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Norwich Bulletin - 11/4/2007

Twelve Years Later

It was over twelve years ago that I first met John Gagnon. At that time he had begun a dog training school that also groomed and boarded dogs. He and I had a common ground in that we both rescued and wanted to improve the plight of our homeless animals.

With Johnís specialty lying in dogs and mine in cats, we complimented each other and developed a good working relationship in our home base of Colchester. During the the time my husband and I produced the public access television show, ďPet Talk,Ē John was our weekly guest with training tips and rescue dogs looking for a new family.

The years passed and while we both continued to grow in our work. Helping Paws became exclusively a cat rescue organization and so John and I no longer had occasion to work together very often. We had brought our dogs to Johnís obedience classes and day care, but they are now 9 and 15 and pretty much stay at home dogs.

I heard his business was growing, and growing, and that he very much become one of the top people to go to for any type of dog problem. I sent him some clients that really needed his expertise, but I was doing cat behavioral counseling and our paths rarely crossed. However, I ended up seeing John out for grooming some of our rescues not long ago and boy, was I blown away with his new look!

John Gagnonís Pet Resort is exactly what its name says. Since 1995, John has succeeded in offering your pet the same type of care that they receive at home. In fact, while staying at the resort, dogs get to interact with each other, join in the daycare play, all with your assurance that the best trained kennel staff are looking after your precious companion.

There are many services offered at the facility. Doggie Daycare is the perfect answer for the over active or under socialized dog Ė as well as for all the personalities in between. Tom Sears is known to be able to calm the more spirited dogs while building confidence in the shyer ones. There is also a smaller and calmer play area for the older, smaller or shyer dogs. Something for everyone! Dogs who have experienced the daycare tend to get excited when they see the building because they know what their day is going to entail!

At the Pet Resort there are not only special rooms for dogs, but John has developed cat room which give your cats plenty of protected space. And the dogs have a lot of daily amenities, including, twice a day feeding, cleaned and sanitized dishes and fresh water at all times, exercise off leash for a minimum of two thirty minute intervals a day, central air, vented heat, radiant floors and exhaust fans that circulate fresh air 24/7. Medications are given by senior staff only and the rooms are cleaned twice a day. There are lots of rooms to choose from too, including the 112 square foot Master Suite!

Grooming is top shelf. Between the highly skilled grooming staff and the state of the art equipment used, plus the wide choice of shampoos for sensitive skin (even that special shampoo to get rid of skunk odors), cats and dogs are definitely catered to. If you take good care of your pets that need grooming and come in regularly, your cost will reflect that. If the pet has been neglected in the grooming area, the price will increase. Itís just like a beauty salon (or spa) for animals with oatmeal baths, deep conditioning treatment or an oil treatment to get rid of dry skin.

And donít forget the training. Itís not just a matter of you and your dog learning commands. It has to do with developing your relationship with your canine and learning how to communicate together. John has always believed in Positive reinforcement training and there are no harsh punishments enacted at the Resort. With his many years of training, specializing in the humane treatment of dogs with aggressive behavior, John has helped well over 200 aggressive dogs and their humans a year.

Last but certainly not least, John has his own natural dog food. I tried a bag of his dry food and both Kenya and Daisy thought it was really good. Since the ingredients are great and the dogs liked it and John is local, my dog food will come from him as of this day forward! Truly, John offers everything you could possibly need for your pet pooch.

I asked John what makes his Pet Resort different from others and he answered without any hesitation at all. ďThe difference is that the dogs love coming to the facility. They can integrate together and play, sometimes much more than they can at home. Dogs tend to pull their owners in the door after they have been here a few times.Ē His biggest compliment is when his customers tell him they tried somewhere else and their dog came back depressed and refusing to eat. That doesnít happen at Johnís.

John Gagnonís main goal was to create a place that could match what he gave his dogs at home in terms of attention, exercise, and social interaction. And that is exactly what he has done. For more information please visit

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