Frequently Asked Questions
Do you currently have room for new pack members?
The Dogwood pack is currently full. I am always happy to add you to my wait list. If you are interested in Dogwood
Dogs, I recommend getting on the list now. It is typically a wait of 2-12 months. Preference is given to puppies
between 5-9 months of age, and to well socialized dogs over age three. Adolescence can be a challenging time to
introduce new dogs, especially males neutered on a later schedule. Availability for large breeds is limited.
Preference is also given to those in the heart of my service area: Columbia City, Lakewood, and Seward Park.
How many dogs are in the pack?
We have 14 dogs scheduled daily, with one flex spot for a maximum of 15 clients.
How many employees do you have?
Currently the business owner, Lisa, is the sole employee. I (Lisa) am the only person who will be caring for
your dog. We are currently hiring!
How long have you been in business?
I started my business in 1999 and celebrated my 20 year business anniversary on November 1, 2019. When I
first started, the business was called Pup's Play and I used local off leash areas. I incorporated as an S-Corp in 2006.
In 2010, I purchased the Dogwood land and changed the name of the business to Dogwood Dogs.
Where is Dogwood located?
Dogwood is located in unincorporated Redmond, on the border with Sammamish, not far from Marymoor Park.
How long will my dog be away from home?
Our active time at Dogwood is always at least 1.5 hours, and typically around 2 hours. Transit time from our last stop to the woods is approximately 22 minutes. Pick ups generally take about 1.5 hours, drop offs a little longer (depending on how much paw washing needs to happen.) So how long your dog is away from home depends on where he/she is in my pick up route. First dogs picked up (in Columbia City/Seward Park) are gone 5.5-6.5 hours; the last pick ups, in Broadmoor, are typically away for around 3 hours. I begin pick ups between 9-9:15 a.m. and all dogs are typically picked up by 11:30. Drop offs typically take place between 2-4 p.m. I do sometimes run later due to school holidays or morning appointments.
How are dogs transported to Dogwood?
I drive a 2018 Toyota Tacoma with a canopy on the truck bed. Most of the pack rides in the bed, but several dogs always ride up in the cab with me. New pack members always ride up front to begin. The canopy is well ventilated and secure.
Can you describe the Dogwood Land?
Dogwood is a 12 acre heavily wooded forest with a year-round creek. It is a healthy 90-100 year-old forest with lots of animal life for the dogs to investigate. The property is very hilly and our walks are more like hikes. The street entrance of the property is gated. Dogwood is surrounded on all other sides by 80 acres of undeveloped King County open space. These boundaries of the park are un-fenced. There are two major roads nearby. Dogwood is wilderness, and all the inherent risks present in wilderness land are present at Dogwood. Wildlife know to be in the area include, coyotes, bears, and cougars.
How do you keep track of all those dogs?
The Dogwood business is about relationships, mutual respect and trust. I feel love and respect for all of our pack members, and they grow to have respect for and trust in me. I am very careful about how I introduce new pack members, always allowing plenty of time for everyone to get comfortable. It's easy to keep track of the dogs because they want to be there, together and with me. Dogwood is their time to be doggy, to be with their friends and have experiences that are fun, stimulating and that keep them healthy. We have regular "check in" spots throughout the forest, where we pause to have treats and make sure everyone is with us. That said, our playtime is very active and full of exciting smells, and the forest is dense. There is a possibility that a dog may become separated from the pack. Dogs who are prone to wandering or are more excited by following scents than by social activity are not a good fit. I have 4 GPS trackers that attaches to a dog’s collar and track their location very precisely on my cell phone. New pack members always wear one of the collars for at least the first few weeks. Every dog wears a collar with my business name and my cell phone number on it. Dogs also all wear bells, so that we make plenty of noise to alert local wildlife to our presence. The bells also help me to track dogs auditorily when they are close by but out of sight (behind trees usually.) I request that all dogs also have a Seattle pet license and an ID with your contact information.
Are you insured?
Yes. I am insured by Pet Sitter Associates. There is a $500 deductible for any injuries that occur during off leash play. Please be aware that off-leash play does involve hazards. While the dogs in our pack are social and non-aggressive, accidents do happen. Since I began using the Dogwood land, incidents from dog conflict have been almost non-existent. But due to the uneven ground and the varied landscape of the woods, sprains and strained muscles are more common than they were at public off-leash areas. Injuries occur rarely, but when they do occur you are financially liable for any veterinary bills incurred.
What is your cancellation policy?
Dogwood outings are invoiced in a tuition style structure. Details Here.
Clients receive credit for cancellations given with adequate notice (described below.) Clients may hold 3 credits at a time, and the credits are good for 3 months.
24 hours notice required for the cancellation of any single regularly scheduled outing. If I do not receive 24 hours notice (by 9 a.m. on the day previous to the scheduled outing) you will not receive credit.
One-week notice required for the cancellation of more than one regularly scheduled walk during the same working week. If you do not notify me one week in advance you will receive credit for ½ of the regularly scheduled walks. If I receive less than 24 hours notice, you will not receive credit.
For clients on a daily schedule:
Dogs on a daily schedule are receiving a discounted rate for services ($84 per month in discounts.) Credits are applied to their accounts on a cash value basis. The $84 discount is deducted from that cash value. The maximum discounts applied per month are $120 ($204 with discount included, the equivalent of cancelling 5 outings) with a maximum annual credit of $360 (15 outings.) Credit can be used for boarding services, if available, or as a discount on a future invoice. This option is only available to daily clients.