Pampered Pooch Playground
Owners: Trycia and Keith Miller
Services: Dog day care, boarding
Trycia and Keith Miller launched their dog day-care center five years ago. They initially opened it for their beloved Bernese mountain dog named Roxy. Today the Millers manage about 95 dogs per day at the Pampered Pooch Playground. They have three separate rooms for canine frolicking, including 11,000 square feet of climate-controlled indoor space and a 3,500-square-foot outdoor area. There are also luxury suites for the extremely pampered pooch.
“Minnesota is unregulated for doggie day care, so it’s a point of concern for dog owners,” Keith Miller says. “Someone could rent any old garage and put 60 dogs in it.” The Millers do everything they can to alleviate worry. Pampered Pooch is the first dog day care in the country to have iPhone, Android and Blackberry apps so owners can watch their pups at play, day and night. There are 11 live webcams streaming from the three playrooms and regular Facebook posts and tweets. The outside play area is made with recycled sports turf, which is ecologically appropriate and, unlike gravel or Astroturf, easy to clean.
“The St. Louis Park pet business network is really supportive,” Keith Miller says. “If someone had a fire or got sick, they could bring their dogs to us or I would go work at their place to help out.” Miller stays current on developments in the doggie care world and is a fan of the “busman’s holiday”: Whenever he travels, he stops by other pet care facilities to take notes on what they’re doing right and what he would like to avoid in his own establishment. “There’s a real difference in big-city day cares,” he notes, adding many have a less than fragrant smell. 7020 Walker St.; 952.922.8183; pamperedpoochplayground.com
Owners: Trycia and Keith Miller
Services: Self-serve or full-service dog washing, grooming
Hangers-on: Roxy the Bernese mountain dog
Bubbly Paws is the Millers’ laidback little brother to their high-maintenance big baby, the Pampered Pooch Playground. The Millers opened Bubbly Paws two years ago, mainly as place to wash their own Roxy, a 100-pound Bernese whose bulk and thick hair demand an elaborate bathing process. They nabbed a light and airy space in the busy Excelsior/Grand complex and outfitted it with five elevated step-in tubs with shower hoses, a grooming room and a drying room. Customers can bathe their dogs themselves or pay a bit more for a house shampoo.
The Millers are dedicated to the St. Louis Park community and even use a locally made shampoo, which is actually a reformulated horse shampoo. “I like it because it doesn’t smell fake or overpowering,” Keith says. “I mean, I’m a guy, so I couldn’t care less about smelling like flowers.” Nevertheless Bubbly Paws’ grooming services offer plenty of bling for their canine clients, including toenail polish and in one unusual case, a pink polka-dot dye job.
The couple loves the tight-knit animal owning community in St. Louis Park. “People know each others’ dog’s names. Everyone goes to the Dakota dog park and people recognize each other [from the dog park],” Keith Miller says. “I’ve seen love connections happen here. Seriously, if you were a single guy, why wouldn’t you get a dog?” Miller dreams about opening a pet rental business for hopeful single guys hanging around the dog park. In the meantime, “we just have fun here,” he says. “C’mon, it’s a dog wash!” Each month Bubbly Paws gives back to support a different pet rescue organization, donating $5 from each bath, and hosting creatively awesome occasions like doggie yoga and doggie happy hour. 3730 Grand Way; 952.657.5300; bubblypaws.com
Pet Friendly SLP
We also provided St Louis Park Magazine a list of some of the pet friendly businesses in St Louis Park:
Hosts fundraisers for a local pet rescue
1628 West End Blvd.; 952.303.3791; primpyourself.com
Stop in with your dog and get a treat
1639 West End Blvd.; 763.545.9069; lululemon.com
McCoy’s Public House
Dogs can hang out and get treats on the patio
3801 Grand Way; 952.224.9494; mccoyspublichouse.com
Free house-made doggie treats
4000 Minnetonka Blvd.; 952.922.4000; yumkitchen.com
The Four Firkins
Browse the local beer selection with your discerning pooch
5630 W. 36th St.; 952.938.2847; thefourfirkins.com
Bring your pooch while you enjoy a superb burger
3712 Quebec Ave S.; 952.277.7777; galaxy-drivein.com
Frattallone’s Ace Hardware
Great nosing around for dog and man (or woman)
5025 Excelsior Blvd.; 952.456.6630; frattallones.com
This business provided the lighting for Bubbly Paws
5007 Excelsior Blvd.; 952.926.5007; filamentlighting.com
Have a good night!
Jessie puts this same about of love and energy into all of her paintings. WE also had Jessie paint a picture of Trycia’s sisters dog, Roman, for Christmas 2 years ago! About 2 years ago I remember when she came running into our lobby to tell us that her work was featured in Bark and Modern Dog Magazine. I am so proud of all of her success and proud to call her a good friend of ours!
Have a good night!
Hobbes the Beagle has been coming to doggy daycare for about a year… When he comes into the building he gets so excited that he rolls over so I can rub his belly. His mom said he knows “lets go see Keith” and he gets excited. These belly rubs could last 5 minutes!! So I thought I would share the love! Hobbes also loves Sarah who is one of our dog handlers. The other day, Sarah was petting him and I was trying to teach Hobbes the name “Sarah”. We will see if this works!
Hobbes also lives about 4 houses away from us. When we are out walking Roxy, sometimes Hobbes will be outside in their backyard and you will see him try to get under the fence so I can pet him.
I remember one of the first conversations I had with his parents… They had just moved here and I was talking about how dog friendly Minneapolis is and told them about a few of our favorite dog friendly restaurants. Then about 2 weeks later, they told me how much they enjoyed going to Pizzeria Lola and it was close to where they lived.
Hobbes is such a sweet beagle and we love that he comes to doggy daycare and that I give amazing belly rubs!
Have a good night!
As many of you know or hopefully have noticed, we stress the importance of outstanding customer service with all of our staff. There have been a few times where I have called out companies for not providing great service (see the Jimmy John’s post). Last night we went out to eat with a few of our friends and Trycia ordered a veggie burger. When the food came out it was obviously not a veggie burger. Trycia quickly brought it to their attention and they re-made it… Then the manager came over and apologized profusely and offered to comp our entire table for the dinner and drinks we had! WOW!! That is crazy!! That is how we try to do things at Pampered Pooch Playground and when we make a mistake (which happens), we try to always make it right! I talked to the manager after and told him how we owned a small business and that we would have handled it in the same way. Since it was handled so well, we stayed longer than we normally would have and spent more on drinks! It really is just great to know that other places go over the top to fix things!
Have a good day!
Yesterday I had so much fun at doggy daycare and it involved the 2 ladies in my life (Trycia and Roxy). We were all in the Doggie Den supervising some of the daycare dogs playing and Roxy was helping us. Those of you that know her from the lobby know that she like the calm mellow dogs that come in (not the super excited ones that can’t wait to get into the play areas). Roxy does not normally go in the rooms everyday, but her and Trycia are a package deal and they always have to be together. So Roxy was hanging out and helping us supervise everyone. Hope everyone has a good weekend!
Keith and Patrycia Miller are the owners of the Pampered Pooch Playground (PPP) and Bubbly Paws. Between the two of them, Keith is slightly more public, doing interviews for the local news and writing for the PPP and Bubbly Paws blogs, to name a couple things. He wanted to make sure to give his wife Trycia a moment in the spotlight.
We see a lot of Keith at PPP/Bubbly Paws and online. Would you describe what you do for Pampered Pooch Playground and Bubbly Paws?
Keith and I are both at the daycare five days a week, dealing with the daily operations at PPP. You can usually find me there during the morning and the afternoon. Ellen, our manager, usually handles the evenings. I am there answering emails, the phone, and managing the daily operations. I love taking pictures of the dogs when I remember to bring my camera
At Bubbly Paws, I handle ordering all of the retail items we sell. I have so much fun picking out the latest and greatest in doggy fashions! Of course, when I am not physically at Bubbly Paws or at PPP, there is always something that can be done. I spend a lot of time at home working on scheduling, payroll, and other tasks that keep our businesses running. And don’t forget my most important job is keeping Keith in line each day. Ha!
What is your favorite part of your job?
The dogs! The dogs at PPP are always so happy and loving! It’s great to get to know each one of them and their personalities. Our staff and customers are also great, and I love getting the chance to see them each day. I also love the fact that I get to hang out with my favorite dog, Roxy, and favorite person, Keith, each day.
I know it’s not always easy as a small business owner to disconnect from work. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of work I love being active. You can find me at Core Power Yoga, Lifetime Fitness, Lori Harder Fitness or walking/running around the lakes. I also enjoy shooting pictures and learning about photography. One of my new favorite obsessions is Pinterest (an online pinboard to organize and share things you love). I love trying all of the recipes I find on there.
I asked Keith to share how he felt about working with his wife. “Trycia is the organizational part of our businesses and one of the most organized and detail-oriented persons I know. Getting to spend time together doing what you love is priceless. We are able to play on each others strengths to grow the business. As our business grows, so does our relationship.”
Not every married couple can happily work and play together, but it seems these two have figured out how to make it work—and have fun doing it. Their mutual respect and love are obvious. And, of course, they share in their love for Roxy, who inspired them to open Pampered Pooch Playground.
I want to say a special “Thank You”, to all of our staff who worked on thanksgiving. The holidays are always the hardest days for us to staff, because I really want to give everyone the day off so they can spend it with their family. Most daycares and boarding places only let the dogs out for 2 hours in the morning and at night on holidays so they don’t have to staff it…. We staff it as a regular day for all the dogs staying over, meaning that they were out playing all day long. It obviously takes much more man power to staff like this, but for quality care it is worth it. I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving. Roxy had lots of turkey, and was stuffed yesterday!
The best part of the class was Roxy run through the tunnel. She loves doing it (I think it is because she knows there is a treat at the end).
Hope you have a great weekend!