Sunday, October 11, 2009

Resort offers dog park and daycamp

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

An in-ground pool in the shape of a dog bone is in the front lawn of the Barking Oaks Pet Resort.
'The goal is to have it working by next summer,' said the owner, Hansy Howard of Temple. 'There's going to be a tiki bar, so dogs can swim up for snacks.'
The luxury pet resort had its soft opening in September. The grand opening is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 24 at 4153 Shallow Ford West Road in Temple.
The grand opening will be a fun party, Ms. Howard said.
'There will be pet tricks, door prizes and games for kids and dogs,' Ms. Howard said. 'Proceeds will benefit local animal advocacy groups.'
Resort manager Brittany Dixon of Temple said the luxury pet center has been booked since opening.
Current clients are from Temple, Belton, Copperas Cove, Killeen, Harker Heights and Kempner.
The most popular resort service is the Doggie Daycamp. Hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
'It's perfect,' said Pamela Pomykal of Belton, the owner of a tiny dog named Tika. 'I leave her there everyday while I'm at work, so she doesn't have to stay at home alone.'
For Tika, going to daycamp isn't like going to the vet.
'She loves it.' Ms. Pomykal said. 'She's always happy to go. She prances happily to the door when I drop her off. And she's happy when I pick her up. We go straight home, she has her dinner, then she has a nap and by the time she wakes up, she's ready to play with me.'
In addition to storytime and naptime, camp activities include trips to the nearby Oak Tree Dog Park that Ms. Howard launched on Sept. 26.
'It's an acre of land where they can come run and play,' Ms. Howard said. 'It's fenced, so they can run leash free.'
The park's full of obstacle courses.
'This is good exercise,' Ms. Howard said. 'And it helps with the obedience lessons.'
Obedience classes are included in the Doggie Daycamp for an extra fee.
'It's worth it,' said Janann Groezinger of Temple. 'Prince and Duke were trained there, and I ended up learning something. I was too boring for my training to be effective. (Ms. Howard) taught me that I had to be lively, so that the dogs would pay attention to me. So it's a good program the resort has.'
But Oak Tree Park isn't limited to guests or students of Barking Oaks Pet Resort. Private memberships are available to the public.
Come Halloween, Ms. Howard will have her first public party at the park.
'It'll be a costume party for dogs and their owners,' Ms. Howard said. 'There'll be food and prizes.'
And a singles mixer for young adult pet owners is planned for the spring.
Details about the resort and park are available at www.barkingoakspetresort.com or 778-2275.

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