Did you know that Play and Paws placed 2nd as the Bay Area’s BEST Dog Walker on the A-List for 2013! It was their first time in the running against 121 other dog walkers, and the team received enough votes to put them in the top five. Their reaction? “Wow! We love what we do and we truly value each of our clients and their dogs, so to know that the feeling is mutual is amazing!”
We recently had a chance to go behind the scenes with this Peninsula pair and found our new friends so delightful that we really didn’t want to stop asking questions.
“….we can’t wait for the re-birth of Bay Meadows! The amount of new dog-loving friends we’ll make will be immense!”
Danielle, what inspired you to get into the pet-services business?
Four words: living on a farm. After residing for two years amongst the lush greenery upon the Wanganui River on the North island of New Zealand with three dogs, forty something sheep, thirty chickens and a regular rotating pack of alpaca and apple eating cows; going back to a nine to five cubicle lifestyle was no longer a priority. When my husband and I returned to the Peninsula, we both went back to work while our dog, Turbo laid on the couch day-dreaming of her time spent in the greener pastures. I too, shared the same day-dreams as Turbo. Longing for more outdoor time, an opportunity to make my own schedule and thoroughly inspired by Turbo’s doggie daycare center, I set off on my mission to create a fun, safe, professional and positively sound dog-walking business with long-time, dog-loving pal, Jessica. The rest as they say is history.
Jessica, what do you love most about your job?
I really love knowing I’ve brought some fun and enrichment to each doggy’s day. Many of the doggy parents we work with put in long hours at the office – so it’s nice to know that we bring some peace of mind to their day. We send them a quick text message or email including pictures, letting them know Fido wasn’t stuck inside sleeping all day (or tearing up their belongings) but instead was out for some good doggy interaction and exercise with their friends!
Inevitably, we get a ton of exercise too! Walking, playing and running around with the dogs has been great for staying healthy and active. The dogs keep us in shape just as much as we keep them in shape. Not to mention working with dogs, you can’t help but smile and laugh all day. Guess you could say there are a lot of things I love about my job.
What is your most popular service? Paws down, our semi-private sessions which = pure unadulterated fun for your dog and their like-minded pals. Sessions include at least forty-five minutes of off-leash time at one of the many Bay Area dog-friendly destinations followed by a twenty minute on leash walk to cool down and practice our manners. The important things are handled too during these sessions – potty breaks, water refreshment, yummy organic snack time, ear scratches, belly rubs galore and “baby” dog talk. The icing on the biscuit to this service? We pick up and drop off your fur-kid from the comfort of your home. While there, we make sure Fido hasn’t made a mess or gotten into mischief and we do a quick home security check for your peace of mind.
Raleigh St. Clair, can you share four favorite go-to doggie friendly spots in San Mateo County? Sugarloaf Open Space Preserve, a hidden gem of dog paradise. Behind the playground, past the oak trees and beyond the gate are a bevy of well-maintained trails. While being so close to civilization the trails seem so rural. The zillions of sniffing opportunities aren’t too shabby either.
Warmer weather means Mom and Dad are taking me on more eating excursions. A go-to for them is Tuesday nights on the patio at Jack’s Prime where I’m allowed to sit on the chair beside them and munch on a stolen french fry or a piece of hamburger which Dad sneaks to me when Mom isn’t looking. Sshh… don’t tell her.
Again, I’m a sucker for wooded trails with light foot traffic and another diamond in the ruff is the trails of Mills Canyon. A few minutes into the hike, you’ll be awe-struck by the view overlooking Burlingame, Millbrae and beyond SFO. While my Mom snaps pictures, I’m laying out my territory amongst the many oak and buckeye trees. A dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do, right?
Last but not certainly least, is my favorite pit-stop: Pet Food Express! Dog treats, squeaky toys, fetch balls – what more need I say? The staff at all Pet Food Express’ stores are friendly and well-informed. We like to support local companies doing good in the community. You can find us most often at the Burlingame location. P.S. I was adopted at a rescue event at the Campbell Pet Food Express. Perhaps that’s why my folks are partial.
Danielle and Jessica are both really big on dog community outreach and support. Check out their Facebook page to see what public events they’ll be lending a hand at soon.
Snap your pack at Bay Meadows & WIN: As we develop community, we want to see how you live or play at Bay Meadows. Share your fun lifestyle photos with our community by using #baymeadowslife. You could WIN $50 or our Grand Prize of $500 at the end of 2014 and be featured in a live pop-up gallery exhibit event.