Old Town local to open doggy daycare this year
OLD TOWN, Maine — In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, an Old Town couple is building a new business from the ground up.
Lisa Daniel has dreamed of opening her own doggy daycare business for at least a decade — and maybe even longer than that, she said.
This September she hopes to make that dream a reality by opening the doors to the Four Paws Farm, located at her home on West Old Town Road.
“This has been a dream of mine for many years,” Daniel said. For years, she worked as an administrative assistant but felt unfulfilled, leaving her dream on the backburner.
But when her 50th birthday passed, she decided to take a leap into the unknown.
As Daniel was dropping her own dogs off at the Canine Camp in Bangor one day, she turned to the owner, Hallie Tyler, before leaving, and posed a spontaneous but hopeful question: would it be possible to shadow her for a while and learn about the business?
Soon, Daniel began showing up a few days a week to learn the ins and outs of running a doggy daycare from Tyler — while balancing her own work schedule. And when a position opened up in the business, Tyler offered her the job.
“She’s been just an incredible mentor,” Daniel said of Tyler.
Working under Tyler also gave Daniel the support and training to open up her own shop.
So at the beginning of this year, the Daniels moved to a new house that has 11 acres of land, took out a business loan and started renovating their barn into a small daycare and overnight boarding center for dogs.
Daniel, who has two rescue dogs of her own, said she also wants to keep the operation relatively small with a limit of 15-20 dogs at a time, so she can pay close attention to each one.
“I’ve had 15 years of experience with rescue dogs so as you know, they all come with their own issues … I also want to be able to have a more one-on-one connection with the dogs,” she said.
She also hopes to market her business primarily to healthcare professionals who work long hours, or University of Maine faculty members who want to bring their dogs somewhere local rather than going to Bangor.
Daniel said she plans on meet and greets with potential customers to learn about their individual animals and how they will interact with other dogs at the daycare.
“I want to develop that good client base,” Daniel said. “This isn’t just about being with dogs all day. I do want to make good connections and relations with their owners.”
People can contact Lisa Daniel about the daycare at 207-991-1137 or follow updates on the business via Facebook at Four Paws Farm, LLC.