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Doggie day care, where pooches come to socialize

There’s a day care in town that takes great pains to ensure those under its watch are socialized properly, get a nap and don’t piddle on…

There’s a day care in town that takes great pains to ensure those under its watch are socialized properly, get a nap and don’t piddle on the floor.

Guests must also present papers showing they’re in good health and have had their shots.

Camp K9 is located in the Marwell Industrial area.

Normally there are fewer than 20 dogs, said Debbie Gatien, owner of the city’s only doggie day care.

“It ranges. I can take up to 30. I’ve hit 30 once, but usually it’s around 21.”

Dogs vary by size and breed all the way from daschunds to mastiffs.

All the dogs are adults, said Gatien.

“No young puppies, mainly for their own safety because they can die from diseases they pick up from other dogs. Even though they have their shots they can carry disease.”

The average day at Camp K9 offers plenty of rest — animals sleep the day away in a private kennel.

The dogs are taken out twice a day for several minutes at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to use the restroom, said Gatien.

At 3 p.m. all dogs are let out of their kennels for playtime before they’re picked up, she added.

“We give them a lot of time to play and it also allows them to associate with other dogs, which is good.

“You’ll see the big ones lie down on the floor and play with the smaller ones.

“They wear down here. A lot of people don’t have the time to take their dogs for walks after work, so this allows them to have a quiet dog in the evening because the dog’s had a lot of exercise here.”

Gatien bought the business two years ago after leaving a job at Northwestel.

It gives her an opportunity to be with dogs, and with people who love dogs, she said.

“I love dogs. I love watching them because they all have different characteristics.

“(Owners) love their dogs enough to bring them here. They want them to have a good life, enjoy life and have fun.”

Biscuit, a small fluffy white dog, has been coming to doggie day care for four years, said owner Anne Hecker, who swears by the service.

“We brought her here because we didn’t want to leave her at home.

“The dogs get tired out. If you leave them at home they want to play all night.

“She likes the other dogs, and she comes out nice and clean.”

Buddy has been going to day care for the past three years and it’s really helped him socialize with other dogs, said owner Sharon Doran.

“I love it because he gets socialized and he doesn’t get in trouble.”

Shamu has also been attending Camp K9 for three years, said owner Sandy Champagne.

“I’ve taken my dog there since I got him, and he loves it.

“When we get to the corner he starts yapping because he knows where we’re going — he just loves it.”

Contact Matthew Gra