New things ahead at Ruff Haus!

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,

Kim Moffitt

PS…I put together some of my favourite Ruff Haus moments in the video below, enjoy 🙂

Fave Moffitt Moments from Kim Moffitt on Vimeo.

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