“I love my job and love being able to work with dogs and cats all day,” said Celeste Bennett, facility manager at Happy Tails Pet Resort and Spa. “As soon as clients walk in the door, we have something in common and can bond over their pets.”
Opened in June 2016, the luxury dog and cat resort offers a variety of services including dog day camp, dog and cat boarding, grooming and training. The facility is owned by the Bennett family. While Celeste manages the day-to-day operations of the facility, she often finds herself leaning on the wisdom her parents, Shawn and Nadeen, who’ve been training and breeding dogs for forty years.
Celeste has two dogs herself: four-month-old Phoebe, a mini long-hair dachshund and Venus, a six-year-old English Setter. These lucky pups get to come to work with mom every day and help entertain the centre’s visitors.
When Celeste talks about “boarding” at Happy Tails, she’s quick to point out she doesn’t mean crates.
“Our main priority is to create something where we would want to leave our own dogs,” said Celeste. “Our dogs sleep in our beds, so we don’t want them stuck in kennels while they’re here.”
Happy Tails instead uses “pet condos,” which offer animals a living room style environment complete with their private windows, beds, and toys while pooches stay at the resort.
Celeste gets to work with dogs and cats every day and loves to see the impact Happy Tails has on the animals that go there.
“My favourite memories are the dogs who came to Happy Tails really nervous and anxious – but leave that anxiety behind,” says Celeste. “After even just a few visits, it’s so exciting to tell owners their dog found a friend and built some confidence to be a happier dog - not just at Happy Tails but all around.”
Prepared for The Winnipeg Chamber by Chris Davis, a Red River College Creative Communications student.