We started Dogtopia of Redmond with one thing in mind: making it easier to have a dog. Below is a little about us, our family, and our story.
Xiana Joy Rau
Xiana will be the first to tell you that in the hierarchy of this corporation, she is Top Dog. At Dogtopia of Redmond, Xiana oversees the party games in the playrooms, chairs the snacks committee, and is basically in charge of pretty much everything around here so you might as well just go ahead and do what she says.
Xiana has no time for foolishness and strongly suggests that you get to the belly rubs pronto, sister. She is adamant that the name “Xiana” means “bow to me, plebian human, for I am thy superior in all ways” in Greek. (It doesn’t.) She is a master of the nose-under-the-elbow-while-you’re-trying-to-work trick and enjoys typing with her face. She has decreed that she will unequivocally be doing precisely what she wants to, and should you wish to differ, she kindly proposes that you kiss her furry brown butt.
When the concept of “delusions of grandeur” was explained to Xiana, her takeaway was simply that she really liked this new word grandeur and subsequently declared herself the Queen of France. She considers herself a benevolent ruler with a laissez-faire leadership style.
Xeus Ozymandias Rau
Xeus is much too polite to disagree with his twin sister’s assessment that she is the boss of him. He is a highly intuitive and empathetic fellow, and as Dogtopia of Redmond’s self-appointed host and caretaker of newcomers to our playrooms, he gallantly upholds his bestowed title of Guardian of Guests’ Feelings.
Wholly unaware of his current 130 pounds, Xeus is under the erroneous impression that he still inhabits his runt-of-the-litter puppy body, which was all of seven pounds when he and Xiana came to live with Lady and Mister. He and his therapist are working on self-awareness and comprehension of the laws of physics, but in the meantime, Xeus would very much like to sit in your lap.
Xeus’s favorite pastimes are smelling flowers, watching butterflies, digging in the backyard, looking quizzical when he gets yelled at for digging in the backyard, and lazily taking up the majority of the surface area of a king-sized bed. He truly enjoys children—as playmates, not as tasty snacks—and is indefatigably committed to his unyielding yet never less than gentlemanly efforts to secure permission to order a Singapore Sling.
A Message from Michel and Allison
Probably like how you feel about your dog, our twin Saint Bernese babies are our family. We–Michel Rau and Allison Christian Rau–started Dogtopia of Redmond for the two of them. Here’s how it happened.
Xiana and Xeus are rescue dogs. (That’s them above, at two months old.) Deemed an “accident” and thus worthless in the eyes of their breeders, the puppies had been unceremoniously dumped before being taken in by a rescue in West Virginia. We took one look at those tiny, frail, sickly little angels, scooped them up the day they turned eight weeks old, and now, over two years later, have the greatest joys of our lives in the forms of giant wagging tails, massive sloppy kisses, and 200+ pounds of unconditional love.
Friends, dogs make life BETTER. There is a contagious joy in a dog that you cannot help but catch. They bring laughter into your home and lightness into your heart. Everybody should have a dog.
And just like every person should have a dog, every dog should have a person. One of my great wishes in this world is that the cages in every dog shelter, rescue, and pound would be entirely empty, because every single dog had been adopted into a loving forever home.
Yet too many people who would like to consider adopting think it too much trouble to care for a dog. I constantly hear people say, “Oh, I wish I could have a dog, but I work all the time and I would have to leave him home by himself all day.” Or “I would love to, but I travel too much so I can’t have a dog.” And I want to shout from the rooftops, “OF COURSE you can have a dog! Because there’s Dogtopia!!”
Now, I have to admit something: before Xeus and Xiana, I thought dog daycare was flat-out THE dumbest thing I’d ever heard of.
But then, almost by accident, we discovered Dogtopia, and I instantly became a believer. This fantastic dog daycare and boarding company, specifically its Alexandria, Virginia location, became Xeus and Xiana’s second home. Open-play daycare supervised by certified coaches, boarding, spa, training—it was fabulous socialization, education, and fun for our dogs, who came home tired and calm and with all that crazy energy out of their systems. No more chewed doorjambs and half-eaten sofas at our house! Michel and I were able to work, play, and travel extensively because we knew that even when we were away, our babies were in remarkably loving and capable hands. Dogtopia, its brilliant business model, and its wonderful, caring staff took away all the worry and complication of having dogs. They simply made having dogs easier.
Then we moved to Seattle. Though there are Dogtopias all over the country, there wasn’t one anywhere in the Pacific Northwest, and we couldn’t find a daycare that was the calibre to which we had become blissfully accustomed. So Michel and I decided to fix that, with our own Dogtopia!
I am so, so excited to be able to bring this remarkable service to this city. I get to take my beautiful babies to work with me every day, and I get to take care of other people’s babies, too. I get to help make it easier for someone to have a dog. My heart is absolutely teeming with joy at this opportunity to serve, because it means that I get to help bring the world that much closer to emptying out those shelters and getting all those babies into their forever homes.
Now we encourage everyone–no matter what you do or when you’re home or what your life looks like–to go out and get a dog! Or two or three! Just go to a shelter or look up a rescue and find that bundle of fluff that needs to be a part of your family. Bring this beautiful furry joy into your life. And don’t worry about how to make it work. That’s why you have us: to make it easier to have a dog.
Love to all,