Updated June 4, 2020

Hello Pack Parents,

We hope this peemail finds everyone in good health, and the best spirits possible in these unprecedented, difficult times.

A lot of folks have begun asking about boarding. And with D.C. starting its phased re-opening, daycare numbers have begun to rise. After sorting out how to do so safely and with reliable continuity, we have decided to reopen our doors for regular boarding services! Everyone is welcome, not just essential boarders.

Please email the office to make reservations starting June 11th!

Your boarding fur babies will be loved around the clock. However, we will not be restoring daycare on weekends just yet. Our daycare hours will remain Monday through Friday although with slightly longer hours as folks start to return to work – 7 AM to 7 PM. On Saturday, we will remain closed for daycare or boarding drop off/pick ups. If we only have one or two boarders, your pups will go home with managers Beth or Bethany – though during weekdays they will be at daycare. If we have more boarding reservations, boarding will be at Dog Ma and then of course we will be staffed 24-7 weekends and weekdays to care for our boarders. Boarding pickups and drops offs will be available on every day but Saturday. For Sunday, please email the office to arrange a time between 12-5 PM.

We miss seeing everyone and hope you will consider returning soon. And for those who have brought their fur babies in, thank you! ! It’s been a joy to see some of the old crew. And, unexpectedly, we are getting a lot of new applicants and meetings some sweet dogs at trial days and then at play.

We have come up with procedures and practices (and a small ocean of bleach, gallons of hand sanitizer and lots of PPE including a touch free thermometer to take employee  temperatures daily as they come in) to keep staff and clients safe. So, we are ready to expand services. As we do, we plan on operating with block staffing – three different “clean” teams that do not overlap.

By scheduling staff this way, we will both maximize our ability to stay open if, heaven forbid, someone on the team has an exposure and minimize possible exposures for staff and clients. (We would quarantine the team that has the exposure and sub in the reserve team.)

So, please email us to make daycare reservations if at all possible – we want to make sure that as more pups are coming in, we have the right number of staff, and, especially since the PPP runs out before the end of June, we do not want to call folks in if only a few dogs will be playing on any given day. And email for boarding too!

We are very relieved to share with everyone that so far our intensified bleach cleaning, maskwearing, hand sanitizing gooping, etc. protocols have kept everyone healthy as more staff began to come back in.

Our staff will be wearing face masks to make our clients safe. We ask our clients do the same to keep our staff safe. You will see a sign outside the gate that reminds you to put on a face mask.

Those who fail to do so will have Izzy set on them! OK, all that would happen is him flipping over for belly rubs, but seriously, please please do not come in the gates without a mask and please do sanitize your hands with the sanitizer between the first and second gates on the right side. We are bleach spraying on the regular, but cannot get the latches after each use.

We have three more weeks of the PPP covering everyone’s salaries. Paws crossed that the phased reopening works safely and by the time the PP period ends, more folks will be using daycare and boarding so we can have enough business to keep the staff covered without PPP!

Thanks and please take good care,
Lori, Beth and Bethany

P.S. Izzy is hoping soon he can get back to sending the peemails, and in the interim wants all of his four-legged friends to know that pool season has started and he misses splashing his buddies. So, come on in, the water is fine!


Updated March 25, 2020

Dear Dog-Ma Packsters,

We hope this note finds everyone healthy and safe.

Dog-Ma plans to remain open, unless and until the D.C. government requires us to shut down, for as long as our clients need our services. The city has provided conflicting guidance on doggy daycare status under D.C. Mayor Bowser’s order last night on closure of additional non-essential businesses. (The Mayor’s list of essential businesses includes “animal care services,” but does not explicitly list doggy day cares.)

We are keen to stay open so we can continue to pay as many staff for as long as possible AND provide everyone’s pups with a safe place to get healthy exercise and play and to provide essential boarding services.

So, to further maximize the health and safety of our staff and clients, starting Friday we will be operating a bit differently. Our goal is to be able to provide your pups and you with the services you need and want, while minimizing an unnecessary people-to-people contacts, including by reducing operating hours so staff who rely on public transportation to get to work can stay home.

Hours will now be 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM weekdays, with no weekend daycare. Boarding will be done via home stays with managers Beth and Bethany and we ask folks to only board for essential needs, as space is limited. (So, for instance, for our clients who board during their hospital shifts, military watch-duty shifts, etc. we will continue to be able to give your pup loving boarding care while you are working, fear not!) 

Given we now have about one-quarter the normal number of dogs attending daycare since March 9, we have had to cut staffing hours. (That said, to try to keep hours up, for the past two weeks we have had staff coming to in do painting and doing other work that we had budgeted to contract out later this summer.) We would like to offer a special thanks to the clients who have contacted us to continue to pay despite not needing to bring in your pups right now. Though you did not request this, we will keep your payments on your account as credit forward.

For anyone else who is able, please consider paying forward for future daycare or boarding and we will credit your account. We would like to keep as many staff getting paid for as long as possible. And also, we want to make sure we have funds to cover healthcare even if we are shut down. (And yes, we will be applying for the DC emergency small business relief program, because the rent, insurance and other fixed costs continue whether we are open or shut…)

That’s all for now. We will be back in touch as needed. Take good care everyone.

-Lori, Beth and Bethany