In my family, dogs are more than companions. They’re our vigilant protectors, hunting buddies, and sometimes even our teachers. A playful dog can be a constant source of entertainment and create lifelong memories, or buffer us against loneliness.
Sure, sometimes our dogs can be a pain in the neck. Most of us find our investment of time, attention, and money to be more than worth it for the loyalty and love our dogs give us in return. But what do we do when our canine friends can’t join us when we travel?
That can be a real dilemma for dog owners. My twin sister, Laura, is constantly seeking her next adventure as she off-roads, goes fishing, or hikes to a hidden lake somewhere. This year a trip took her on a flight to the other side of the country, and this devoted dog mom was very concerned about her boys, Bandit and Casper. How could she ensure they received great care while she was gone?
They are used to daily walks and playing at the dog park, and leaving them in a traditional kennel for two weeks was something she just couldn’t do. Truth be told, it’s as much about taking care of her anxiety for the dogs as it is about their care. For dog owners like Laura, there’s Camp Bow Wow.
Passion for Pets
The owners of Salt Lake City’s Camp Bow Wow, Juan and April Prado, are passionate about dogs. Before becoming owners, they were staff members. April was a full-time dog trainer and counselor for the camp, while Juan cared for the facility itself as a side gig. When the previous owner was ready to retire, Juan and April’s passion prompted her to offer them Camp Bow Wow.
Both are well educated and were on great career paths when they decided to make a change. April loves dogs about as much as a sane person can, but she and Juan are a team. When asked how he felt as they were making that decision together, Juan said, “I support my wife. I knew she was going to succeed no matter what.” It was a chance for them to go after something they were both passionate about.
April and Juan wear several hats while they keep Camp Bow Wow running like clockwork. April focuses on training dogs and helping new owners adjust to their new responsibilities. Juan fetches the business end of the stick, handling operations.
In his previous career, Juan guided young people through the juvenile justice system, using his expertise in criminology and counseling to get them back on track. Now, as a business owner who employs many young people, he sees Camp Bow Wow as an opportunity for him to continue helping young people grow, learn about leadership, and become problem solvers.
A Vacation That Dogs Dream Of
Instead of a cramped kennel that they can barely turn around in (basically jail), dogs staying at Camp Bow Wow have spacious cabins. They can spend most of the day playing in one of the indoor or outdoor play yards with their fellow campers, supervised by enthusiastic camp counselors. The staff handles grooming, feeding, and making sure dogs like Bandit get their daily medication.
As fantastic as this all-inclusive dog resort is, what sealed the deal for Laura was the camp’s live webcams that let her check in on Bandit and Casper anytime she pleased. For dog moms like her, Camp Bow Wow provides more than just canine care; they provide peace of mind.
With all this fun going on, I am left with just one question: Will they let me go to camp, too?