The magic? That feeling you get when you see or feel something that you can’t explain. DogBoy’s is just a name and it is just a place. The magic is in the people who work here. The “magic” started in the early 1990’s. I was not feeling any magic at my job in advertising. They were right at school, “Advertising is hard, cut-throat, demanding and has little reward. You are only as good as your last ad.” My mind and body said, “Screw that,” and I began to ask myself what I really wanted to do, what I loved doing and how that was going to support me financially.
The first two questions were the good questions, and the third was a question that, I believe, was “society” making sure it was a “real” job. If you know my story, you know that I was back in school trying to get into a masters program, at the suggestion of friends and family. That’s when the first two questions got answered in one split second. I believe they were answered because I asked the question. I’d been waiting for a long time, a very long time. I had had other answers, but none, literally, struck me like a bolt of lightening. It was simple. Before me was a dog and his guardian, a man who had no sight of his own. He did have, however, the sight of a dog who he trusted to see EVERYTHING for him. In this case, it was a flight of stairs, and this amazing dog stopped his owner from falling down the flight of stairs. It was then that I got my answer: Help dogs help people because of, and through, their relationships. Magic.
I did not go into the seeing-eye or service dog business, mainly because the only schools for it were on the east and west coast and one in Chicago. This was just a bend in the road. I knew I would only crash if I failed to make the turn on this new road. My new road was loving dogs because of what and who they are to people. I’d always had a dog, literally, from before birth. My parents had a large Afghan hound house dog before I came into the world. This was rare in the late 1960’s as most dogs where outside dogs only or little dogs that lived inside the wealthiest homes. The dog culture of today did not exist, and would not, for another 30 years.
My first memories of play, joy and fun were with my dog Nikki. My earliest magic moments were with a dog. Dogs were the magic for me, but I only had one dog. My first dog that I didn’t share with my parents was named Chelsea. My girlfriend (DogGirl) and I rescued her before she and her mixed litter went to the pound. They were all victims of a mother in heat and a low fence. Chelsea was one of my best teachers and best friends ever. Writing this part brings tears to my eyes even almost a decade after her passing. It is a bond, a very very….very strong bond, and I believe most people have with their dog. I had only one dog…but where could I find more dogs? My vet, boarding kennels, the pound, pet stores and local trainers all had dogs, and so I went there…to all of those places.
I talked to and/or worked in those places listening, watching and learning. This was tough because society said it wasn’t noble work and my girlfriend, then fiance, had seen me take a huge pay cut to follow my magic. My parents always said to do what made me happy. I now started to understand what they meant. With their help and a huge leap of faith to fly, when I only had tiny little frail wings, I bought the land to make the magic happen. We then found or attracted others who believed in magic. It was and is those people who make DogBoy’s a magical place.
Many of the these folks have worked here for years. One over 12 years, a handful almost 10 and several well over 5 years. Being employed 3 years is considered a “long time” in the pet care industry. Our employees are serious dog lovers who feel that strong connection and deep relationship between themselves and the dogs they love. They understand that a companion is far better than pet. They are hard workers with open minds who love to be amongst the dogs. They shine when they tell the guardians of these dogs how much they genuinely like their dogs and how much they enjoy having them at DogBoy’s. It isn’t always easy and it’s not always fun, much like life. The sharing of that relationship is the magic. It is what people see and feel when they come to DogBoy’s. The magic happens because all the people that work and care at DogBoy’s believe in the magic that dogs bring into our lives. DogBoy’s is just a name and just a place, but we believe in the magic of dogs.
If you’d like to come see the magic of DogBoy’s, take a tour with us any Saturday at Noon, or sign up for a private tour with DogBoy or DogGirl. Just click the link below and we’ll be happy to show you around!