Happy tails at Silverwood Petcare

John Shirley, Jr.

For this article, I visited Silverwood Petcare and saw their boarding and grooming facilities.
Manager Steve Watts told me some of the ways they manage a large number of dogs from various backgrounds and keep them from fighting and keep them happy. This reminded me of one of my favorite YouTube channels “Takis Shelter.”
Sure to put a smile on your face, the Takis Shelter channel features Takis, who operates a shelter on the island of Crete in Greece. None of these 400+ dogs are caged, but are separated into various smaller fenced-off groups. He frequently monitors the dogs and moves them if they aren’t getting along with their group.

Takis also has some older, injured or more sensitive dogs that he keeps in his house. In his videos, as he walks around his shelter showing his dogs, he seems to know every dog’s name. He clearly loves all his dogs and says “at Takis Shelter all dogs must have a happy tail.”
Like Takis, Silverwood Petcare knows the importance of observing and adjusting what dogs are together.
“So with dogs, sometimes they are like people,” Steve said. They have personalities and some of them are grumpy. So, if we see that we will separate them from the group.”
But dogs are social animals and are usually happier getting to hang with the pack. So Silverwood will then work to get the dogs back to the fun.
 “We will let them out often and let them walk around and pet them up,” Steve said. “Once they calm down a little we will reintroduce them to the group and see how that goes. Generally, we don’t have that many problems with the dogs.”
Takis does not sleep very soundly at his shelter. At night the dogs are all up and having what Takis calls a “party,” in which they are up playing, barking and howling. If he hears a fight going on he jumps out of bed, goes over to his balcony and yells something in Greek to stop the fight.
Steve is also happy to see dogs get excited as they do when they arrive at Silverwood.
“A lot of our clients when they bring their dogs here their dogs are excited to be here,  as opposed to fearing the place or not wanting to be here,” Steve said. “We like to focus on the dogs and love them up beyond what the service requires.”
Some lucky dogs get to look forward to seeing their friends often.
“We do have dogs who are regulars and whose dogs become friends with other clients’ dogs,” Steve said.
The main area of Silverwood is where the grooming takes place. A small probably chihuahua-mix named Teek walked around his little tan buddy. Both of these dogs are owned by staff who get to bring their dogs to work.
A woman was grooming a little dog and a dog who appeared to have just been groomed was in the kennel by the wall.
They have two day care areas with one for bigger dogs and one for smaller dogs. They also have two kennel rooms. It looked like most of the kennel dogs had a kennel buddy with them. They also have a play yard and are right next to some woods and a nice trail.
Steve mentioned how many people bring their dogs there to be socialized and not just because they need someone to watch their dog. Some people may also get their dog groomed while it is at day care.
Silverwood is also very close to the Superior Humane Society. In fact, they said they were grooming a shelter dog the day that I was there. They get referrals from the shelter and would like to do more with the Human Society in the future.
“We’ve begun coordinating with the shelter and we would like to increase that,” Steve said.
Owner Kathryn Schottmuller ensures that animals at Silverwood are treated well. She managed for 17 years at Petco. She gave her opinion on that company and tells how she tries to be different.
“I have seen things in corporations that I don’t really agree with,” said Kathryn. “They are more geared toward selling and money than they necessarily are about the welfare of anything. I like having a business where I can say ‘these are our business ethics and we are going to do what is right for the animals.’”