Grand Paw treats pets well, The

Grand Paw treats pets well, The

Hernandez, Barbara E

While people traveled crosscountry this holiday season, many left without integral and beloved members of their families. Instead, their constant companions were sent to a hotel or condo with a spa.

The Grand Paw, a Vista Santa Rosa pet resort owned by Jennifer and William Hamilton, offers overnight and extendedstay suites for beloved canines and felines. Dog owners have the option of their pets staying in individualized indoor suites with a toddler bed and French doors, or “cabanas,” which look more like standard kennels with glass doors. About 40 dogs can be boarded at The Grand Paw, with an additional 10 allowed as day campers.

All dogs, if they pass a socialization exam, can spend time in the resort’s exercise yard, about a half-acre of young palms, where they can cavort with other guests, said client services manager Dan Nathan.

“The dogs have to be screened before they’re allowed to come into the yard,” he said. “And we don’t allow dogs that haven’t been spayed or neutered.”

For smaller dogs, the Barkalounge indoor playroom is the place to be, where they are allowed to hop on couches, chairs and a window seat. In warmer weather, canine guests can enjoy the pool.

The cat quarters, on a much smaller scale, offer just four “kitty condos” that are opened occasionally for one of the pampered cats to laze around the windows.

“Cats don’t play all that well together, and so we would rather have them go home safe and healthy,” Nathan said.

Nathan said that because of the facility’s reputation – The Grand Paw is a member of the American Boarding Kennel Association – the pet resort was booked for the entire holiday season.

“We’re also usually booked through May,” he said. “Every year we get people calling at the last minute. You have to call months ahead of time.”

Among other amenities, rooms are wired for soothing music or television featuring the Animal Planet cable channel.

Pet owners are also encouraged to send their pets postcards, which will be read to them, and pets are allowed phone calls, Nathan said.

There is hope for more owners of pampered pets this year. Nathan said that The Grand Paw would be expanding to house another 25 dogs and a few more cats.

Copyright Desert Publication, Inc. and Sharon Apfelbaum Jan 04, 2005

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