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The DogHouse Inn opens on Crawl Hill

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Filling a gap: Brittney Moniz, left, Kristy Rego and Taylor Rego outside the DogHouse Inn daycare and dog boarding facility, off Stardust Drive in Hamilton Parish, near Inwood Stables (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

With five dogs at home, Kristy Rego struggled to find adequate pet care when she went overseas.

“I would have to get someone to come to the house to pet sit,” she said. “I put video cameras everywhere.”

Even then, it was hard to stop worrying about her fur babies.

Through this experience she saw a gap in the pet care market in Bermuda.

Last month, she opened The DogHouse Inn on Stardust Drive in Hamilton Parish.

They now offer boarding for up to 14 dogs, and have daycare space for 12.

So far, there are no plans to increase their canine numbers.

“We want to keep it small and give a good service,” she said.

Word is still getting out about The DogHouse Inn, but, already, their overnight kennels are filling fast for the summer.

Home away from home: Taylor Rego, left, Kristy Rego and Brittney Moniz surrounded by daycare patrons of the DogHouse Inn daycare and dog boarding facility, off Stardust Drive in Hamilton Parish, near Inwood Stables (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

“We are getting a lot of phone calls,” she said. “This is the time when people are making vacation arrangements.”

Their facility next to Inwood Stables, is clean, done up in Nordic greys and smells like the average spa.

“When people walk through the door, they often say what a beautiful facility it is,” Ms Rego said. “That makes me really happy.”

Outside are two secure play areas for the dogs, and inside is a reception desk and kennel area. The kennels are state of the art.

“The kennels are sturdy and strong and should last a lifetime,” Ms Rego said.

The place is similar to a human daycare. Each dog has a cubby for their things, and a basket for their toys.

Home away from home: Kristy Rego’s dog Charlie poses in the kennels at the DogHouse Inn daycare and dog boarding facility, off Stardust Drive in Hamilton Parish, near Inwood Stables (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

And just like in a regular school, there are always mischievous ones. On the day, Ms Rego opened the DogHouse Inn one of the canine clients toilet-papered the place.

“They got into a basket of toilet paper in the bathroom and started running around with it,” Ms Rego laughed. “Since then, though, things have been pretty quiet.”

If the boarders are socialised they can spend the day playing with the daycare dogs. If they are not, they have a private area away from others.

Dog owners can add services such as a video camera in the kennel, so they can watch their dog day and night. There are also lick mats for the pooches.

“These have little squares in them that are filled with peanut butter or cheese,” she said. “The dog occupies themself by licking the mat.”

There are plenty of other toys to play with also.

“I just came back from away with an entire suitcase filled with dog toys,” she said. “It was fun shopping for and fitting out everything in here.”

Some daycare dogs come for half a day and some for the whole day.

“They are always super excited to come here,” she said. “We had a dog yesterday that did not want to leave at the end of the day.”

The business is run by her daughter, Taylor Rego, and a staff member Brittney Moniz.

“I still work full time for a construction firm,” Ms Rego said. “I knock off at 3pm and then swap with my daughter until 6pm. I am also here on weekends with the boarders.”

Her time at the DogHouse Inn never feels like work.

“At home, my husband got to the point where he was like, ‘Kristy, if you bring one more animal into this house …’

“I would spend every minute here. Being with animals is just good for the soul. It is not like a job for me when I come here; it is fun.”

The hardest thing about the business for Ms Rego is just saying goodbye to all her charges at the end of the day.

“I fall in love with the dogs,” she said.

In the future, she would like to add a cat “condo”, offering boarding for felines, and a kitty play area, that would be separate from the dogs.

“We will work on that after the summer,” she said.

They would also like to add grooming services, at some point. But already, every boarder leaves the facility washed and brushed.

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Published April 04, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 05, 2024 at 7:19 am)

The DogHouse Inn opens on Crawl Hill

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