Dogs Treated To Bedtime Stories, Shopping Sprees at Rockville Boarding Center

Olde Towne Pet Resort opened its first Maryland location last month


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Leah Fried Sedwick opened the Olde Towne Pet Resort in Rockville last month.

Matt Mendelsohn Photography

Dogs and cats at Olde Towne Pet Resort don’t stay in cages or in kennels.

Heavens, no.

They sleep in “suites,” owner Leah Fried Sedwick explains as she’s traveling the hallways of her Rockville boarding center. After all, a growing number of people are of the opinion that pets, like everyone else, deserve to get pampered once in a while.

“Most people consider dogs a part of the family,” she said as smooth jazz played in the center, with the air temperature calibrated for the comfort of guests wearing fur coats. And the accommodations for up to 120 dogs aren’t the resort’s only offering. The center also provides a range of special services, including: “Pawlates” for pooches ($35), a “cuddle date” ($20) and a mud bath treatment (up to $50).

Fried Sedwick, who lives in Virginia, established the first Pet Resort in Springfield in 2002 and a second Virginia location about a decade later. She said she chose Montgomery County for the first Maryland center in part because of its wealth of dog lovers.

While the Wilkins Avenue resort has already been open for about a month, it will be holding an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday so that local dog and cat lovers can peek around.

Here's an advance look:

Fried Sedwick said there's one thing that should immediately strike visitors when they walk into the resort. "Do you smell or hear any dogs?" she asked. The answer is no, because she's invested in sound reduction measures and fancy technology that pumps in fresh air every three to four minutes. Credit: Matt Mendelsohn Photography.

Before owners drop off their dogs, they sit down for an interview with a resort staff member, Fried Sedwick said. Resort employees jot down notes about the dog's likes, dislikes and special requests. One pet owner said her dog likes to eat eggs, so the resort made sure to serve up the favorite food. Another client said his dog has cravings for McDonald's hamburgers. The center staff made a fast-food run each day, according to Fried Sedwick. Credit: Matt Mendelsohn Photography.

The largest "suites" at Olde Towne Pet Resort come with flat screen televisions, which are usually tuned in to an Animal Planet program or a dog-related Disney movie, Fried Sedwick said. Next to the televisions, cameras are mounted so that anxious owners can check in on their pooch via live feed. Strangely, the feeds also have a fan-base among U.K. office workers, who have emailed Fried Sedwick to say they find the dogs entertaining. Credit: Matt Mendelsohn Photography.

The resort also advertises a variety of spa services. For $15, there's a "pawicure," which includes a nail trimming and paw care. Another $15 will buy nail polish for a splash of color. There's a spa bath, hot oil treatment and something called a "blueberry facial" for brightening up white fur. Credit: Matt Mendelsohn Photography.

Fried Sedwick said all canine stays come with a minimum of three daily walks, but the resort sells packages with higher levels of attention. Pet owners can buy a "cuddle date" so that employees play with their dogs. Some people ask for their dogs to get nightly "tuck-ins" with a bedtime story (Fried Sedwick said "Go, Dog. Go!" is a favorite). The resort will feed dogs a $5 turkey dinner on Thanksgiving or take them on "personal shopping sprees" to sniff out favorite treats and toys in the boutique. Credit: Matt Mendelsohn Photography.

The resort has a swimming pool where dogs can swim laps and get a workout (for $40). Aquatic exercise is mentally stimulating for many dogs and provides low-impact activity for older canines. Pups that aren't used to the water can don a life vest, Fried Sedwick said. Credit: Matt Mendelsohn Photography.

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