Welcome to another installment of Tour Collierville’s 2-Minute Tuesday! This week, Hannah sits down with Annie Yoder, owner of Collierville Canine Club.
Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.
Two Minute Tuesday – Collierville Canine Club Transcript
Hannah: “Hi. I’m Hannah, with Tour Collierville’s Two Minute Tuesdays. I’m here with Annie Yoder, Collierville Canine Club’s owner. Annie, thanks for coming.”
Annie: “I’m just happy to have this opportunity.”
Hannah: “Well, we’ve been wanting to get you in here and just kind of hear a little about your Collierville Canine Club. So, you had this vision and this dream. Where did that even start?”
Annie: “Well, I’ve always really loved dogs. We all have a love affair with dogs, our pets. We love them so much, and I ended up doing a lot of things in my life before now, and I just decided, as the years sort of ticked by, I thought, you know, I really need to try to take that leap and follow through with this dream to create this beautiful dog facility. So, about two years ago, I made the decision to actually do it.”
Hannah: “Okay. So, leading up to that, this is a brand new thing for you.”
Annie: “It is.”
Hannah: “What were you doing before that?”
Annie: “For the last twenty-one years, I have been an educator. I taught in California and Tennessee schools, and specifically, English as a second language, and I really love that. I loved teaching students, and the literacy aspect, and then coaching teachers, but I kept thinking, is this what I want to do for the next ten or fifteen years of my working years, and I said, you know, I really want to do this dream, to create this dog facility. So, I kind of jumped off the high dive and decided to go ahead and do the research that was necessary to build this company. So, that’s what I’ve been able to do.”
Hannah: “So, research? What kind of research? How do you even come up with half the stuff you came up with?”
Annie: “So, I had to decide where in Collierville would be appropriate and the Town of Collierville Planning Department was very helpful with me in determining what would be a good place, where dogs wouldn’t bother neighbors, but it would also be a good location on Seventy-Two for people driving by, and I purchased the land, and then it was a heavily-forested lot, and we had to decide what type of building, what type of structure, and then of course, the pool aspect. So, I did a lot research. I traveled throughout the country, whenever I had a break from school, and I visited places in California, and in Florida, and places even in Little Rock and Atlanta, and I met with dog facility operators, did a lot of discussion with them and learned from them, and then I decided what type of building and swimming pool to create based on those findings. So, that really helped me a lot.”
Hannah: “Okay. So, the pool? So, that’s got to be your big thing.”
Annie: “Yes! I’m very happy about the pool. I just noticed that, a lot of places in California and Florida, they all had swimming pools for dogs. There’s a beautiful pool for dogs in Atlanta, and there’s one in Little Rock, but there’s not one anywhere in the Midsouth, and I thought, you know, it’s kind of like the Field of Dreams, if I build it, they will come. My dog is spoiled. He loves the pool. He’s a big lab, and I know a lot of other dogs really enjoy water, and it’s a nice thing because it’s safe and clean, they’re in a contained yard, and they get to do that when they come for boarding or daycare, or you can just bring your dog for a swim. So, building the pool and putting that in Collierville, I’m really proud of that because our beautiful little town is the only place in Tennessee that has a recreational dog swimming pool.”
Hannah: “Wow. I mean, with the Memphis heat, you’ve got to do something.”
Annie: “Yes. It’s very hot. That’s right.”
Hannah: “So, besides the pool, you’ve got a very forested area. So, the backyard, what about that?”
Annie: “So, we actually measured and I wanted to name it accurately, we have a very large dog area that is 10,000 square feet, and it’s got really big oak trees that are over two-hundred years old, and it’s got sod, and then we have another smaller dog area that’s 1,200 square feet, and then the swimming pool area itself is a very big area that has grass too for them running around and playing. The building is large. It’s 4,000 square feet, and 3,200 of the square feet is for dog play space. So, even if it’s raining or cold, for daycare, then can still come and play and run around on the beautiful epoxy floors.
Hannah: “So, a day of daycare, what does that look like? What all does that include? What does a day at your place look like?”
Annie: “So, a day of daycare is, drop off between 6:30 and 8:30 is ideal, and that way, if you need to commute to Memphis or something, you can drop off early, and the dogs are basically grouped according to their size and their temperament. So, so far we’ve had a lot of really lovely friendly dogs and we want to make sure that they are, but the dogs get to play in the play yards, and run, and play fetch, and they get to swim, and then everybody takes a nap between eleven and one, and they are snoring. I mean, you can just hear the snores when you go back there, and so, when the dogs are snoring, and sleeping, and taking their rest, then I am taking a lunch break and then cleaning, really good cleaning protocol, so that it’s perfectly clean when they come back out, and then they’re playing again in the afternoon. So, they’re, again, running, playing fetch in their groups, and sometimes just lounging on a leather sofa if they want to, you know, if they just need to take a break. So, they’re just having a great time, and, from what I’ve understood, the clients have told me that their dogs are happy and really good and tired when they get home, and they really need that socialization with other like-minded friendly dogs, and they just need the exercise. So, I’m glad that I can provide that.
Hannah: “I know, whenever you said you started this too, it was about, you’ve got, how many dogs do you have?”
Annie: “I have one very special dog. My dog, Jet, is a hundred-twenty-five pound black labrador. He’s an English lab with a really big head like Cujo, and he’s very famous. He’s always got his head out the window, and people see me driving around town, and they know me from the dog park, because we go to the Suggs Dog Park a lot. So, Jet lives with three cats, and he’s very sweet to the cats, but yeah, I only have one, and I would like more, but my husband said we’ve got to draw the line somewhere. One dog and three cats, that’s enough.”
Hannah: “You’ve got to leave room for other dogs at the place.”
Annie: “Oh, yeah, and that’s the thing, I mean Jet loves to come over and come to work with me, and I mean, I’m a mile from the facility. So, being able to have a one mile commute, and bring my dog to work, and wear clothes where I can have paw prints all over me, it’s really nice. I really love it. I just want to create an experience for the dogs that come to visit me, when their owners are wanting to get them tired out and give them exercise, or if they have to go away, I want them to know that I am dedicated to their dogs, and that’s why I do the potty break at night, too. I come back to the facility between nine and ten-thirty and let everybody out. We run all around. Everybody takes care of business, and that way, when they go to sleep, for their tuck-in, they are really tired and they’re ready to sleep, and they don’t have to wait a really long time to be let out.”
Hannah: “Right. Wow, that’s a great feature. I didn’t know about that.”
Annie “Yeah, and it’s just really fun because the lights work really well outside the building, and it’s like, you can see really well, and they seem to be very excited when I come for the potty break. They, like, bark and carry on. So, it’s just really nice to know that I’m giving them the best care that I can, and that would be what I expect for my own dog.”
Hannah: “So, how would someone go about registering for a day with daycare or boarding? What would they do?”
Annie: “Well, we have a really quick way of registering which is through Ginger. It’s just a quick registration that lets me know about your dog and about the client, and then feeding instructions, shot records, signing the waiver, and then they’re able to actually book reservations for anything through this software, this app. So, it’s the grooming, the boarding, the daycare, or just a swimming appointment, and we also are going to do dog birthday parties, and I think it’s the only place in the Mid South area where you can actually book a party for your dog with fifteen other dogs and guests, and let them run around the pool area and swim.”
Hannah: “Well, we’re so excited that you’re open and open for business. I know several of our employees have already looked into there and gotten to go visit you. We’re just so excited and so happy for you.”
Annie: “Well, thank you, and I appreciate very much the way you helped me launch the company by creating my website and doing a few ads in Tour Collierville, which were very well received, and I have a new one coming out soon, so I’m very glad about the partnership that we have.”
Hannah: “Well, we love helping out anyway we can with you and everybody, but we’re just so excited you’re finally open.”
Annie: “It took a minute. It took me two years.”
Hannah: “I know it was a long process, but we’re excited.”
Annie: “It was worth it. It was worth the wait.”
Hannah: “Well, thank you so much for coming, Annie. We have such a great time always seeing you.
Annie: “Okay. Thank you.”
Hannah: “And this has been Tour Collierville’s Two Minute Tuesday.”