FREEPORT As a dog lover and a lifetime pet owner, Brooke Baran of Freeport is living a dream as she watches renovations take place at her new business called Brookes Barks and Recreation to open by mid-February.
It was Friday that Baran watched workers from Marks Backyard Oasis of Belvidere install a recreation therapy pool that will be used for dogs and their owners when she is ready to open her doggie daycare and exotic animal boarding facility on Meadows Drive in Freeport.
As a dog lover and lifetime pet owner, I understand the powerful bond between an owner and their furry friend, Baran said. They provide the best source of unconditional love, but sometimes we need extra help with them.
Baran is ready to provide that extra help in her new business. She plans to call herself and her fully-trained staff Bark Rangers.
Baran is also a certified Dog Guru, who completed training with an organization that helps people who want to open their own dog business. To become a certified Dog Guru, Baran took courses to help make her business successful, and to be able to offer pet owners a chance to make sure their beloved canines are taken care of in the most lovingly and trained capacity.
Baran said she has been working with dogs since she was a 16-year-old growing up in West Virginia. She used to volunteer her time at a rehabilitation center for dogs, becoming a certified dog trainer and therapy dog expert.
I loved the essence of dog training, she said. With service dogs I learned the positive approach to dog training, to be able to help train therapy dogs for veterans.
Baran moved to Freeport two years ago with her husband Ingin Baran. She knew she always wanted to own her own dog care business, and began doing research for a business plan, and looking for the right facility to turn her vision into a reality.
I want a place where dog owners can have a peace of mind when they place their dogs into the care of others, Baran said. I equate my daycare with a preschool, where the dogs will do brain games while at daycare.
The brain games that Baran speaks of is about using tools and training to keep the dogs brain active, which will include games and activities like bobbing for balls. The idea is to have the dogs spend time with a Bark Ranger in small groups for each activity.
Brain games help the dog engage in learned play to give them a chance to think, she said.
The therapy pool is large, measuring 12 feet by 24 feet. This is hydro therapy, which is beneficial to canine exercise for various ailments or just exercise. Baran said the pool therapy will strengthen muscles.
Marilyn Smit of Freeport said she is excited for the new business to be part of the landscape of Freeport.
I see this as a great addition to Freeport, Smit said. This is a different kind of business, and the therapy pool is the closest one to Freeport. I know local veterinarians are excited to be able to have a therapy pool for their clients.
Bran said she plans to have one trained Bark Ranger for no more than 10 dogs. There will also be a chance for one-on-one training. Baran is building on a curriculum for her brain games training and is excited for the public to be part of something different for their dogs.
While the business will not be a kennel for dogs, Baran will offer boarding for people with exotic animals, like bunnies, parrots and other non-traditional pets.
Engaging the dog between brain and nose is something extra than a traditional walk, Baran said. Its basic psychology for dogs and their owners.
Baran plans to have a soft opening for her business by mid-February, with a hard opening by March. Brookes Barks and Recreation is located at 420 W. Meadows Drive in Freeport. For more, visit http://www.brookesbarksandrec.com.
Jane Lethlean; firstname.lastname@example.org; @DOGWMN2
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