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A dog's life has just gotten better in Waynesboro

March 16, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA.

Pedicures and hydromassage have gone to the dogs.

And the pooches are being pampered at a Waynesboro spa while their owners put in a day at the office.

Willowbrook Pet Retreat and Spa on Mentzer Gap Road caters to dogs' delights with boarding, grooming, basic training, playtime and one-on-one time in a faux living room designed to create a sense of home.

"We try to make it close to home as possible. I can't stand them being in the cage the whole time," said Tara Jenson, who recently opened the business with her husband, Rick, and parents, Bob and Nancy Reed.

Soothing music is played throughout the newly-built facility, which features a lobby, indoor runs, an outdoor play area that's currently being fenced in, dog and cat cots, the living room and a kitchenette where food dishes are cleaned daily.

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"We have 10 runs and that's it. The reason for that is because we're not a kennel. We're a pet retreat," Jenson said.

One of the distinctions between her business and a kennel is the doggy day-care service is for dogs that aren't housebroken or suffer from separation anxiety. Other differences include the hydromassage, family atmosphere and one-on-one attention throughout the day, Jenson said.

"They're going to be walked. They're going to be played with," Jenson said.

One dog was distraught about being separated from its owners, so Jenson took time to hold and rock the dog until it relaxed.

Cats are just as welcome at the business; they are given their own room and private playtime.

"We don't need a catfight," Jenson said.

A licensed veterinary technician, Jenson opened the business to afford her more time with her young children over the summer. The family lives next door to the business, which Jenson said allows her to schedule drop-off and pickup times with flexibility.

She feels her education and experience working with a veterinarian in Chambersburg, Pa., have prepared her for the unexpected situations associated with pet care.

"If something happens, I'm going to be able to recognize that," she said, adding that she can also administer medications.

Jenson hopes to one day incorporate canine massage into the offerings of the pet spa, but even without that, a dog's life suddenly doesn't seem too bad.

Tours of Willowbrook Pet Retreat and Spa can be arranged by calling 717-788-1333.

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