Something New In Doggie Day Care

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - June 23, 2005
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(from left) Anna Doell, owner, Mari Nishimura,
pet care attendant and Michelle Jim, owner,
and their four-legged children at Ohana
Doggie Day Care and Spa

Anna Doell and Michele Jim are neighbors, friends, dog lovers and now the owners of Ohana Doggie Day Care and Spa.

The day care has lots of open indoor and outdoor play areas, as well as a back room where dogs can take a nap in toddler beds, on pillows, or couches. If needed, dogs can board at the facility too. The rubberized floor area makes a soft play area for canines to traipse around indoors when they play on the jungle gym. There’s even a pet boutique which features all types of things for your pet including pearl necklaces and tiaras. The spa for dogs features baths, haircuts and body massages.

“We hated leaving our dogs at home when we went to work,” says Jim. “With this job, we can take our dogs with us.”

The Kaimuki neighbors each own a chihuahua terrier mix from the same litter. Jim’s male dog, Kiko, is vice president of customer relations. Kiko greets the other dogs happily. Anna’s dog, Kaikaina, who is Kiko’s sister, is often adorned with the latest fashions.

Doell worked as a senior executive manager with Panda Travel for 19 years, and Jim, a Maryknoll grad, was a sales executive in the hotel supply industry for 20 years. They decided they wanted to start a business together, and found that Hawaii had a need for cage-free doggie day care and boarding. After a year and a half of researching and preparing, they opened their doors the day after the Pet Expo on May 9. Doell is a certified pet care technician, and Jim is a certified groomer. They are members of the North American Dog Day Care Association.

Some compare doggie day care to getting your child into preschool or getting them into college.

Dogs need to be evaluated without their parents for two to four hours to determine if they are sociable. The business owners say that big dogs and little dogs can get along just fine.

“Dogs are social animals; it all depends on how they are raised,” explains Jim.

Dogs need to be on a flea and tick program, and the current shot records from the veterinarian need to be send to the office.

Once the dogs are accepted into the day care, parents can peek in at how their pooch is doing via the webcam.

“Doggie Day Care is for people’s four-legged children,” explains Doell.

“It’s for the pampered pooches,” adds Jim.

There’s lots of fun activities for the dogs to do. The bubble machine has bacon-and-cheeseflavored bubbles so the dogs can chase them around. There’s waterplay and squeaky toys. Parents can bring their pet’s food so there’s no change in diet.

Doell warns her staff of five that one hazard of the job is that you get attached to the dogs, and you’ll start missing them.

Doggie Day Care and Spa is located at 611 Cooke St. Hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call 791-DOGS, or log onto

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