Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 3:08:51 PM by Edward Knittel
It's been a long, hot summer here in Chicago but the feel of autumn is finally in the air. It's great to finally cool off and take a breather. But that doesn't mean that we're going to stop moving. Here at KennelSource we've been busy working on some new ideas for Pawtracker™ that we think will change the way you and your customers look at kennel management.
But before we jump ahead of ourseleves we figured it was time to add and update some bits of Pawtracker™. And as always the updates and changes are immediately available in all of our accounts. There's no additional charge. There's nothing that you need to do. Just login and enjoy!
Source List and Source List Report
Client Credits Report
Products Sold Report
Fix: Product description field length
Dataset preparation for Client Extranet
Should you have any questions, please contact us at support at kennelsource dot com or 800-610-9054. We appreciate your business!
More information from Pawtracker™
Tuesday, September 27, 2005 at 2:33:31 PM by Debbie Jacobs
Lucky Pawz: A Four-Legged Friendship Launches a Four-Partner Doggie Daycare
Macy Koller and Sully Kelly weren't always the best of friends. What began as a chance meeting in a local Iowa City park quickly led to regular after-work play dates. One thing led to another, and soon Macy and Sully weren't just meeting in the park, they were working together, where they could run and play all day long.
Sound like your typical workday? Probably not. But what if we told you Macy and Sully are dogs? And while these pups didn't actually start a business, they did inspire their four owners, Jim Kelly, Megan Kelly, and Jake and Brooke Koller, to set up shop as dog daycare and boarding facility, Lucky Pawz.
"We saw a need that wasn't being addressed in our community," said Jim Kelly. "City ordinance forbids dogs from running around 'off leash,' but we saw firsthand the benefits of our play dates. Not only did the dogs love playing together, but the exercise also really calmed them down in the evenings. A tired pup is a happy, less destructive, better socialized family pet."
Launched in Iowa City in July 2003, Lucky Pawz has since doubled in size to 8,000 sq. ft. of doggie play space, including almost 4,000 sq. ft. outdoors. Lucky Pawz doggie daycare clients are kennel free for the entire day (unless they need a time out!) surrounded by colorful walls and playground equipment, where they sniff and fetch and climb and swim all day long. Lucky Pawz has room for up to 70 dogs, with most regular clients coming 2 - 3 times a week to play. How do they know these dogs are having a good time? "We've had several owners tell us that all they have to say is 'Lucky Pawz' and their dogs go crazy!"
"Lucky Pawz only offers daycare and boarding," continued Kelly. "We made a decision early on to focus on what we love and what we do best: doggie love and playtime. These dogs are played with and cared for by handlers who love dogs. We even have one employee who sits and reads children's books to the dogs that sit in a circle around her!"
Given its proximity to the University of Iowa campus, many of Lucky Pawz employees are students who miss their own dogs back home and come to work to get their "doggie fix." All four owners interview prospective dog handlers at once, an intimidating process, but one that ensures Lucky Pawz is staffed with responsible dog lovers who understand that the job can be great fun, but it's still a job; keeping the facility spotless and the dogs exercised and happy takes unlimited patience and lots of energy. Slackers need not apply!
And neither should playground bullies. Like most daycare and boarding facilities, Lucky Pawz requires that doggie clients are spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all vaccinations. But they also take great care to ensure aggressive dogs don't compromise the safety of the staff and other pups. Some dogs are shy at first, hesitant to join the group. Handlers help these quiet pups to warm up to playtime and find their place in the group. But aggressive dogs can be dangerous for both handlers and hounds alike. "Dogs are pack animals, they establish a hierarchy right away," explains Kelly. "Groups are always changing, and as new dogs are introduced, the hierarchy changes and adapts to the new makeup of the group. When we first opened, we thought that the dogs should be grouped by size, when in fact, playground harmony has more to do with personality than size; many of our small dogs like to run with the big dogs and vice-versa." No matter the size, proper screening ensures no group is ever confronted by a bully on the playground!
Lucky Pawz boarding clients are part of those groups, as they are free to play with all of the daycare dogs during the day. Every night, happily worn-out from a day of games and general doggie carousing, these happy hounds relax in the comfort of large kennels-kennels so large that dogs from the same family can sleep side-by-side at a discounted price.
"We already have some boarding reservations for the holidays, which, like the summer time and the University spring break, are a busy time for us," said Kelly. "We're open every day of the year except Christmas Day. Walk-ins are always welcome, if we have the space." But don't wait until the last minute to make your reservations, you may find there's no room at the inn! Thanks to the PawTracker software by KennelSource, Lucky Pawz tracks all clients and schedules electronically, making it simple to secure reservations up to a year in advance.
Lucky Pawz doesn't just leverage technology for tracking clients and reservations. It receives fan e-mail from across the globe for its online doggie photo gallery at www.luckypawz.com. Cleverly captioned photos are posted daily and are archived on the site for a full year. Dog parents love to see what their canine kids are up to during the workday or while they are on vacation. Word has quickly spread to friends, relatives, and random Internet visitors from as far away as London and Iraq, who flock to the site to check in on daily hound happenings-always good for a belly laugh or two, especially as All Saints Eve draws near.
Every Halloween, Lucky Pawz is transformed into Spooky Pawz, complete with a haunted house and costume contest. Jim Kelly calls upon his degree in sculpture to help create stuffed ghouls perfect for gnawing and climbing on by the costumed canines, who stay dressed up at least until the photo session is over! "Last year we had a German Shepherd puppy come dressed in a nightgown and cap with a doll in a red cape attached…he was the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood!" said Kelly. The costume party has become so popular they are holding Spooky Pawz over a few days this year so more dogs-or pumpkins, cheerleaders, court jesters and ballerinas-can take part in the festivities.
Kelly and his three partners have a lot to celebrate, and their enthusiasm and love of all things canine often takes shape in charitable donations. Lucky Pawz recently sponsored a local Paws in the Park event, and Kelly sits on the board of Johnson County Dog Park Action Committee (www.jcdogpac.org), a local group building the city's first sanctioned dog park. Getting the park built to the benefit of all local dogs, whether they visit Lucky Pawz or not, brings the business full circle, and speaks to the owners' dedication to happy, well adjusted dogs everywhere.
The owners' commitment to Lucky Pawz and its four-legged charges is obvious: three of the four entrepreneurs also hold other jobs, but still find time to improve the facility and to experiment with new programs and offerings. The latest example: an upgraded rubberized floor that will not only improve the look of the facility, but make it easier to clean and more comfy during playtime, whether running on two legs or four. Lucky Pawz, indeed!
More information from Lucky Pawz
Friday, September 23, 2005 at 4:13:17 PM by Edward Knittel
Although the Dog Fancy website isn't "officially" stating it yet, the Chicago Tribune has announced that Dog Fancy magazine has christened Chicago "Dogtown USA," naming it the most-pooch-friendly city in the whole doggone nation. In other words:
Think Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live" rankings, but for the four-legged set.
Isn't that something?! It puts a big grin on our faces to know that this great city of Chicago is the best place in America to be if you're a dog. Personally, we couldn't agree more!
Earlier this year, the magazine, which has about a quarter-million circulation, called on dog lovers to submit their picks for the best cities for pooches. Readers submitted 101 towns, and editors winnowed out places that don't have leash laws or do have breed-specific legislation, such as laws that ban pit bulls. A ban on pit bulls was proposed by Chicago Ald. Ginger Rugai (19th) but never acted upon by the City Council. The magazine believes animals should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, said Dog Fancy editor Susan Chaney.
The article goes on to list a number of reasons why Chicago is where dogs like to be. With the dog friendly beaches, parks, and even hotels Chicagoans love doing things with their dogs and they can't imagine having to leave them behind. I also liked the part where the Tribune mentions that outside the Engine 55 firehouse in Lincoln Park, firefighters keep a hydrant trickling into a bucket for thirsty hounds passing by and hand out dog biscuits as though the pups were costumed kids at Halloween.
Hopefully Dog Fancy will have have some information on their website real - otherwise we're just going to have to wait for the November issue to come out.
Congratulations, Chicago! We're glad to be in the best city for dogs. We wouldn't have it any other way.
More information from Chicago Tribune
Wednesday, September 07, 2005 at 10:18:08 AM by Edward Knittel
When we were first developing our dog kennel application, Pawtracker™, one of the requirements we set out to meet at the very beginning was allowing our clients to have control of their data. Afteral, your client and pet information is what runs your business. It's not difficult to imagine that without it your day-to-day operations would come to a halt.
We knew early on that we didn't want to keep clients by making it hard for them to leave and use a different application. You wouldn't accept that from your bank, phone or cable company so why should you put up with it with your choice of software? Keeping customers by making them feel like it's too hard or too much work to switch applications if they're unhappy with your product is not going to foster a healthy relationship. It will only make them angrier. We believe that being open, honest, and straight forward from the very beginning (just like in "real life" relationship) is what helps to create long lasting customers.
Which is why we make it easy for you to export your data at any time.
Tip #2: Exporting Your Data
Under "Manage" we have a page called "Export Data". Presently, you can export your Clients, Pets, Transactions, and Chart of Accounts (COA) each in their own Excel file by simply clicking a button. It's so easy that adding an image to accompany this tip is unnecessary and would only add clutter.
And while your information is backed up every day on our servers, this ability to make your own backup whenever you feel like it should also help you feel like you're in control of your data. And like I said, if for whatever reason you decide that Pawtracker™ isn't right for you just export your data and start again right where you left off.
By being open and honest it's our hope that you'll be one of our customers for a long time to come.
More information from Pawtracker™
Thursday, September 01, 2005 at 10:02:12 AM by Edward Knittel
The news about the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina seeems to be having a heavy physical and emotional toll on a lot of people. Our thoughts, prayers, and support go out to all of those who have lost so much in their life because of this tragedy. It's terrible to see so many displaced people who really have no idea where to go.
What is just as sad and disturbing is the news that so many animals have died and will continue to die in the coming days and weeks. Although nearly 80% of the residents of New Orleans, LA were able to evacuate before the city was destroyed by flooding the same cannot be said for their pets - many of whom were left behind. Many people thought that they would be able to return shortly after the storm had passed. Yes, I'm sure they expected that their dogs, cats, and other "family members" would still be there waiting for their owners just as soon as they could make it back home. But as we all know, that is not what happened and no one will be returning home any time soon.
Right now there are thousands of displaced animals who may never find a new home. The happy days of going for walks and playing with the family are no more. Just as people must have food and water to survive so must the animals. But with the focus on rescuing human lives many of these animals will simply be passed up or perhaps even euthanized.
We do not want to trivialize the importance of saving the lives of as many people as possible. But we know that of the thousands of people who visit our website every month every one of you also has a special place in your heart for all of life's creations - man and animal. If you are able to we would suggest making a donation to the Humane Society of the United States. Your donation is tax deductible and will be used exclusively for the disaster animal relief work.
More information from The Humane Society of the United States