Love of dogs leads to Paradise
for furry friends, way to help rescue groups
Laurie Clark and Annette Bloss are surrounded by family every day: of both the two-legged and four-legged varieties.
“Our customers are like our family. We try to get to know our customers and we genuinely care about their lives,” Clark said. “Pretty much everyone who comes here considers their dogs as part of their family and we feel the same way.”
The owners of Dawg Paradise – who have seven dogs of their own - have turned their love for furry companions into a business that offers boarding, grooming, pick-up and drop-off service, training and day care as well as recreational swimming and canine rehab therapy.
In 2010, Clark and Bloss started a mobile grooming van business.
“The mobile van took on a life of its own. The clients trusted us and looked to us for guidance asking questions such as, ‘Where do you board your dogs?’ That really sparked the idea for luxury pet boarding,” Clark said.
In 2012, Dawg Paradise initially opened with 24 climate-controlled suites and a wading pool. A year later, they realized that the facility needed more suites and a bigger pool. Today, they have 32 suites, an in-ground pool, two indoor play areas, four outdoor play areas and 17 employees.
“We tried to make our facility everything we would want for our dogs, that is how we came up with our ideas,” Clark said. “We still have our mobile van. We have recently added a groomer to the van business allowing me to spend more time at Dawg Paradise.”
Before launching their own business, Clark was a union carpenter and Bloss worked in retail as a multi-store operations manager.
“Now that I am a business owner, I can’t imagine going back to work for anyone else. It’s very gratifying to have everything up to our standards and be able to make the best decisions for our business,” Clark said. “We are fortunate to be in a position where we can help out local rescue groups.”
The business provides no-cost housing to Giant Paw Prints Rescue (501c3) and has also assisted the LaPorte County Small Animal Shelter in housing some of their dogs.
“We usually have three or four dogs from Giant Paw Prints dogs here at any given time. We are able to give them a better environment than a typical kennel, and prepare them for homes,” Clark said. “We are very active with the rescue group and support their mission.”
863 W. Main St. in Westville