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February 2015

Lake Michigan's Southern Riviera™

Introducing Dawg Paradise

Resort-style Accommodations for Beach Coast Pets

 By Barbara Voris Eastman

It’s summer on The Beach Coast, a time when some lucky individuals will be taking vacations. As much as we’d like all members of the family to be there, there are times when our beloved pets cannot accompany us on trips.  It might be that the destination won’t allow them, or perhaps our pets are getting older and do not travel well.  Whatever the reason, we agonize over boarding options and want to be sure that wherever they stay, our four-legged friends will be safe and happy.

Deluxe Accommodations
There’s a new business in Westville, Indiana, called Dawg Paradise and it is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Owners Laurie Clark and Annette Bloss started a mobile pet grooming business in April 2010 and were frequently asked by clients if they knew of a nice, safe place where they could board their pets.  

Laurie and Annette cringe at the thought of places that warehouse animals in wire crates so they decided to create a place that felt like a vacation destination for pets. 

They have created a full-service, climate-controlled facility that offers individual suites for its canine (and occasional feline) clients. Each measures 6’ & 10’ and has a sliding glass door with views of such amenities as an indoor play area and—wait for it—a swimming pool. Above white wainscoting, each room is painted a bright tropical color, and furnished with a comfortable Adirondack-style bed and a flat screen television. Every room carries the name of a different island. Laurie and Annette decided on a tropical theme because they want owners to think of a stay at Dawg Paradise as a vacation for their pet. 

Tender Lovin’ Care
While a guest, your pet will interact with staff and other pets. If yours is a two-pet household, they may share a room and keep each other company until you return to pick them up.  Owners also have access to a secure webcam and may log in through Dawg Paradise’s website to see how much fun their pet is having. You’d think that all this luxury would come with a high price tag, but rates are very reasonable (click on link to their website below for details).

Puppy Play Dates
So, maybe you’re not going on vacation, but you have a house full of company, a medical appointment, theater tickets, or any kind of commitment that will take you way from home and you don’t want to leave your pet alone all day. For a very reasonable day rate you can drop your pet off at Dawg Paradise and he or she will have a ball. Pets that are day guests have access to the play area and pool, the huge (nearly 6000 sq. ft.) outdoor play area along with the opportunity for socialization with staff and other four-legged guests.

Hair of the Dog
Dawg Paradise also offers full grooming services, so your pooch can have a wash and a blow dry, get a nail trim, or access a full menu of other grooming services. Rather than the typical bows or bandanas, dogs groomed at Dawg Paradise leave with a flower lei in keeping with the tropical theme of the place. 

Canine Couture
Dawg Paradise also has a selection of retail items for your pet, including collars, leashes, toys, the Thundershirt™ (for relieving your pet’s anxiety during storms), Solid Gold brand food, shirts, sweaters, and more.  Hey, when you go on vacation you pick up a souvenir or two.  Why not get something fun for your pet?

Every dog has its day!
If you love your pets, and we’re sure you do, check out Dawg Paradise and book a suite for your favorite four-legged friend.  And then be prepared for lots of licks as your pet thanks you, doggy style.

Dawg Paradise
836 W. Main Street
Westville, IN  46391
(219) 785-BARK (2275)

Barbara Voris Eastman grew up in Michigan City and moved back to the area after spending nearly 35 years working in Chicago. She is both the editor and a regular contributor to