As Dave and Kathy Crockett approached retirement, they thought about what their next chapter might look like together. Everyone who met Dave’s birding spaniel told him he should train dogs for a living and Kathy’s love for animals led them to put together a business plan for a doggie daycare, boarding, and training facility. “We knew we were in a good position when our SCORE advisor looked over our plan and told us we needed to open years ago,” Dave shared about their early progress, “There’s huge need for this service in the area!”
They went forward with their plan, working with M Bank to secure their SBA loan, but then they had a hiccup. Because of the size of their planned facility, the road commission informed them they would need to have a commercial driveway leading up to the building before they could secure a building permit. M Bank wasn’t in a position to extend additional credit, so they referred the Crocketts to Venture North to close the gap and get the project completed so that Wiggle Butts & Waggin’ Tails could open.
“Laura and Venture North are a godsend, truly,” Dave Crockett recounts, “When we sat down with her, she told us not to worry, and she delivered so that we could make this dream happen.”
The 40’ x 50’ facility broke ground on May 1 this year and things are on track to open by the Fall. “Some of the little dogs, you know, they have Napoleon complex where they think they rule the roost and they start picking on dogs 5x their size. So we make our separate kennels big enough for 2 dogs, which keeps the sizes together and so that family dogs won’t be separated. I am K9 certified and the dogs will all get great care.”
Dave and Kathy have big plans to expand down the line, as well. There are plans for a pool for bird dog training or water therapy for animals with bad joints. They’ll add a grooming salon, puppy training and are looking into getting a van for doggie pick-up and drop-off to give their customers the full experience. Rumor has it that the Crockett’s facility could be the next training space for Ultimate Air Dogs, who feature every year at the Cherry Festival.
“The best part of my job?” Dave says, “I don’t mind it when my bosses bark at me!”