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:
Primp Hosts fundraisers for a local pet rescue 1628 West End Blvd.; 952.303.3791; primpyourself.com
Lululemon 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
Yum! 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
Galaxy Drive-In 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
Filament Lighting This business provided the lighting for Bubbly Paws 5007 Excelsior Blvd.; 952.926.5007; filamentlighting.com