation for a flat fee of $5 per family. This play time is designed for people who stay at the facility to run and play with their own pets for as long as they want.
So far, said Binzel, the two most popular services are the two-hour stay and the indoor recreation option. But more offerings are in the works. Within the next year, Binzel intends to offer on-site dog grooming services, as well as a variety of training classes.
Want to learn more about Double Dog? It’s easy, as Binzel’s former career in public relations and marketing shows in the company’s website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and Double Dog Blog, all of which are interconnected.