The Gilmer Doghouse
Randy Lynn, owner of the Gilmer Doghouse, is a middle-aged man of average build with glasses and a gentle air about him. I notice this as he shakes my hand and takes me to a place where we can visit.
Walking past the dog pens, it’s what is absent that matters most: odor. The place smells fresh and clean, and as we begin to visit, Randy explains why.
“See that red floor? It’s a poly-concrete mix that prevents urine from penetrating the surface and making it smell like most shelters.” He grins, adding with pride, “It’s a state-of-the-art facility.”[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#dd1f1f” class=”” size=””]“It’s a state-of-the-art facility.”[/perfectpullquote]
“I can see that. So what made you decide to build a dog house?”
“My wife and I have five dogs, and when we looked to board them, we weren’t happy with our choices. We decided to offer services we needed for our own pets at the quality we wanted.”
We are sitting at a small round table in a kitchen alcove between the kennels and the grooming benches. I lean back in my chair.
“What’s something you enjoy about this business?”
“I’m a dog person. That old saying, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,’ is what I get to live every day. I also love teaching people about how to best care for their dogs.” His phone rings, and I make notes as he answers.
[perfectpullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”#dd1f1f” class=”” size=””]“‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,’ is what I get to live every day.”[/perfectpullquote]
The call is short, and we resume. “What do you want potential customers to know about your business?”
“They don’t need to have a second thought about leaving their furry loved ones here. They’ll be safe, cool, and cared for.”
“What does that look like on a typical day of daycare or boarding?”
“I give them 4 bathroom breaks a day, feed them according to my customer’s request, and also let them play in the afternoon.” He gestures to the rectangular playground wrapped in chain link. Inside are bright red, blue, and yellow shapes connected like chicken-foot dominoes. I get excited like a little child just looking at it.
“Can we try it out?” We release the two dogs he’s boarding, swinging outside the building first so they can have a potty break.
We enter a fenced astroturf square with what looks like a trash can lid set into the ground.
“That’s waste disposal. It flushes straight to the septic like a toilet.” He smiled and shrugged. “They’re standard in Dallas.”
We return to the AC and enter the play pen. Buddy and Sadie rush about, rotating between jumping on Randy and running laps around the equipment.
“Do you have any funny stories?”
“The funniest moments are when I get 6 to 8 little dogs in here and they start chasing each other. I watch them to make sure sniffing introductions go smoothly, of course, just in case someone can’t socialize. But those are very few – most of my boarders aren’t yard dogs.”
I decide to join Buddy and Sadie in their enjoyment of the equipment. Running along the blocks and sliding beneath them, I feel a twinge of jealousy: the best life is a dog’s life.
We put the dogs back in their kennel and wrap up our visit. For a niche business less than a year old, the Doghouse sports a good variety of services, from daycare and boarding to grooming. I ask Randy his future plans.
“My main concern is whatever the customers want or need. I have thought about adding a splashpad outside for the dogs to play in, but that’s a bit down the road.”
If your dogs need a place to stay, consider the Gilmer Doghouse. You will be hard-pressed to find anything better.
Randy is also very responsive on Facebook, and more than happy to visit with anyone about anything dog related.
If you enjoyed this, be sure to check out our other Local Business Spotlights!