— By BRIAN SMITH
It’s pretty obvious from the first moment you meet Jan and Gary Montgomery, they are dog people.
From the “doggie doorbell” that lets the couple know people are there to the breeding the couple do of Yorkie terriers to the small dog grooming business Jan has, which she says has about 1,000 clients right now, dogs are the Montgomery livelihood. The Montgomerys have decided to expand their business even further with the opening of Fuzzy Feet Pet Hotel behind the couple’s residence at 248 Harmony Circle just south of Weatherford off Tin Top Road.
Jan said she has been grooming dogs for about seven years after moving to Texas to be closer to her husband’s family. Montgomery Street in town is named after his family. While being in an unfamiliar place, Jan said she was looking for something to do and Gary’s cousin got her interested in grooming. She estimates grooming about 1,000 dogs a year, all by appointment only and all under 30 pounds,
Clients suggested the couple develop a pet hotel/boarding house for people to bring their pets and the idea was born, Jan Montgomery said.
“We built the hotel itself on weekends,” Jan, who is also certified in pet first aid and CPR, said. “We’re really trying to build this part of the business.”
Gary Montgomery said sometimes the hotel can be empty or completely full. The couple does get a lot of referrals and repeat business for a job well done. Fuzzy Feet has room for seven pets right now but is planning on expanding to 12 pet runs as soon as a hotel office can be built, Gary Montgomery said.
There is plenty of room to expand the pet hotel on the 2.5-acres on the couples’ property. Each of the seven “rooms” has a mural inside it and a different name, such as Beach or Hawaiian. Gary said guests and their owners also receive mementos of their stay with a bookmark stating what room they stayed in to make it more fun for everyone.
The “rooms” are floor to ceiling high, so the animal doesn’t feel cramped. Gary says many smaller animals are taken by their owners on vacation while larger dogs need a place to stay.
Gary says he walks the dogs between four and five times a day but many of the dogs are able to find their way to do their business through doggie flaps.
The couple’s business will continue to expand, as Jan is looking to become certified n working with animals wh may have issues with their skin and coat and provide therapy for them.
For more information on Fuzzy Feet Pet Hotel, call 817-565-3556.