May 1, 2016 • Author: Ruff Haus
Spoiler Alert…BIG announcement ahead!!!
The past 5 years have been a complete whirlwind of surreal moments strung together like a slide show. I honeslty had no idea how much creating something like Ruff Haus would have such a profound impact on me.
For those of you who dont know, I started working on my business plan for Ruff Haus when I was 25 years old, while I was working as a dog groomer for another employer in Barrie. I had zero business background, and no real formal college education besides a few part time classes here and there. What I did have though, was 15 years of hands on experience working in various fields of the animal industry, and A LOT of will power to make my dream of opening my own Dog Daycare, Grooming, and Training facility a reality.
At 26 years old, I was laughed out of just about every bank and financial institution in barrie when I applied for my start up loan. Nobody wanted to give a 26 year old blonde girl with no business expereince money they were sure they would lose. It was a high risk situation, and looking back on it, I can’t really blame them.
I was fortunate to have a lot of friends and family members supporting me, but I know that many of them were also skeptical about whether or not I could pull this whole dog daycare thing off.
After months of rejection, and more trips back to the drawing board than I care to remember, my husband Steve and I sold our very first house that year, and I used the equity we made, along with money I borrowed from other family members to scrape together enough money for a bank to FINALLY approve me for the additional funding I needed to get Ruff Haus off the ground. In December of 2011 Ruff Haus opened its doors to the public for the very first time.
Flash forward five years and here we are…we have so many clients that we have waiting lists for Daycare, Grooming is booking weeks in advance, and Training classes are filling before we even post them. We have literally raised puppies in our daycare and watched them grow up into adult dogs who are beautiful, balanced and well behaved, we have clients who are so loyal they’ve been with us since day one, we’ve built lasting relationships with highly respected business professionals in our community and made so many friends we’ve lost count.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that something I created and brought to life would have people lining up at the door to be our clients, have such a highly respected reputation and so many supporters throughout our community. It’s awe inspiring really, and its what spontaniously brought me to tears at breakfast this past Saturday morning with Steve (if you happened to be at that particular restaurant you may have witnessed one of THE most embarrassing moments of my life).
Since Ruff Haus opened its doors back in 2011, four NEW dog daycares have opened in our area (three in Barrie, and one in Collingwood). What many of you don’t know about the owners of those facilities is that two of them are former Ruff Haus clients and the other two are close personal friends of mine. I can’t say for sure, but it gives me great pride to know that maybe in some small way Ruff Haus may have inspired those women to go after their dreams as well.
So where am I going with all of this? I promise there is a point…just keep reading…
I’ve learned a lot about myself over these last five years, and during that time my personal goals and priorities have grown and changed, and so have I. During the last year, Steve and I have spent A LOT of time considering different avenues for Ruff Haus, and and A LOT of time discussing how we should move forward. What it’s made me realize is that while Ruff Haus is just getting started, and is ready to grow and expand into something bigger than I ever could have imagined…I personally am ready for a change, and ready to move onto the next chapter in my life.
So what does that mean for Ruff Haus? Well, before you go into panic mode…it does mean change, however I am a firm believer that change is good!!
Obviously, making the decison to sell the business was no small decision, and finding the right person who I was confident could uphold the integrity of the brand, the company and all that Ruff Haus encompasses was not something I took lightly at all. When it came down to it, for me, there was only one person who I could leave Ruff Haus with and trust that it would be left in good hands. You all know and love her, and I could not be happier to tell you all that, as of June 1st, 2016 Kelly Johnson will be the new Owner and Operator of Ruff Haus!
Kelly has big plans for the future of the company and I KNOW that she will not only make me proud but she will make all of you happy. The plan going forward is to remain in the same location for a year or two while Kelly gets her feet wet as a business owner. From there, the sky is the limit, and you can for sure look forward to bigger and better things from the Ruff Haus team.
Kelly and I met by fluke when she contacted me back in our first year to inquire about renting our daycare space to teach her own training clients. I might be wrong, but I think it was only a couple of weeks before she was officially part of the Ruff Haus team and teaching classes for us instead! I’m so glad that we met when we did, because Kelly has brought so much to Ruff Haus and it really wouldnt be the same without her.
With 20 years under her belt as a canine behaviourist and trainer, 10 years helping to run and operate Barrie’s very first dog daycare (Barrie Canine Connection) not to mention the close relationships she’s made with all of you during her years at Ruff Haus, I know she’ll be amazing in her new role, and I know that I will be leaving all of you and your dogs in more than capable, very caring hands.
As for me, many of you already know that last year I went back to school to get my Real Estate license, and have already been working part time as a Real Estate agent with Sutton Incentvie. The Real Estate world has been quite the leap for me from the animal world, but its also been really refreshing and I’m excited about where this next chapter will take me as I continue down this new path. You will still see me hanging around at Ruff Haus after June 1st, I’ll be continuing in the Grooming salon for the next little while, and helping Kelly with the transition. I’ll still be involved in volunteering with local rescues and I know without a doubt I’ll see many of you while I’m out hiking, camping and dock jumping with my own dogs 😉
I’m so proud of everything that I have worked for and everything that Ruff Haus has accomplished, it will always hold a special place in my heart. I am grateful to each and every single customer, client, employee, colleague, student, friend and family member who has walked through our front door. Without all of you Ruff Haus would not be possible. Thank you again, from the bottom of my heart for making my dream a reality and being such an important part of my life. I am whole heartedly going to miss all of you and your pups so please find me on Facebook so that we can keep in touch!
Lots of love,
PS…I put together some of my favourite Ruff Haus moments in the video below, enjoy 🙂
Fave Moffitt Moments from Kim Moffitt on Vimeo.
July 17, 2015 • Author: Ruff Haus
We LOVE getting social with our clients, friends and followers! Want more behind the scenes action from Ruff Haus?!
Follow us on Snapchat for all the latest antics!
February 8, 2015 • Author: Ruff Haus
Ruff Haus has entered the 2015 ADP Grant Contest to win $10,000 to help expand our business! All we have to do is make it to the top 5 entries to be considered for this prize! We know that we can do it with the help and support of all of our friends, family and wonderful clients! BUT we can’t do it without you! Its so important that we all vote each and everyday from now until February 28th so that we can get into that top 5!
Please vote, and share this with all of your friends and family so that they will vote with us.
The rules for this contest dictate that we can spend the money however we want to, and we want to spend it on all of you! We know our daycare has out grown our client base and we know that we need a larger area to accommodate more of you, and to relieve wait times for daycare. This money will be going directly to growing our daycare and making room for new clients, more dogs and more staff to care for them.
Please help us grow our business, it means the world to us and even more to your pups!
You can vote for Ruff Haus by clicking on this link
You will have to provide your email address and a password to login but once you’ve done that you’re good to go!
It only takes a couple of seconds each day, and those seconds could change everything for Ruff Haus…
December 24, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
Please note the following changes to our regular business hours during this holiday season…
Wednesday, December 24th 6:30am-5:00pm
Thursday, December 25th CLOSED
Friday, December 26th CLOSED
Wednesday, December 31st 6:30am-5:00pm
Thursday, January 1st CLOSED
November 25, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
A couple weeks ago Ruff Haus had the opportunity to work with our friends at Iconic and Flypress Films to shoot a video testimonial about how working with Iconic and creating a brand identity for ourselves has helped our business to succeed.
It was an honour to be chosen out of several other companies to be a part of such a special project, and of course I knew we just had to do it! We invited 25 of our daycare dogs to join us for the shoot and although nerves were running high and the environment was a little chaotic at times, the dogs were perfectly behaved and the final product looks amazing.
The video will be posted very soon, but for now here’s a sneak peek from behind the scenes!
Make sure you also check out Iconic and Flypress!
September 15, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
Well, as many of you know last September (Friday the 13th to be exact), two senior west’s were found abandoned in the parking lot at Ruff Haus. After trying to locate the owners with no success, we made the decision along with the help and support of our good friends at Precious Paws Rescue to foster and care for them. They were filthy, in poor health, were visibly neglected and in need of emergency veterinary care. Thanks to the amazing staff at Simcoe Veterinary Hospital in Barrie and the expertise of Dr.Holly Spring, these two west’s (named Sophia and Blanche after the TV show The Golden Girls) were vaccinated, and immediately started on medical treatment for internal and external parasites, mange, and serious bacterial skin infections. The entire team of people involved in helping these two dogs had years of experience dealing with animals and situations involving neglect and none of us (not even the vet) had seen infection as bad as what Sophia had in her poor feet. We had no idea how this poor dog was even walking.
Here are some pictures from that very first day…
You can see from these pictures just how filthy they were that first day. Westi’s are suppose to be pure white, and you can see here that they were not only dirty and matted, but their fur was stained from excessive chewing and licking due to itching and discomfort and their skin was bright red. The bottom picture is of Sophia’s feet-black and full of infection with nails so long they were curling into her pads.
The girls moved into Ruff Haus and made themselves comfortable in our break room, which was quickly transformed into what we still to this day refer to as “The Westi Condo”. They spent a lot of time up there, resting, cuddling and recovering during the first few weeks we had them. They were put on a high quality food, given weekly medicated baths to soothe their tender skin and we had what seemed like an entire pharmacy organized for them, complete with charts and schedules to keep all of their medications in order. Since they were in such bad shape the girls spent the majority of their time during their recovery in the condo away from other dogs. They went for many short walks (we could only go as far as Sophia could handle) during the days and on the weekends, our staff would take turns caring for them and making sure they were fed, exercised, medicated and cuddled. These girls really loved to cuddle.
When they finally got the all clear form the vet to start interacting with the other dogs in the daycare they were SO HAPPY! We learned a lot about these girls once this happened! They were senior dogs, but man did they have a lot of energy now that they were feeling better! They enjoyed climbing up on the play equipment, and meeting the other dogs. BUT once they got really comfortable in the daycare we started noticing some behavioural issues with them. The girls got jealous really easily and when they felt threatened in any way they would take it out on each other by fighting. Badly. We were starting to get concerned for their well being and thought that a change of scenery may improve things, so the girls were moved to a loving foster home where they could have some more one-on-one attention and learn how to be well balanced dogs in a low stress environment.
The girls were spoiled rotten by their new foster mom Kerrie and were doing fantastic and having a great time learning new tricks and becoming familiar with crate training. They were loved and spoiled and had never been happier.
Blanche’s illness surprised us all, especially Kerrie who had taken such good care of them. It came on fast and was very unexpected considering she had been doing so much better than her sister Sophia. After a really scary weekend at the emergency vet clinic and confirmation from an ultrasound, Blanche was diagnosed with a fatal tumour on her Pancreas. With her age and weakened immune system, and extremely poor vitals taken into consideration, we knew we had a difficult decision to make. To make matters worse, Sophia also found herself at the hospital with similar symptoms, however hers were later deemed “sympathy symptoms” for her sister who was dying. Blanche was transferred back to Simcoe Vet and was kept comfortable until all of us could be there with her to say good bye. It was the hardest decision to make, but we all agreed that she didn’t deserve to suffer and we knew that she had enjoyed the best three months of her life with us. That day was the hardest for all of us, and the only thing that helped us get through it was knowing that Sophia was still counting on us.
Soph was release form the clinic a few days later and returned to her foster home with Kerrie. She adapted well to being an only child and actually thrived being back at home with Kerrie. She continued down the road of healing and was adopted to an amazing family with two other small dogs, who took to spoiling her just like she always wanted. Unfortunatley, Sophia had an issue not being an only child and for everyones safety (including her own) she had to be returned to foster care. She wound up with Laurie, another amazing foster mom with Precious Paws and only stayed a short time with her before being adopted permanently to a family from the US.
This past weekend, on the one year anniversary of the day The Golden Girls were rescued, they sent us this email with an amazing update on Sophia.
“One year ago today, someone abandoned two badly neglected, senior Westies in a parking lot. Turns out it was the dogs’ lucky day. After months of vet visits and lots of love from her foster moms we were lucky enough to adopt Sophia and have her join our family, although I should say she runs our family. She has brought so much love to everyone who meets her. And she has come out of retirement to manage the entire neighborhood of squirrels, chipmunks, deer, etc. Going for walks is her favorite activity. She is so feisty it’s as if she is in her second puppyhood! Many thanks to the folks at Ruff Haus and Precious Paws Rescue in Barrie and Laurie for loving Sophia and bringing her back from the brink. We’re so happy to have her and darn, she is just too cute! “
We could not be happier to share this amazing news with all of you! Sophia would not be where she is today if it wasn’t for all the caring donations and support from all of you. Thank you so much for helping make a difference in this dog’s life, no one deserved it more than she did!
June 20, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
Ruff Haus is accepting pet related donations for the families affected by this weeks devastating tornado in Angus. Treats, toys, beds, bowls, crates, food, collars, leashes and anything else you can think of! There are 300 people without homes. Think about your neighbourhood, and how many people have animals (dogs,cats,birds etc). Two of our staff live just seconds away from where the tornado touched down, and one of our clients lost her home. Let's see what we can do together to lend a hand and show some Ruff Haus love ♥
Donations can be dropped off at our store location at 304B, Unit #5 Dunlop Street West, Barrie, ON, L4N 7L2
We're here to help in any way we can. If you or someone you know needs help with their pets after last nights devastating tornado, please contact us.
May 26, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
The summer can be a wonderful time for you and your pet. It’s also a time where you need to be careful of the dangers surrounding your animal. You can help spread the word by sharing how deadly it is to leave your pet in your vehicle. No Hot Pets is a campaign encouraging pet owners to take their pet with them when they park their car. Share this message and take the pledge today! Let’s have no hot pets this summer!
Ruff Haus is encouraging all of our clients to TAKE THE PLEDGE to not leave our dogs in our cars during warm weather. Commit to keeping your dog safe, healthy and happy and set an example for others by being a responsible pet owner and taking your dog with you when you park. You can take the pledge by clicking on the link below. When you pledge to keep your dog safe this summer you will recieve a free No Hot Pets window decal (while supplies last) for your car!
• SPCAs across Canada receive hundreds of reports of pets being left in cars every year.
• Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open.
• Dogs have a limited ability to sweat; even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog's normal body temperature is about 39°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur.
• If you can’t take your pet with you when you leave your car, leave them at home where they are safe.
• It’s imperative that each of us as animal owners is responsible in providing the proper care for our pets. As such, leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle is one of the most irresponsible things a pet owner can do.
• Owners who choose to leave pets unattended in vehicles, may face charges under the Ontario SPCA Act or the Criminal Code of Canada.
• If heat stroke is suspected (excessive panting and drooling, listlessness or unconsciousness) prompt veterinary medical attention is vital. In the meantime, wet the fur immediately with lukewarm to cool water, not cold water. Bring the pet into the shade and offer drinking water.
If you observe an animal suffering in the heat, contact the Ontario SPCA or your local humane society at 310-SPCA (7722) or call your local police services.
April 22, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
~~CKC Canine Good Neighbour Program
Good Dogs Make Good Neighbours…
•To identify and reward responsible, caring owners and their canine partners throughout Canada.
•To ensure that one of our most favoured companions, the dog, is accepted as a valued member of our communities right across the country. Canine Good Neighbours can be counted on to present good manners at home, in public places and in the presence of other dogs.
•The test is non-competitive and allows dog and handler to demonstrate confidence and control in 12 steps. It assesses the handler and dog's relationship, together with the handler's ability to control the dog. Dogs are evaluated on their ability to perform basic exercises as well as their ability to demonstrate good manners in everyday situations.
•The training program embraces both purebred and mixed-breed dogs and is fun, rewarding, and useful. It encourages owners to have a better and richer relationship with their dogs. The program also enhances community awareness of responsible dog ownership and the numerous benefits associated with dog ownership.
•The Canadian Kennel Club encourages all dog owners to participate in the program, ensuring that our beloved canines are welcome and respected members of our communities.
Ruff Haus will be holding a Canine Good Neighbour Test on Friday, June 13th from 7:00pm-9:00pm for those of you who are interested. The test will take approximately 20 minutes per dog and you will be assigned a time between 7:00pm-9:00pm for your test to be completed. Hope to see you out there!
March 23, 2014 • Author: Ruff Haus
You asked, and we delivered! Ruff Haus will soon have a small retail area packed FULL of all of our favourite things! Toys, treats, goodies and even Ruff Haus apparell will all be available for purchase inour lobby! Watch for this coming SOON!
Some of our favourite brands include:
- West Paw Design
- Benny Bully's
- Bosco and Roxy's
- Gentle Leaders
- And SO MUCH MORE!!!
We can't wait to show you what we have in store for 2014!