INDIANAPOLIS —Has it been a while since you've trekked to your favorite dog bakery? Or even went on an extended walk due to social distancing?
Well, if you're looking for a way to get your four-legged kiddo's spirits up, they'd be quite a lucky dog to retreat at this Indianapolis daycare.
"Literally, if the dogs are loose in the parking lot, we've got a better shot of them coming in our doors than going anywhere else. They'd rather come here and play," Robin Herman, the owner of 'Lucky Dog Retreat,' said.
Lucky Dog Retreat on the northeast side of Indianapolis has been doing all-around dog services since 2006.
Herman and her staff offer daycare, boarding, training and adoption services. In a typical day, pre-pandemic, they serviced 80 to 90 dogs per day in their 6,000 square feet play area.
"The dogs are out until the time they leave," Herman said. "A lot of daycares only do part-time during the day, and our guys are out there all the time. We've got 6,000 square feet of play area for them and open webcams with no passwords. Anybody can look at any time."
After working for McDonald's for nearly 30 years, Herman decided it was time to turn her weekly passion volunteering into a full-time career of saving and protecting dogs.
"I wanted a place the dogs could have fun and ... I could make enough money to feed myself and foster dogs from the pound," Herman said.
Herman has since saved 1,149 dogs from kill shelters.
"I wanted to do something to where I could help more dogs," Herman said. "You can make money working with dogs, but sometimes it's not in their best interest. I wanted to open something where dogs loved coming here."
Lucky Dog Retreat had anywhere from 80 to 90 dogs per day at their care center; now they're down to 30.
Currently, the majority of their consistent clientele right now is coming from two miles up the road at Community Hospital North.
"We want to make sure to be here for them," Herman said. "We service a lot of doctors and nurses at Community, and we are a shelter — closing is not really an option. I want to be there for my customers and the dogs."
As healthcare workers are busy working on the front lines of this pandemic, they can rest assured that their doggo's are safe and smiling.
The purpose of the care center is always to save as many dogs as it can, Herman said, but right now she is seeking to help out those dog-parents who may need a safe place their dogs can roam and play.
"Lots of times they're doing conference calls at home, and they're like, 'here, please take my dogs,'" Herman said, laughing.
Herman is shooting for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Daily procedures are still the same, even with a smaller staff than usual.
"We've had an awful lot of generous customers. We've had people that were boarding for spring break and had to cancel their boarding, but told us we could keep the deposit," Herman said. "So, ya know, we've had a lot of really good people do what they can to help."
Lucky Dog is currently fostering five dogs that are up for adoption.
Herman is also offering certified training through zoom starting at $90 for four weeks.
"We're doing them, right now, online. And then hopefully we'll be able to meet up again soon. Cause its hard to train a dog online," Herman said.
Lucky Dog Retreat
5990 E 71st St
Open everyday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.