Local home builder Tessa Bradley will open a new, cage-free dog daycare and boarding facility Oct. 18.
Hounds Inn Lounge will be at 1300 Spring Hill Road in Longview, where renovations are underway at what was once Crosspointe Community Church. Many dog daycares are cage-free, but Bradley said what sets Hounds Inn Lounge apart is that it also offers cage-free boarding. Cage-free boarding doesn't work for every dog, and Hounds Inn will offer limited boarding houses, Bradley said.
"I wanted to do a cage-free facility because I drop my dogs off at a daycare. It always kind of bothered me that they didn't get much playtime," she said, and they are accustomed to having freedom to run and play. "As a dog mom, that bothered me. When I decided to open up this dog daycare, I just really had that in mind and wanted to do that for ... other dog parents that felt the same way. For dogs that are used to being free-running dogs, now they'll have place to do that."
It will alleviate stress for some dogs, she said.
Dogs that are OK cage-free will have indoor and outdoor play areas, and they'll be separated in play groups by size and temperament. Dogs will always be supervised with staff on-site 24 hours, seven days a week, Bradley said.
"Staff come in and sleep in those rooms with the dogs," in the dogs' groups, she said, describing night slumber rooms where the "rufferees" spread the dogs' beds out and play light music. The rufferee takes dogs out that need to go to the bathroom or take care of any other issues.
"We do have a staff that's completely dedicated to our caged boarding dogs as well," Bradley said, with those dogs getting several play times every day.
With its 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week staffing, Hounds Inn Lounge will offer weekend pickup for boarded animals. Boarding hours will be 7 a.m. -7 p.m. for drop off, with pick up by 2 p.m. or the dog owner is charged for an additional day. Late pickups will available for an additional fee, with the latest possible pickup time being 11 p.m.
The daycare will be open 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Bradley said Hounds Inn Lounge is starting a waiting list now, with evaluations being scheduled for Oct. 13 and 14. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an evaluation. An open house movie night is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 15. It will feature a movie with snow cones and hot dogs available as well as a dog costume party.
In keeping with the "rufferee" theme, Hounds Inn Lounge will be managed by "Coach" Zoe Koepke and Assistant Coach Erica Bull.
Bradley also is planning to open a similar facility in Diana. It will be a new construction project she hopes to begin in the next six months and open in the next 18 months.
Bradley said she's still passionate about home building and will continue doing that as well, but she's planning for what she will do when she retires from that field in about five years.
"What's something else I'm really passionate about and love? Obviously dogs. I just thought this would be the next best thing to get me to a semi-retirement position," she said.