The Story of MoonDoggy Ranch
Founded in 2006 by Andrea Vincent, MoonDoggy Ranch stretches over three acres, including an enclosed 1.5 acre play area which is fully visible from the house. Doggie guests have lots of space to run, play, fetch, and nap. On rainy days, dogs who want to be out of the house can hang out in the remodeled garage, which offers a soft couch for napping and plenty of room to play.
The family house is the real attraction for nervous guardians. Dogs live with Vincent, her husband and their two kids in their large home. The family-friendly living space is one of MoonDoggy Ranchís biggest selling points. Unlike kennels, where dogs are confined to cages or small "guest suites," at MoonDoggy they can roam from room to room, getting full-time love and attention from a four-person family and playing with the other dogs as often as they please.
Vincentís first dog business, MoonDoggy Dog Walking Adventures, was founded in 1997 and was voted Best of Marin in 2006 by the Pacific Sun.
"MoonDoggy Dog Walking Adventures provides off-leash hikes for people who want to get their dogs off the beaten path and out there smelling and sniffing," Vincent explains.
"I grew up hiking with my dog, Dusky, and I realized that a business such as this could fill a special niche."
After Vincent and her husband purchased their three acres in Sonoma County, she addressed another niche need for a dog day care/boarding service catering to working and traveling people who want to leave their beloved dogs in a happy, comfortable home environment while they are away. Their new business, MoonDoggy Ranch, was soon written up in Fetch the Paper.
"There are no cages here," Vincent explains. "There are no kennels. If people want to bring a crate, thatís fine. Doggy boarders bring their own beds and their own food and they have their smell at my house. As long as the dogs are family oriented and non-aggressive, they fit in just fine."
Dog guardians provide their own food for their petís stay, and Vincent will cheerfully serve anything from kibble dinners to raw food or cooked food diets that take extra time to prepare. "If they just have kibble, I also like to give them Chicken Soup for the Soul," says Vincent. "Or sometimes I make them homemade chicken broth. I also do a really extensive intake procedure to determine what each dogís needs are in terms of food. I know which ones canít eat other things, and only give them their own food."
Vincent strives to provide her canine charges with a comfortable and safe home environment, and she is careful about the guests she accepts. Owners donít have to worry about their gentle Beagle mix being taken down by a Pomeranian with a nasty temper.
"My goal is safety," Vincent says. "I have people up for a tour of the ranch and I do an intake screening and watch the dogís behavior. I have turned clients away based on both aggressive and non-aggressive issues."
Vincent spends a lot of time playing with and observing the dogs, and is always aware when one of her boarders isnít feeling well. "People leave us emergency contacts, and we call them if anything comes up," Vincent's long history working with dogs has helped her to forge good relationships with several local veterinarians. "And my brother-in-law is a vet," she adds. "I can call him at any hour."
Vincent guarantees that MoonDoggy guests will get lots of exercise. "Itís very adventurous here. My husband and I take turns taking the dogs out and we do laps on our back acre. While weíre running, Iíll be singing their names and using the Chuck-It to throw their ball, and kicking a big soccer ball."
When the days warm up, Vincent turns on the sprinklers and fills up baby pools and plays with the dogs in the water to cool them off.
"Itís like coming to doggy camp," Vincent laughs. "After the dogs leave, a lot of my customers call to tell me ĎMy dog is so bummed that heís home!í Sometimes when a person comes to get her dog, the dog will look out the door and stand by me and refuse to get in the car. They just donít want to leave."