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Mercer Island Dog Daycare
By Rebecca Mar
Mercer Island Reporter
Bark Avenue is Mercer Island’s own dog daycare and grooming salon. The new facility, complete with sound-proof walls, a bath, spa, grooming table and play center, opened last month for dogs of all breeds and sizes.
“We just try to figure out what makes them happy, and keep them happy,” said Island resident Ian Bojarski, who owns Bark Avenue and oversees Islanders’ pets from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Bojarski has taken care of animals since he was a child, having grown up with dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish and turtles in Connecticut. He currently owns a border collie, Biscuits, that he rescued from ranchers who didn’t think Biscuits measured up as a herding dog and neglected him as a result. Biscuits plays with the dogs in the daycare.
From his desk at Bark Avenue, Bojarski keeps a watchful eye on the dogs in the daycare room with soothing instrumental music in the background. There’s Coco, a gray cockapoo; Sailor, a miniature golden labradoodle; Cadbury and Kona, chocolate labs — and, of course, Biscuits the border collie, the leader of the pack, as well as other dogs on different days.
Each dog has a unique personality: Sailor feels safe in the privacy of a cage while Kona is prone to seek adventure by scrambling over the knee-high gate out of the daycare room, and Cadbury gathers all toys and distributes them among his pals.
Bojarski walks the dogs twice every day on the North Mercerdale hillside and in parks such as Luther Burbank, Pioneer Park and Clarke Beach. In the summer, Bojarski and the dogs visit all Island parks on the “puppy bus.”
Bark Avenue’s equipment is accommodating for all kinds of dogs. The bath tub, for instance, has a ramp for elderly and overweight dogs, and a special tray for small dogs.
A groomer will join Bark Avenue permanently at the end of this month to offer full grooming services beginning Dec. 1. Bojarski plans to add a pick-up and drop-off service for handicapped and elderly pet owners. He also intends to hire dog handlers and a dog bather.
For more information, call Bark Avenue at (206) 232-2366 or visit www.barkavenuemi.com. Bark Avenue’s address is 7605 S.E. 27th St., Suite 154.
Bark Avenue services
Dog Daycare: full day up to 12 hours, $25; half day up to six hours, $12.50. $35 for multiple pets up to a full day.
The daycare includes daily walks, a snack, group and individual play times, naps and a meal.
Other services for dogs include bathing, nail trimming, tooth brushing and ear cleaning. Bark Avenue also offers in-home pet sitting for $35 per night and cat bathing. Dog training, full grooming and a spa package will be available soon.
Other Island pet services
Petcetera offers in-home pet sitting and may be contacted at (206) 232-3775.
Boarding for cats is available at Island Cats Veterinary Hospital, 3024 78th Ave. S.E., www.islandcats.com, (206) 232-2837.