The Ultimate Pet Lodge mission is a to provide an exciting social experience for dogs: to create a new standard for dog care; which includes measures to ensure the health and safety of our four legged companions and an environment that is a retreat for dogs that exemplifies trust, love, and affection. We commit to providing additional services for dogs of all breeds and sizes that will further enhance the bond between dog owners and their beloved pet.
A life time dream of owners Michelle and Marc Thomas has been to create a safe haven for their best friends in life…dogs. Michelle has over fifteen years of grooming dogs; owner of her own grooming business (Michelle’s Grooming) for three years and previously an independent groomer for West Spartan Animal Hospital for eleven years. She also was a vet assistant for West Spartan Animal Hospital during that time. Marc was owner of his own business specializing in building hotels for over twenty years with extensive knowledge of all aspects of air quality, sanitary requirements and usage of innovative materials such as autoclave aerated concrete. Marc grew up with dogs and has many childhood pictures with one under each arm. So it is appropriate that he now has built a hotel for four legged guests.
Marc and Michelle have had several dogs over their years together and currently you may be greeted by Minnie their not so small Bernese Mountain Dog. But she is very lovable. Both Michelle and Marc have received their Pet CPR and First Aid Certificate.
The other staff has been selected based on their experience working with a variety of dogs and their desire to give love and joy to their many dog friends.
Cathy Ronald, front desk greeter, retired from a career working with children in daycare, summer camps and other recreational experiences. She also developed several dog parks while the Director of the Largo, Florida Recreation and Parks Dept. She now is enjoying working with her other love…dogs. She has two registered Therapy Dogs and is a Tester/Observer for TD Inc. She has also trained dogs for obedience competition and has her Pet CPR and First Aid Certificate.
Darlene Houlihan is the Lodge’s trainer. She has been involved with dogs all her life. She is a registered veterinary technician and spent many years teaching clients proper health care for their pets while at veterinary clinics. Darlene and her dogs have earned several AKC titles, including two Obedience Trail Championships (the highest level in Competitive Obedience and numerous High-in-Trials awards and blue ribbons.) She teaches you how to develop a partnership with your dog based on mutual respect and admiration.
The Ultimate Pet Lodge is an all indoors, climate controlled facility designed with an environment for dogs and their natural instincts. The Play area has K9 Grass, which is plush and soft like a field of grass. This surface provides a safe alternative to hard concrete, abrasive rubber matting or slippery Epoxy floors. The K9 Grass is sanitized every night so it is fresh for the next day’s play. This surface reduces stress on dog joints and paws. Since it is made of inorganic material, it has the potential to mitigate insect concerns, including ticks and fleas. Unlike natural grass, it is basically made of nothing that interests bugs. It is also hypoallergenic, which means that dogs with allergies, especially those that sensitive to grass, can enjoy the K9 Grass without the concern of having allergic reactions.
We have incorporated noncombustible materials such as metal studs and autoclave aerated concrete block in the facility to provide a superior fire rating, sound reduction, and security.
The thirty dog suites are designed to reduce the noise and provide a more stress free environment for the dogs. They have full 8 foot tile walls and solid doors with a ½ glass window for staff observation. Each is equipped with a variety of beds which are easy to clean and sanitize, and provide soft, off the floor or posturepedic comfort along with cozy blankets. Soothing music is provided and 24/7 security monitoring.
But most importantly, we believe in having fun and providing you a peace of mind while your dog is at his home away from home. The Ultimate Pet Lodge is “a place to stay and a place to play.”