By I Love Limerick correspondent Irene Bermingham.
The Waggy Tail Club is Limerick’s first doggy day care. Business partners Elly Aalbers and Mike Fitzgerald opened the doggy day care, in November 2015, in Fitzgerald’s Business Park, Kilmallock Road.
The pair decided to start their very own doggy day care after years of working with the dogs of Limerick City. Although, the two are still “finding their feet”, business is going well and growing all the time. Elly started the dog walking and pet minding service ‘WhiskersnPaws’ over 10 years ago. It was through Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW), that Elly stumbled upon her new business partner; Mike. LAW highly recommended Mike as he had a big passion for dogs too. It then made sense to start this new doggy daycare centre, as business partners.
Although The Waggy Tail Club is run in a professional business-like manner, there is a lot of love and compassion injected into the everyday minding of these animals. Elly’s love and empathy for all animals, particularly the dogs of Limerick, was more than an obvious, in a recent interview with I Love Limerick. The Waggy Tail Club recently organised an adoption drive in association with Limerick Animal Welfare (LAW). As a result, seven dogs were rehomed, this is seven less dogs wandering the cold streets of Limerick tonight.
The premises itself includes a reception, an outdoor area with tight security features, an indoor play area for those rainy days and a relaxation area for the ‘all played out’ furry friends. Elly prides herself on her no cage policy. The dogs are free to play, run and sleep, as they please. The maximum number of dogs taken daily is 20, ensuring plenty of space.
The team at the Waggy Tail Club put the health and safety of your dog first, so there are no overnight facilities available, as Elly and her team keep like keeping a close eye on all of their members. All dogs coming to doggy daycare have to be fully vaccinated (including canine cough), regular flea/worm treatments and all dogs over six months old have to be neutered. The dogs are divided into suitable groups, depending on temperament, physical health and age. The animals are never left on their own in the daycare. All dogs are assessed before joining The Waggy Tail Club.
The Waggy Tail Club handles your dogs in a professional, fun and loving manner. Sylwia Janke is another member of the dedicated team. She is a certified member of the APDT (association of professional dog trainers). Sylwia does not use any harsh training methods, ie choke chains, e-collars etc. Training courses are run very regularly and any upcoming training courses will be posted on The Waggy Tail’s Facebook page. Elly has particular empathy for dogs with anxiety issues, so works very patiently with these pooches, to calm and sooth their fears. Other services offered by The Waggy Tail Club are dog walking and cat minding.
Like all creatures, dogs can misbehave from time to time, when this happens, Elly deals with it in a suitable and fair manner, giving the culprit a brief ‘time out’ from the group. This ensures that all the animals in The Waggy Tail Club remain respectful to each other and get the most enjoyment possible out of their time there.
Elly and Mike are excited for the future of The Waggy Tail Club, with many upcoming projects and developments, in mind. One of such is the extension of their premises, to accommodate more dogs. Elly also discussed her plans to open Limerick’s first hydrotherapy pool for dogs by the end of 2016. Elderly dogs and those recovering from an injury or surgery, can often suffer from stiffness of the muscles. “Old dogs are still puppies in their own minds. So, they still want to run, but physically can’t”, Elly explains with a tone of empathy. The water allows these dogs to exercise without any pressure on the body, relieving any stiffness or pain.
Elly had to say goodbye to several of her furry friends over the years due to illness or old age, breaking her heart each time. “By spending time with dogs or walking dogs you create such a bond and each dog has its own character and personality”, said Elly. Both Elly and Mike consider and love all dogs in their care as if they were their own.
The Waggy Tail Club runs a 7.30 am – 6.30 pm service, Monday to Friday.
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Read more about Elly and Mike’s business here
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