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New Lucky Dog facility to provide boarding, grooming and training

A good bath, good run and a comfy bed to rest. One place in Detroit Lakes is ready to provide it all.

Tripling in size, Lucky Dog Boarding and Training Center has moved to its new location in the North Industrial Park and taken in some new businesses, all geared to train, house and pamper your pet -- whatever the need may be.

Co-owners and operators Linda Livingston Wiedewitsch and Mary Holsen opened Lucky Dog Boarding and Training Center nearly two years ago. They were housed in the old industrial park in an old, cramped space.

Two years later, they have space to roam -- or rather the dogs and cats they shelter do -- in a new building in the North Industrial Park, located along Richwood Road.

Having just moved into the new building last week, there is still some work to be done on the landscaping and even the building inside. But, there's no time crunch anymore since they've moved.

Also inside Lucky Dog, there is Muttley's All Breed Dog Grooming by Erin Foley and Club Canine Daycare by Deb Atchia.

"We're all one big pack," Atchia said.

Foley said everything within Lucky Dog is complementary, from being in daycare or being boarded to slipping over to get groomed while staying in the facility.

Lucky Dog

"Our main things are boarding and training," Wiedewitsch said.

Lucky Dog offers a variety and a long list of training classes. It includes basic and advance obedience, canine good citizen, agility, rally obedience, puppy kindergarten, obedience for gun dogs, retriever training, conformation, service dogs for hearing and sight impaired, one-on-one training for those who don't like classroom settings, and herding dogs.

Classes are usually six weeks, one night a week, and those interested can call Lucky Dog for dates and times.

The 4-H dog project also takes place at Lucky Dog, for which there is obviously more room now.

"We finally have a nice location they can train in and not have to haul around equipment," Holsen said.

And the other aspect of Lucky Dog, the boarding, has grown as well. The facility, when the gates are completed, will have 27 kennels and six suites. The suites, for the "fun, high-end pampering," will include furniture and themed-kennels.

A room dedicated to therapy, recovery or just the good life includes a hydrotherapy pool and a doggy massager.

Holsen said the hydro-pool will be used for dogs that have "had surgery and need rehabilitating, keeping them in shape."

"Especially for arthritic dogs that can't get out and walk in the winter," Wiedewitsch added.

For exercise, dogs can plan on having room to run in one of the large dog parks out back.

A self-service dog wash has been installed, as well as an expanded retail area and a book and video section.

In the future, Lucky Dog will be offering a membership where cardholders can check out books and videos, and use the dog parks and the self-grooming area.

The building is set up to separate the boarding and adoptable animals from the strays and other animals brought in. Until those animals have been cleaned and gotten up to date on vaccines, they are kept in a different area.

Lucky Dog has a contract with five cities to take in strays.

"We end up with lots of dogs and cats to adopt," Wiedewitsch said.

Along with grooming and daycare, Lucky Dog is looking for a veterinarian to make the facility and staff complete. Wiedewitsch said a retired vet would be ideal, and the space is already available to rent.

The vet would be guaranteed a client base with all the animals brought into Lucky Dog, and then maybe those that would wish to bring their pet in for a grooming and shots.

Club Canine Daycare

Owner Deb Atchia said she's always wanted to begin a daycare program for dogs and now she's taken the opportunity to have her business housed in Lucky Dog.

With a Bachelor of Science in biology, Atchia said she loves animals and studying their behavior. She has worked in zoos and done animal research. Getting to watch dogs all day is "like doing research every day."

Atchia and her dogs' days consist of gathering together in the building and waiting until everyone is there. (Daycare hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.)

Once there, the dogs spend time outdoors -- more in the warmer months -- until they are tired and then come inside to rest. In the afternoon, it's back outside for more exercise.

"It's a good way to run off energy," she said, and tire them out by the time the owner's come at the end of the day to pick them up.

Some of the dogs Atchia watches are regulars, with owners dropping them off when they go to work and picking them up after work. She also has extra guests when people who are boarding dogs with Lucky Dog can ask to have their pets put in daycare throughout the day.

On average, Atchia has eight dogs a day, with a high of 17 in one day.

"A lot (of potential customers) are waiting for the new building and then it will pick up," she said of the daily numbers.

Regardless, she's enjoying watching the dogs and their interaction.

"I think it's so wonderful all these dogs can be together and spend time," she said.

The dogs are separated by size and temperament.

Atchia charges $15 a day for daycare, $10 for half a day and $8 a day for those already being boarded with Lucky Dog. If one family has more than one dog in daycare, there is also a discount.

Atchia can be reached at 841-1390,, or visit

Muttley's Grooming

Grooming should be a reward, not a punishment. Imagine not showering or brushing your hair for weeks on end.

Muttley's All Breed Dog Grooming owner Erin Foley said she wants to treat all canines to a spa-like grooming.

After grooming for five years in Fargo, Foley has returned to the Detroit Lakes area to open her new business within Lucky Dog.

When dogs come into Mutt-ley's, they are treated to two baths -- one to loosen the dirt and a second to clarify -- a conditioning treatment for a healthier looking coat, ear cleaning, toenail clipping and the groom of choice. Foley is trained in breed-specific grooming and hand scissor grooming.

In 2004, she took first place in a Minnesota Total Look grooming competition by the Minnesota Professional Pet Groomers Association.

"I can combine my love for art and love for dogs," she said of the more freestyle hand scissor clipping. "I'm basically making a form of art out of the dog's hair."

Foley said she can provide a custom cut at the owner's request or for the type of dog on her table.

"Each breed is different and unique," she said. "It's fun and makes each day different."

Besides providing a cut and cleaning, Foley noted that she provides a stress-free environment for the animal as well. She said dogs can already be stressed to come to a groomer, but she's ready to talk them through it.

She added that getting to know each client is fun because of the different personalities of the dogs.

"They're just as unique as their hair cuts."

With Foley's bathing system, dogs get cleaner for longer. She uses hypoallergenic, low-fragrance, high-quality products. She hand blow dries the dog because it gets the hair off the double-coated dogs better.

"It gives them a more finished, softer look," she said.

Foley also provides individual services like teeth cleaning, nail trimming and bathing.

Her No. 1 reason for her passion of grooming, she said, is getting to see not just how happy an owner is to see their cleaned up dog, but the pride a dog takes in itself.

"They know they look good," she said, adding it's rewarding to see a dog show its owner how clean and pretty it is.

To make an appointment with Foley, call Lucky Dog at 847-4100.

Lucky Dog is also available at, or at the new building at 1478 Mallard Street in the North Industrial Park.

"We're getting our feet wet in the new building," Holsen said. "We're cruising right along."