As the dark nights and gloomy weather mark the coming of winter, we are left asking: Where are the dogs?
The lack of dogs and dog owners lounging about on the many grassy spaces around campus is a notable change that winter brings to Seattle University. However, while students and staff mourn the absence of their furry friends, these dogs may be wagging their tails in anticipation of a new pet-themed shop opening up on Capitol Hill.
The Central District’s Play Doggie Daycare is opening a second location on Capitol Hill. While still unnamed, the new dog daycare will occupy an underground space under Manhattan at 12th Avenue and E Pike St. by January 2015.
When Marco Spitzer, a Capitol Hill resident and Seattle University student, bought his first Labrador, he understood the challenges involved with raising a puppy in the city on a student’s budget. That did not stop Spitzer from adopting Chuck, a lovable, affectionate yellow lab whom Spitzer adopted from the Seattle Animal Shelter.
“It’s definitely a commitment,” said Spitzer. “But I have always known that I wanted a dog. It strains my budget, but what’s missing from my bank account is more than made up for by the good times Chuck and I have had. Still, the idea of being able to drop [Chuck] off for a few hours at a time while I’m in class is interesting.”
The doggie daycare will interact with the new Chophouse Row complex being built in the same area. According to plans released by Chophouse on the Dunn & Hobbes (the developer responsible for the new complex) website, a dog bar will overlook the doggie daycare, allowing folks to sip a beverage and gaze upon their furry friends. “If there’s a bar, then I’m there,” Spitzer said.
The doggie daycare and bar will focus its services on smaller dogs and specialize in partial-day and full-day stays.
“It could definitely be pretty convenient,” said Sheryll Bernard, another Capitol Hill resident and dog owner. “I work most of the day and [my dog] Pepper has to stay home alone a lot of the time. It sounds like it could be a lot fun for her and convenient for me. I’ve never used anything like it before, but who knows? Maybe I’ll give it a shot.”
But not all Seattle U students own dogs, you say? True, and it appears as if entrepreneurs have had similar thoughts concerning the general Capitol Hill population. Another shop designed around pets is opening up for those folks who are not really “dog people” but still want a unique experience.
“Seattle Meowtropolitan” is a feline-themed coffee house that has tentative plans to open a Capitol Hill location by 2015. The cafe launched its Kickstarter campaign in September and chose a coffee supplier, but a physical location has yet to chosen.
According to the cafe’s blog, “The cats who populate our space will be from local shelters and rescues, and they will be up for adoption … Our vision is to have a fantasy-themed space (think Game of Thrones) where you will play with the cats. We want to put it somewhere easily accessible so we can build a community hub for cat people. Hopefully we can find a space in Capitol Hill, or somewhere near there.”
Nick Jones, a cat owner and senior at Seattle U, said he thought the idea for a cat cafe with a Game of Thrones theme was “interesting.”
“Honestly, I really do like Game of Thrones and cats—so who knows, when they open up I may have to swing by,” Jones said. “I probably won’t be buying one of the rescues, but the idea is definitely cool.”
Between the creation of a dog bar and a community hub for cat people, Capitol Hill pet owners will have a few more ways to entertain themselves and their pets during the cold winter—at least until they return to campus and other parks in the summer, that is.
Will may be reached at [email protected]