After a combined 45 years in the corporate world and moving their family from Wisconsin to Collierville, TN, Kip and Michele Meierhofer made a life changing decision to start a business that aligned with their passion for dogs. In 2018, they opened Dogtopia of Carriage Crossing providing dog daycare, boarding and spa services to their local community.
“Our family gets to enjoy our own pups, our foster pups and our Dogtopia pups,” says Kip. “Dogs have always been a special part of my life. They teach us so much about love, forgiveness and about being present. To some this sounds silly, but if you’re a dog person, you know what I mean.”
“We are crazy about dogs and are lucky we’re able to be with them for work and pleasure,” says Michele. While she continues to work fulltime for FedEx, she is active in the local pet community serving as the Chairperson of the board at Dogtopia of Carriage Crossing and fostering 10-20 puppies on any given day.
When the pandemic forced everyone to stay home, Michele found an opportunity to help a local rescue and quickly immersed herself in fostering. “We pick up puppies as soon as the shelter calls – with parvo, worms, fleas and ticks everywhere, it’s critical to get puppies to a safe environment. There’s a lot of work involved, but seeing them get healthy, strong and adopted is so fulfilling. We’ve made friends all over the country, and hearing about how much joy the puppies bring to these families is amazing.” Michelle estimates she has helped 150 puppies get adopted in 2020!
Not every foster dog relationship ends at their adoption. A few of their fosters are adopted locally and attend dog daycare at Dogtopia. “I can’t tell you how special it is to go into the playroom and be greeted by all the sweet dogs. And when one of our previous foster pups is in the room, it’s even sweeter when they remember you and give you extra love,” says Kip.
Dogtopia is more than just a place to drop off your dog when at pet parent can’t be with them. Every dog is treated like they are part of the family providing pet parents with peace of mind that they are leaving their pup in great hands. The open-play environment provides a safe and clean space for dogs to socialize, exercise and burn off energy, learn through brain activities and gain confidence in learning how to play well with other dogs.
Dogtopia makes a point to get pet parents in on the fun allowing them to watch their dogs have the Most Exciting Day Ever on live webcams available through Dogtopia’s mobile app and website. This along with report cards, photos and arts and crafts are a few of the ways pet parents enjoy the perks of dog daycare as well.
“Every team member at Dogtopia is a dog person. You can see it when you look at the webcam and see the Canine Coaches having fun with the dogs and keeping the playrooms safe and clean. I love being in business where the whole team is so on board with our purpose – to enhance the joy of dog parenthood and enable dogs to positively change our world,” says Kip.
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