Imagine yourself as your beloved “Fido” or “Rover” as you enter a place decorated with Corbusier leather seating. It has William Wegman dog inspired fabrics and large format black and white canine portraits by well known local and national photographers. In the background a large screen TV is playing silent episodes of classic lassie reruns. It’s is a full on sensory experience for both owner and pet. A four-star getaway for your precious pooch. Think “W” hotels for the canine crowd. This is the idea Spa Woof owners Dino Maniaci and Jason Hoke have made real.
Jason is the “dog man,” Dino says. He oversees, runs and administers all daily operations. That means working with their eight employees to set the standards for care, handling and treatment of the dogs, as well as their human counterparts. He’s emphatic about the spa’s cleanliness, as well as the care given to each dog and established systems to record everything from the dog’s toys and treats, to administering medications as needed. Every dog is photographed upon arrival and recieves a name card spelling out his specific needs and care guidelines. Then, it gets posted on the door to his “suite.” Dino’s responsibilities lean more towards designing, marketing, and advertising specific events. “I created the look and feel of Spa Woof, developed all of our advertising, billboards and collateral materials. Some of those being custom shirts, mugs, caps and a must for every dog owner—frisbees. The Spa Woof signature black, taupe and orange color pallet has helped create a cohesive identity package that customers seem to appreciate.
Community building is an integral part of the Spa Woof philosophy. Dino says with pride, “Our staff has been able to participate in community mentoring programs for teens and Goodwill industries, employing persons will special needs.” Dino donated design services to the Madison Aids Support Network (now AIDS Network) as the organization was beginning to take shape. Spa Woof also participated in the Red Ribbon Affair last March and hopes to be called upon in the future to help out wherever they can.
Daily boarding and daycare are the most popular services. They offer top-notch care to close to 50 dogs each day. All dogs are screened for behavioral issues and aggressive behavior traits before they are allowed to attend. One of their most unique services is Bark-N-Ride, which allows travelers to park their car and drop-off their dog before being chauffeured to the airport. Upon their return, owners are reunited with their canine companion at the airport in their own freshly washed vehicle. Plans to develop a Spa Woof franchise program are underway in the coming year. —Tim Foster