Having a dog in New York can be a little complicated, especially when everyone in the household is busy with full time jobs! When we first got Smiley, we didn’t have to worry about it because I was still job-hunting from home while Isaac brought home whatever the vegan version of bacon is.
Timing is a weird thing, however, and as soon as Smiley came into our lives, I started getting interview requests after two months of cricket chirps. That’s when I started panicking and doing research about what to do when I finally started work.
I first heard about Brooklyn Bow Wow while walking Smiley at a local park. Several people mentioned their dog-walking services and had nothing but amazing things to say. Being the paranoid dog-mom that I am, a walk just didn’t seem enough to keep Smiley safe and happy.
To add to my stress, one I finally got the job, my first week of work ended up being at the same time that Isaac had Walford training upstate resulting in him having to leave at 5:30 AM and returning as late as 8 PM! At the same time, I was leaving by 7 AM latest and getting back by 7 PM for my first week.
Since we had only had Smiley for a few weeks, we didn’t feel comfortable leaving him alone that long even with a 30-minute walk around noon. The only solution was to take him to a doggy daycare. Which was expensive, a long walk away and we didn’t know if he would be happy there.
Before the week we brought Smiley in to meet the dogs and hang out for 30 minutes to see how he behaved. He was extremely calm around all the dogs and seemed content to be there. It was a great start! On my first day of work I dropped him off without a second thought and went to work. I called at lunch to make sure he was okay and found out that he was! It was all great.
By the time I picked him up, I found out that after 2PM he got very anxious and tried to escape. He was so focused on trying to escape that he ignored all other dogs and didn’t respond to commands and basically acted like an unhappy, spoiled child, which was not good.
The daycare said it was normal at the beginning and that we were welcome to bring him back. Which we did for two more days, during which his behavior did not improve. The staff at Brooklyn Bow Wow was great and so patient with both me and Smiley. They explained that he just didn’t want to hang out calmly with other dogs, needed one-on-one attention from the staff and seemed unhappy there.
They explained that they had enough staff to provide the one-on-one care that Smiley needed, which was a great relief… but they felt bad about Smiley being unhappy and so did I. I fully intended to take him to them again on Thursday and Friday, because I just couldn’t leave him home alone, but after walking by a different, slightly smaller doggy daycare that Smiley had previously visited, I spontaneously decided to take him there just to see what would happy.
For some reason, Smiley preferred that particular daycare (which I will write about in another blog post). We were definitely not done with Brooklyn Bow Wow and we were disappointed that Smiley didn’t like their daycare! We did have a trial walk scheduled with them and hoped to switch to daily walks once our schedule got less crazy.
Just last Saturday, while Isaac and I were out, we had a walker from Brooklyn Bow Wow come over (we had left them the key) and walk Smiley for 30 minutes. It went really well so we are excited to keep using them for regular walks!
Being the paranoid dog parents that we are, we also got a $35 camera to watch Smiley at home. Our apartment has thin walls and a no-dog policy (which our landlord waived as long as Smiley doesn’t disturbed anyone) so we wanted to 1. have peace of mind, 2. see if he barks during the day and 3. see if there’s anything he tries to get into so that we can hide it.
So because of the camera, we got to see (and hear) the Brooklyn Bow Wow walker come in, greet Smiley who was excited to see him, put his harness on and then play with him briefly after dropping him off. We’re not sure if he even noticed the camera (and we resisted scaring him by saying hello through the two-way microphone) so we are extremely satisfied with how the pick up and drop off went. We assume that the walk was just as good!
From now on, we will have the walker come Monday – Friday and since we have a less crazy schedules, Smiley will never be alone for too long and we now know exactly what he does when he’s alone – he snores on our bed like a good boy!
If you’re looking for a doggy daycare, boarding or walking, I definitely recommend Brooklyn Bow Wow! They are located by the DeKalb Subway Station (L train) and they have great prices.
- $16 for a 30 minute social walk (may include other dogs, private walks are more expensive and less fun for the doggies)
- $25 for day care under 6 hours
- $35 for day care over 6 hours
- $45-60 for boarding depending on the length
We have just started using Brooklyn Bow Wow but have so far had a great experience and high expectations for the future. To save some $$ we prepaid $550 for their services that gives us $600 of credit. If you are interested in using them, give them a call or send them an email and schedule a trial visit and/or walk. You won’t be disappointed!