Happy Tails Dog Day Camp finds new home in Greenfield

  • Rachael Jaquay, owner of Happy Tails Dog Day Camp, Assistant Manager Alicia Peters and Daisy greet guests at their new location on Davis Street in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Rachael Jaquay, owner of Happy Tails Dog Day Camp at 427 Davis St. in Greenfield, says the new location allows her to accept more dogs to the day-care program and have multiple play groups running at once. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The quiet space at Happy Tails Dog Day Camp on Davis Street in Greenfield. Owner Rachael Jaquay holds Beans. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Happy Tails Dog Day Camp Assistant Manager Alicia Peters and owner Rachael Jaquay with sitting guests Phoenix, Nacho and Daisy. Beans is watching. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The outdoor play space at Happy Tails Dog Day Camp on Davis Street in Greenfield. Staff photo/Paul Franz

  • Beans ventures around at Happy Tails Dog Day Camp on Davis Street in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Happy Tails Dog Day Camp opened last week at 427 Davis St. in Greenfield. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 9/17/2020 12:25:12 PM

GREENFIELD — Those looking for more socialization for their furry friends are in luck, as Happy Tails Dog Day Camp has found a new home on Davis Street.

Owner Rachael Jaquay said her business, which had operated out of her Greenfield home until last week, began to take shape when she got her dog, Buster Brown, about eight years ago. Her companion needed a lot of exercise, so the two would go on lots of hikes, where they would meet other dogs and their owners.

“We would set up play dates and it got to the point where we had a Sunday play group that would have 10 dogs in my yard,” she said. “So I thought, ‘This would be a great job.’”

It has now been four years since Jaquay left her job with the Greenfield Parks & Recreation Department and founded Happy Tails. Naturally, for a dog lover, there are some perks to the job.

“I play with dogs all day and snuggle them whenever I want, and I get paid to do it,” Jaquay said.

With its new space, Jaquay said Happy Tails can accept more dogs to its day-care services and have multiple playgroups running at once. The location may have been open sooner, but Jaquay explained she turned in the proper paperwork to the Zoning Board of Appeals on the day the city shut down this past spring, and the pandemic delayed the business’ timeline.

In the meantime, Jacquay said numerous volunteers, including her husband, helped renovate the space — formerly the home of a furniture manufacturer — ahead of Happy Tails’ opening.

Currently, Jaquay and Assistant Manager Alicia Peters are the only employees, but they are looking to add to their team. The two are both certified in animal CPR and first aid, trained in canine body language and behavior, and members of the International Boarding & Pet Services Association and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Potential new hires must carry the same certifications, Jaquay said.

Pet owners are signing up quickly for Happy Tails’ services, Jaquay said. Each owner and pet first engages in an interview process.

“I’m interviewing new dogs every single night, and getting inquiries each day,” she said.

In an interview, Jaquay said she assesses a dog’s level of energy, giving her an initial sense of the dog’s temperament and demeanor — although she said this can sometimes be difficult without seeing them interact with other dogs. Even if a dog is timid in a meeting, they can come out of their shell once they get to the day camp. Mainly, Jaquay said she looks for any signs of aggressive behavior.

Jaquay also noted that not all dogs like to play energetically, and Happy Tails accommodates dogs that may have separation anxiety, or a calmer demeanor and whose owners don’t want to leave them alone to go to work.

For Jaquay, that’s an easy problem to solve in her own life, as Buster Brown, who is now 9 years old, goes to work with her every day. While he doesn’t play as much as when he was younger, Jaquay said Buster Brown still loves to meet the new dogs that come to the day camp.

Happy Tails is open at 427 Davis St. Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Half-day and full-day care options are available.

To schedule an interview, call or text 413-77HAPPY (413-774-2779). More information, including a schedule of day services and costs, can be found online at happytailsgreenfield.com or on the Happy Tails Dog Day Camp LLC Facebook page.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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