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A Dog's Life

Curtis Cartier gets the scoop on the doggie daycare facility Bed and Biscuits.

By Curtis Cartier

DEALING with 70 dogs and cats every day can be a challenge. Dealing with 70 dog and cat owners every day can be downright maddening. But for Meghan Jenkins, manager of Bed and Biscuits pet day-care and grooming in Santa Cruz, both the two-legged and the four-legged species that walk through the door of this quirky 17th Avenue veterinary-clinic-turned-pet-spa have their perks.

"You've obviously got to love dogs and cats if you're going to work here," she says over the yaps of a particularly excited guest. "Pet owners really love their animals, and sometimes they don't have the people skills that others do. But since we're all dog--and cat--people here, we have a connection with them right away. And the employees that don't deal well with people? They work in the back where they can just be around the pets."

For 15 years, Bed and Biscuits has been a "home away from home" for local pets. For about $30 per day, a furry guest who checks in to the posh resort can expect two walks, a customizable meal plan, supervised play time in the trampoline-equipped "doggy and kitty gym" (not, presumably, during the same hours) plus all the snacks they can beg for and all the rumps they can sniff. For Baby and Elvis, a fluffy and fragile Maltese and a curious but wary Labrador mutt, it sure beats the kennel.

"I'll be at home trying to get some paperwork done and Elvis will look at me with those big amber boo-hoo eyes because I'm not playing with him," says Shawn Hegarty, a local pet owner who's come to retrieve her "babies." "So I bring them here because I know they'll get to play and have fun and I won't feel guilty. Elvis even gets his favorite food: cottage cheese."

Bed and Biscuits also houses a handful of adoptable dogs and cats like Giselle and Penguin, two fluffy poodles in need of a home, and Ferris, a big black cat with a love of laps and a penchant for drooling. All told, it's a place where pets are free to be pets and people are free to be picky.

"We just try to give animals just as much love as they get at home," says Jenkins. "And that can be a whole lot of love."


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