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Pampered Pooches Live Like Kings at Day Care
Boston Herald (01/99)

Talk about room service.

From the fresh flowers and generous basket of tasty treats at the front door to the soothing strains of classical music wafting through the halls, this three-story Somerville house is the canine equivalent of Taj Mahal.

Here at Pet Companions, Inc., some of Greater Boston's most pampered pooches spend their days lounging on couches, romping in a backyard wading pool, or sniffing around the multicolored jungle gym.

Finicky eaters are hand-fed. Copious notes are kept on whether Sasha prefers tennis balls or chew toys. And no furried friend goes home without plenty of pats.

Such doting doesn't come cheap. The busy owners who drop off their pooches each morning for doggy day care pay $22 a day. It's $3 extra for breakfast, lunch, or dinner-creating a weekly tab on par with day care for children.

"For most of our clients, these are their children," said owner Judy Basteri, as she strolls among staffers in the center's various living rooms and backyard play area.

But the pampering in this pooch palace doesn't stop there.
On the second floor, any one of the four staffers on duty may be giving a guest a "bubble bath." That includes a shampoo, nail clipping, teeth brushing and ear cleaning- for $30.

Here, canine is king.

With 50-plus pets frolicking on any given day, Basteri says she's replacing at least one munched -up couch or chair in the various living rooms every three or four weeks.

At the end of the day, owners pull up for their pets and some peace of mind.

"They'll want to know who their dog played with, and if they've eaten," said staffer Dave Cameron. "It's almost like five minutes of therapy. They'll tell me about their day, and I'll tell them about their dog's day."

Clients-of the two legged contingent-swear by the upscale service.

"When I get him home, he's very happy," said Fred Macdonald, a 33-year old filmmaker from Cambridge, as he pats his 4-year old, 102 pound yellow Lab, Leo. "He's not mad at me."

"At other (day-care centers), he would come home and mope."

-Kay Lazar

More Press:
Improper Bostonian 2002 | Boston Globe Magazine | Delta Shuttle | Boston Magazine | Improper Bostonian | Business Week | Boston Herald Business Profile | Boston Herald

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