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Barkefellers offers ‘crush photos,’ and more pet tricks


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Remember when no one would hang out with you on the playground in elementary school and you couldn’t wait to get home so your dog could make you feel loved? Well, you may now be in a position to return that favor.

Barkefellers, a doggie day care and luxury suite pet hotel, hosted a Valentine’s party for its guests in February, where more than 200 dogs received a goody bag with a Valentine’s-inspired bandana, a heart-shaped treat and a “crush photo”—all for just $9.95. Half the proceeds go to a local shelter.

What’s a crush photo? It’s a “selfie” for dogs with BFFs, but no iPhones (and short arms). Apparently, dogs develop crushes on other dogs when they hang out together in day care, according to Lisa Schultz, HR and marketing manager for the Indianapolis-based chain, which exhibited at Franchise Expo South in February. Dogs with crushes hang out together and get excited when their buddies show up each day.

But what about the loners whose guardians signed them up for the promotion, but they have no crush with whom to be photographed? Not to worry, Schultz said, a staff member will always be available to sub in the pic (and if that’s not the canine equivalent of taking your cousin to the prom, we don’t know what is).

Dogs with crushes on each other have led to the owners meeting and setting up play dates, but as of yet, no one in the three Barkefellers units currently open have become a committed couple.

Dogs lucky enough to spend the night are treated to accommodations that even the Rockefellers would approve of—skylights for natural light and Vitamin D access, doggie doors to a private patio, flat-screen TVs tuned 24-7 to Dog TV and adjustable food and water bowls so no dog has to eat off the floor. There are three scheduled “potty walks” a day, but pet owners can purchase more, along with “cuddle time,” which includes human interaction via tummy rubs and massage.

If Barkefellers ever comes to Minnesota, our dogs will be on the waiting list. The only thing missing seems to be self-awareness workshops, where dogs can learn to be crush-worthy.

 

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