Dog Rental Biz Booming in Butte

from The Butte Beagle – June 25, 2015
by Estelle Marmotbreath

Everywhere one sees people walking dogs…All shapes and sizes of dogs…and not just in Totem Pole Park or Bad Dog Alley either but up and down Elk Avenue. Sometimes it’s tough to tell who owns whom or better yet…who is renting man’s best friend for the day?

Renting a dog is easy and fun A visitor to the town can hire an escort of sorts and better fit in to a place gone dog-happy decades ago. Today there are no less than seven dog rental agencies operating in Gunnison and Hinsdale Counties and all are anticipating a strong fiscal showing in the second quarter.

“Small, happier dogs are the rage now and should finish well into the next two month span. Seasons change along with trends which go a long way toward dictating behavior on the street,” said Dag Katz, owner of pioneer Doggie No Bite Canine Rental, recognized as the father of the dog rental profession. “We offer all sorts of dogs since the weather up here is very kind to them. No fleas either,” he said.

“Of course when winter returns we will be beset with requests for Huskies, Malamutes and a Saint Bernard or two…the usual large, snow maniac/fireplace decoration. We should be taking delivery on out winter line any day now,” he fretted. “I just hope they get the sizes and colors straight.”

The expenses mount up to include training, nurturing and grooming as well as feeding, shots, collars, dishes and kennels.

“A person can spend a fortune feeding dogs in the off-season,” but without a secure staff in place we cannot handle demand during the high visitor months. Our dogs are good,” he smiled.

After six weeks of stringent obedience school each of our canines earns an associate degree in hospitality studies from Western State. All have mastered hand gestures, travel in the rear of pickups, fetch, howling at the moon and sitting outside bars for hours waiting for the most important person on earth to emerge from his darkened hole.

Fees run from $200 per day for more exotic breeds while an average “townie” brings $25. All have grown up here under the harsh totalitarian leash laws, but otherwise stressless environs. Be advised: If you have your heart set on a Golden Retriever on a Saturday in the summer you had better book well in advance.

Most encounters are pleasant although Katz recalls an episode when a otherwise gentle male German Shepherd named Z-Max kept a family of 4 at bay in the entryway when it became clear that they had neglected to return from the restaurant with a treat bag for Z-Max.

“They could be there still for all we know,” laughed Katz. “Usually my dogs can sniff out a turkey in the beginning. Imagine the rudeness of returning empty-handed to the lair. I think Z-Max felt like a cheap time share.”

And now, right on the heels of advancements in dog hair repellent Katz has announced a new line of pooper bags that are purchased outright by the environmentally conscious consumer.

“They are made of strong, bio-degradable dog poop and we don’t want them returned to us,” said Katz, turning serious for a moment. – Felix the Cat

Filed Under: Lifestyles at Risk


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