Dog Words

0245: CITYDOGs KC with Erin Dean & Kelsie Boren

December 01, 2021 Season 2 Episode 45
Dog Words
0245: CITYDOGs KC with Erin Dean & Kelsie Boren
Show Notes Transcript

Peaches checks out CITYDOGs KC in Kansas City’s Crossroads district with Erin Dean & Kelsie Boren.

CITYDOGs KC online:

From the Dog Words archives:
0137: Pet Nation with Author Mark Cushing
0147: Dog Behaviorist Dr. Ellen Furlong
0210: The Self-awareness of Dogs with Dr. Ellen Furlong
0216: Mixed Mutt Creamery with Sherri Corwin

Celebrate 5 years of Rosie Fund by supporting our campaign to sponsor 50 dogs. You can donate at or through our Facebook page. You can contribute by making a purchase from the store on our website or buying a t-shirt at Also check out our page on BarkYours, the online mall with gifts for people who love their dogs.

Music for this episode is provided by alternative string duo, The Wires. Visit them at Learn fiddle and cello-fiddle online — even if you've never played before — from Laurel Morgan Parks and Sascha Groshang at Join The Wires as they explore new music on their show Sound Currents.

Listen to and download The Wires’ holiday album “Winter” here.

The transcript for this episode is available on the Dog Words Buzzsprout page:

KELSIE  0:04 
You can basically take everyone in your house and come down and everyone's happy. The dogs are playing, which when the dogs are just playing, having fun, it just adds such a good energy. We've had music here during that time, live music, so it's really cool.

PHIL   0:20 
I'm Phil Hatterman and this is Dog Words presented by Rosie Fund.

Today we take Peaches to CITYDOGSs KC in Kansas City's Crossroads District to chat with Erin Dean and Kelsie Boren.

If you're new to Dog Words, in each episode, we explore the world of dog care and companionship. "We save each other," is the motto of Rosie Fund, which simply means the more we do for dogs, the more they do for us. And they already do a lot.

If you love dogs, you'll love Dog Words. We welcome your comments, questions ,and suggestions. Go to the podcast page at to share your thoughts. Please download, follow, rate, and most importantly, share Dog Words.

Celebrate five years of Rosie Fund by supporting our campaign to sponsor 50 dogs. You can donate on our website or Facebook page. You can also contribute by making a purchase from the store on our website, buying a t-shirt at, or buying our notecards and shirts on Links are in the description. Your donations and purchases help fund the Rosie Life Starter Kits that make sure these senior and harder-to-adopt dogs have some of the items they'll need in their forever home.

Please follow Rosie Fund on social media. Subscribe to the free Rosie Fund YouTube channel that offers great videos Rosie, Peaches, and shelter dogs, including some exclusive content like the wonderful KC Pet Project dog featured in our latest post.

Next time on Dog Words, author Kendra Clark tells us what to do when your pet is better than everyone else's.

The mission of Rosie Fund is to provide humans with the resources and education they need to give senior and harder to adopt dogs a better life. We thank you for joining our mission.

Today on Dog Words, we are at CITYDOGs KC with Erin Dean and Kelsie Boren. Welcome to Dog Words, Erin and Kelsie.

KELSIE  2:06 
Hi, thank you for having us.

ERIN  2:07 
Thank you.

PHIL   2:09 
We were told about this establishment by our friends at Mixed Mutt Creamery, which relocated from 39th Street to CITYDOGs KC, which is at 20th and Walnut. So they didn't have to move too far. But this is also, I think, a great location for them because even though they had foot traffic at 39th Street, it's a mixture of foot traffic. Some people with dogs. Some people without. Now they're located in sort of dog central in the Crossroads' CITYDOGs KC. Tell our listeners what CITYDOGs KC is.

ERIN  2:43 
So CITYDOGs is a dog park that also offers boarding grooming, daycare, and training for dogs.

PHIL   2:51 
And it's not just a sort of open dog park where you just run around with your dog. It's indoor. It's outdoor. What are the features of the dog park that differentiate it from what might be just someone's neighborhood park?

KELSIE  3:06 
Really, you can come here and visit the dog park. But you can also get a bath while you're here or before or after. So when you come to your services, if you want to take them out to the dog park to play before you take them home, or meet up with a friend for a drink or just hanging out. You're more than welcome to do that. So it's kind of like a one stop shop for everyone that loves dogs and wants to be around dogs.

PHIL   3:30 
It's really a continuation of that evolution—I'm just going to keep referencing past guests—so we had Sherri Corwin with Mixed Mutt Creamery. But we had author Mark Cushing on, the author of Pet Nation, talking about the evolution of our culture from having pets like cats and dogs to they are just as much a part of our family as our children. You plan your vacations around what is there available for our dog to do? Is the hotel pet friendly? What is that experience? So this just makes perfect sense to have not just a dog park, but sort of a full service dog park with all those amenities you just described. What was the inspiration for CITYDOGs KC?

ERIN  4:16 
Mostly just the need that is down here in the city where there's no green space for the dogs to run and they all live usually in lofts or apartments that are smaller homes, than you know in the suburbs, and so we just wanted to provide those services for the clientele down here.

PHIL   4:34 
Historically, people who would not get a dog being in the Crossroads, what is your clientele, typically?

KELSIE  4:40 
The people down here, they're busy, they're young, they have things going on. And they really love the events that we have going back to the fact that it is kind of a one stop shop. They can come here. We have events here where they can meet with their friends. They can meet with their family. They can come here, let their dog play and then take them next door to get ice cream or grab ice cream and then go hang out in the dog park. It's the convenience factor. And having a place where they can come and kind of do all that in one place is awesome. And we are super happy to be able to do that.

PHIL   5:13 
What kind of events are they coming to?

KELSIE  5:16 
We have First Friday events, which are always really popular. Another really fun one that we've done pretty frequently is our Pups at the Pregame. So Chiefs' games, we have food trucks out here, Touring Taps, who we work with a lot is usually here. And all the dogs are dressed in red. All the people are dressed in red. It's just kind of a place that people can come wear out there dogs. Have fun before or during the game. And their pups go home happy and the parents are happy. They're fed and have had drinks and all that fun stuff. And their dog comes home tired and it's a win-win for everyone, really.

PHIL   5:49 
You mentioned First Fridays, there aren't typically a lot of activities for dogs, or historically there haven't been for dogs at First Fridays, all kinds of great things for the adults. So to have something that not only allows but encourages someone, "Bring your dog along to First Fridays." You incorporate your dog into every experience now. First Friday, don't leave your dog behind.

ERIN  6:11 

KELSIE  6:12 
Yeah, it was really kind of funny how many people really do love it and like it. You can basically take everyone in your house and come down and everyone's happy. The dogs are playing which when the dogs are just playing, having fun, it just adds such a good energy. We've had music here during that time. Live music. So it's really cool. Yeah.

PHIL   6:33 
People who live in Kansas City, if they don't live in the Crossroads, or maybe spend enough time in the Crossroads to visualize exactly where you're at are probably having a tough time conceptualizing - dog park. Crossroads. I'm not seeing it unless it's on the lawn in front of Kauffman Center. Where is this dog park? So kind of describe where you're at and just the configuration.

ERIN  7:01 
We're basically in an old warehouse right now where we were able to cover up old parking spots and turn it into green space. We added turf. So there's four outdoor areas that...

PHIL   7:14 
That don't have mud.

ERIN  7:15 
...that don't have mud. Yes. And not just concrete. So it gives kind of a more green feel to it with the turf.

PHIL   7:22 
And then indoors it's a pretty decent space. I don't know many square foot that would be. I'm gonna guess that it's probably easily 4000 square feet?

ERIN  7:34 

PHIL   7:35 
8000? So that's I was right. It was easily 4000!

ERIN  7:38 
Yeah, it was easily 4000.

PHIL   7:40 
In my defense, there's a wall here blocking off my line of sight. I was not picturing quite...

ERIN  7:45 
And you haven't seen where all the dogs are barking from that side.

PHIL   7:48 
Okay, yeah, cuz I can hear them but not see them. We're in the lounge area. Which you do have a lounge area that someone can sit and work. Comfy couches. Hang out. You have a TV.

Yep. When the games are on. We have games playing on the TV.

I almost made myself sound—I'm gonna call myself out on this. I was gonna sound really old. I was gonna say and you have a flat screen TV. All screens are flat screen.

KELSIE  8:10 
I love that.

ERIN  8:12 

PHIL   8:13 
Yeah. Kids would be confused by that. Like, "Why are you saying flat screen? What other kind of TVs are there?" Yeah, you have a TV. You have this great space. You mentioned that it's an old warehouse. So you have the opaque skylights. So you have natural light coming in. It's not a dark warehouse. So picture a warehouse, you have the highest ceiling. So it's an open space. It doesn't feel claustrophobic. There's a dog park I go to out of town that doesn't have all of what you have here. And I don't know why because they have the space for it. But they have two indoor spaces that are about the size of a basketball court.

KELSIE  8:55 

PHIL   8:55 
But they have low ceilings. So it just feels very claustrophobic. Very closed in. I'm sure the dogs don't care.

ERIN  9:03 
Yeah. The dogs don't.

PHIL   9:04 
Yeah. But as a human, just having this open space is nice. What is the growth opportunity for CITYDOGs? What are you looking to do with this space going forward?

ERIN  9:16 
We're actually building across the street. So we will be moving to our permanent location. This is just a temporary location.

PHIL   9:23 
This is a heck of a temporary location!

ERIN  9:26 

PHIL   9:26 
If you didn't tell people that this was temporary...

ERIN  9:29 

PHIL   9:30 
...that I think they would be thrilled. But now. Well, then you've set expectations. You've raised the bar. "Well, now I want more."

ERIN  9:35 
Yes, that's right.

PHIL   9:36 
So what's gonna be—some input there from the clientele. They have thoughts on the new space.

KELSIE  9:43 
Yes, they have a lot to say.

PHIL   9:43 
So what's, what's gonna be different about the new space.

ERIN  9:46 
We'll have a lot more space inside and outside. The outside will be about double. And inside we'll have about 4000 more square feet indoors. We'll have another flex area so that will be where the dog park will always have a location inside for colder weather.

PHIL   10:06 
Which we certainly have in Kansas City or just nasty rain and lightning weather which we also have. So a place...

ERIN  10:12 
Or extreme heat.

PHIL   10:13 
Yes. There's lots of reasons to come inside. And so you have options for that. How does membership work for someone to access all of the amenities?

ERIN  10:24 
They can purchase monthly or annual, and the memberships will transfer to the new location. We will also be offering discounts when you have a membership for our services at the permanent location.

PHIL   10:36 
Do you pay by the family or by the dog?

ERIN  10:38 
By the dog? But there is a discount if you have multiple dogs in the family, yes.

PHIL   10:42 
Okay. And what is the pricing?

KELSIE  10:44 
Pricing for one dog annually is 150 to access the dog park whenever we're open, which is basically sunup to sundown. And that's for one dog. For two dogs, it's 200. And it goes up by increments of 50 as you add dogs. That's the best deal. If you come once a day, it breaks it down to like 40 cents a day. So really good pricing, I think.

PHIL   11:08 
Well, 150 just the quick math...

KELSIE  11:10 

PHIL   11:10 
...for me is $3 a week.

KELSIE  11:12 

PHIL   11:13 
That's less than a cup of coffee.

ERIN  11:15 

KELSIE  11:17 
Yeah. And your dog comes and plays like you mentioned, its turf, so they stay clean. We sanitize the park every single day. So it's cleaner than most dog parks, I would think.

ERIN  11:28 
Yes! Can't really...

KELSIE  11:29 
Has to be. Has to be. And you know, we put fresh toys, fresh water, and all that good stuff. So yeah, like you said, cost effective and convenient.

PHIL   11:38 
Does that membership then include either priority booking for the grooming services or a discount? Or how does the grooming services tie into dog park access?

KELSIE  11:50 
Currently, we don't have anything kind of set in stone right now just because you know, we are so new. So you can really get in for grooming whenever you want. That's something that we're definitely wanting to take over there and kind of implement over there is some perks and stuff like that for our clients.

PHIL   12:08 
Well, with this kind of business...

KELSIE  12:09 

PHIL   12:10 
...I think there's a lot of opportunity for you to try things and see what works and evolve as your clientele demands new things or doesn't want other things. And if it looks like okay, yeah, we can give you a discount on this or people don't care about that discount. They just want to use this feature.

KELSIE  12:26 
Sure. And I think right now, too, we are just trying to figure out what this clientele does want, you know. It's so different from anything Erin's done before. So we're still trying to navigate that whole aspect. So that part is fun. But yeah, just trying new things. Seeing what works and what people want from us.

PHIL   12:45 
Can someone just get a day pass if they're wanting to check it out? Or they have a guest dog from out of town?

ERIN  12:52 
Yes. The day passes $5. And you can come as many times as you want throughout the day. So we have some that will come in the morning. And then even after work in the evening. So...

PHIL   13:01 
Well, yeah, I guess I didn't think about it.

ERIN  13:03 

PHIL   13:03 
I thought about, you know, you spend the afternoon with your dog or you take it for a walk. But with Peaches we go for a walk in the morning and go for the walk in the afternoon. If I lived in the Crossroads, I would probably be using it more than once a day. People who don't live in the Crossroads may not—it's not just people who don't live in the Crossroads. I think Kansas City, as with most Midwestern towns, people don't think about the walkability. You're going to do something you get in a car to drive across town to get to the store or your kids school or work or whatever. And people who live in the Crossroads, can walk to pretty much everything.

KELSIE  13:39 

ERIN  13:40 

PHIL   13:40 
And I don't know if Kansas City people don't get that. Or what the deal is because I'll have people complain to me about parking for events or going to a restaurant in the Crossroads. And I'm thinking, "I walked six blocks to get to the restaurant."

ERIN  13:58 
You're not the normal...

PHIL   13:59 
Yeah, there was no parking space, right next door, and there was event parking or something. Because I've come down when there is an event at T-Mobile. Just park on the other side of Broadway for free. And there's plenty of parking spaces, you know, street parking on the other side of Broadway. And you walk a few blocks and you're in the Crossroads.

ERIN  14:20 

PHIL   14:20 
So certainly someone who lives in the Crossroads, it would be nothing just to walk four or five blocks and, "Boom, I'm here." And do that again after work or on your lunch break.

ERIN  14:31 

KELSIE  14:31 
Oh, yeah. Go ahead.

ERIN  14:33 
Yeah, we've had some people that will come have, like if their dogs here for daycare, they'll come have lunch with their dog.

PHIL   14:39 
Well, yeah.

KELSIE  14:39 
That's so cute. I love that. It's like the sweetest thing when they do that.

PHIL   14:46 
It's like going to the kids' school. Sit in the little chairs. Cookies and milk with your kid.

KELSIE  14:52 
It's so sweet. They'll like bring a friend with them. Like it's, it's really cute.

ERIN  14:56 

PHIL   14:56 
You mentioned bringing a friend. What sort of word of mouth? What are people telling their friends about CITYDOGs KC?

ERIN  15:04 
We've had a great response. I would say everyone's super excited when they find out about us and we have a lot of people that will bring friends or if someone's in town they'll bring them down just so they can kind of see the area.

KELSIE  15:16 
We've had people even come from hotels.

PHIL   15:20 
Oh, yeah!

KELSIE  15:19 
'Cause you know if you bring your dog. Travel with them. They need a place to either bring their dog for the day. Lots of weddings will get a lot of daycare dogs, you know. People in town with their dogs for weddings and stuff like that.

PHIL   15:26 
Well, wedding invitations sometimes include the, "Here are area events." And mentio, you know, "Here's the restaurant to go to." People need to be including that. "Our wedding's in the Crossroads. Here are the hotels and here are the amenities for...

KELSIE  15:46 

PHIL   15:46 
...guests and dogs." Certainly hotels promoting that and also on hotel websites they'll have, "Here's what's in walking distance and CITYDOGs KC."

ERIN  15:57 

PHIL   15:58 
And including mix Creamery with that. And I'll have a link in the description for this episode, of course to, but also to our interviews with Mark Cushing who I mentioned earlier, and Sherri Corwin with Mixed Mutt Creamery so that you know not only does CITYDOGs KC have the obvious things you expect from dog park, but also the great things for people and dogs at Mixed Mutt Creamery to sort of top off your day or maybe have an ice cream snack for the human while your dog is playing, and the other treats that they have for dogs. The relationship with Mixed Mutt Creamery makes perfect sense. It's dog-centric. When you move to the larger space, are there other vendors that you're looking at incorporating? And maybe you can't mention them by name. I would understand that. But can you tease anything that might be coming?

KELSIE  16:48 

ERIN  16:50 
Yeah, Mixed Mutt will be moving with us to our permanent spot. And we are working with a couple different vendors to offer wine, beer, coffee. That will be located in our future spots.

PHIL   17:05 
That business model makes so much sense. Seems so obvious. You probably get this all the time when you mentioned that people come from out of town. I'm sure the first thing out of their mouth, "Why doesn't my city have this? Why isn't this everywhere? How can I build my own?" Get the land and knock yourself out.

ERIN  17:28 

KELSIE  17:28 

PHIL   17:30 
But what was your inspiration beyond just, "This was a need?" Did you have like a particular pain point where you were looking for this for a dog and not finding it? Or just looking around and saying, "There's all these people with dogs who don't have options?"

ERIN  17:48 
Yeah, mostly that there's so many people down here with dogs. And there are no options. A lot of the apartments will offer little green space, but it's not much area for the dog to run around in. I've been in the dog business for 15 years. So I know that the need is there, and will continue to be there.

PHIL   18:09 
Well, kind of an elephant in the room—and all of my listeners are well familiar with this, so I'm not suddenly revealing this—is Kansas City has Bar K DogBar.

ERIN  18:19 
Mm hmm.

KELSIE  18:19 
Mm hmm.

PHIL   18:20 
And I would equate this to I'm a certified yoga instructor, in addition to the media consulting I do. And when I meet with a client for the first time, I have no problem telling them, "You live 20 miles away. Here are the eight yoga studios that you drive past to get to me."

KELSIE  18:42 
Sure, right.

PHIL   18:44 
And here's an instructor I trained with who's at that yoga studio. And here's someone I trained under who's at that yoga studio. You'll get good yoga at any of those. I'm not worried about what that does to my business because this market is not saturated. Not everyone who needs yoga is doing yoga. And for the record, everyone needs yoga. So I don't feel like I'm cutting into my own business by touting. "There's yoga all over Kansas City." There are way more yoga studios than there are destination dog parks. Kansas City can use a lot more Bar K Dog Bars, and CITYDOGs KC. There's a different vibe at one yoga studio than there is another. So go where you feel comfortable. If you're not comfortable there. Don't give up on yoga. Go to a different studio. So if you've gone to Bar K, or you've gone to CITYDOGs, and it's like, I'm just not feeling it," check out the other. But certainly, Bar K has been here for a few years. And if you've not checked out CITYDOGs KC, especially the fact that you're expanding and growing. Get in on the ground floor of CITYDOGs KC. Midtown, you're driving right by CITYDOGs to get to Bar K.

KELSIE  20:04 

ERIN  20:04 

PHIL   20:05 
Northlanders, there's easy access to—and as someone who's lived in the Northland for 30 years, I know lots of Northlanders, who think that there's like a toll or something to get across the river. You have to have a really good reason to cross the river. This is pretty easy access. Yeah, you just hop across, get off on the 20th Street exit. Boom. 20th and Walnut. You're right there.

ERIN  20:32 
And parking.

PHIL   20:33 
And you have parking. And again, people are scared about parking, and you have your own dedicated parking. And with the new bridge configuration that's going up at the Buck O'Neil bridge, it's only going to get easier to access CITYDOGs. What is your relationship with Bar K? Do you see them as competition or serving a different population? Or there's room in this space for all of us? I asked because Bar K has been on at least three times. And I've done interviews with guests...

KELSIE  21:04 

PHIL   21:06 Bar K who weren't Bar K interviews.

KELSIE  21:09 

ERIN  21:09 

PHIL   21:09 
Like Mark Cushings interview was there. So I had that relationship there that everyone knows about. But I love this space I'm sitting in right now.

KELSIE  21:17 

PHIL   21:17 
And it's just your temporary space. Again.

ERIN  21:20 

KELSIE  21:20 
Right. I mean, I really think that, and you've said this so many times that there's space for everyone. And I think there's a space for, in businesses out there for all different types of dogs and what their needs are. And we're just trying to fill the need for the dogs that need us. And that's kind of what we're focused on. We're not trying to be anyone else.

ERIN  21:44 
We're not trying to be the best of the best out there. But we're definitely...

PHIL   21:48 
But certainly the best in Crossroads. And Crossroads has an energy that's different from the Riverfront that's different from Johnson County, that...

ERIN  21:54 
Crossroads is its own little vibe.

PHIL   21:59 
It's kind of a bohemian.

ERIN  22:01 

PHIL   22:02 
But let's try something new. And if it works, we'll try something else new. And this is a great place to experiment with what you're doing. The other thing I'll mention is, I'm always befuddled when I drive by a restaurant that has a line of people waiting to get in. And I'm not talking about Q39. I'm talking about, like the chain restaurants that have the pedestrian food. And I'm driving by that to get to a restaurant that I'm gonna walk right in, sit down, be greeted by name, get served immediately. Why are you waiting in line for crappy Italian food? When you could be eating yours before those people in line or even seated?

KELSIE  22:47 

ERIN  22:47 

PHIL   22:48 
So you're gonna have lines someday. Bar K's gonna have line some days.

KELSIE  22:53 
Oh, yeah.

PHIL   22:54 
Why wait in line? But I think what's going to happen very soon is both of you are going to have lines of people waiting to get in, as people sort of get accustomed to. "I should be treating my dog to a nice dog park."

KELSIE  23:09 
Yeah, for sure.

PHIL   23:11 
Why am I not doing this?

KELSIE  23:12 
For sure.

ERIN  23:13 

PHIL   23:14 
This is, I think, a good example of not realizing how much you needed something until you get it. Kind of like when I was a kid—and I'm older than both of you—and people started getting microwaves. And why in the world would anyone ever need a microwave? Why would you want to reheat your food? And what food would you cook in a microwave anyway? And then you have a microwave for a week and a half and "How did we ever live without a microwave?"

ERIN  23:43 

PHIL   23:44 
Where are these been all my life?

ERIN  23:45 

PHIL   23:45 
Yeah, microwaves and VCRs kind of hit it about the same time in my childhood. And both of them were these extravagant luxuries. Why would you ever need it? And then you have it and how could you ever live without it? Once you start going to a dog park that has turf and amenities for people. And the grooming is right there. And you can burn off some energy with your dog before they go into the groomer. Or depending on your dog's personality, maybe the grooming gets it all hyped up. It's like now I can burn that off before we go back to the apartment. You start wondering, "Why isn't this everywhere?"

ERIN  24:24 
Yeah. And once a dog gets used to like coming to CITYDOGs they are comfortable here. The owners are comfortable here and they want to bring them for the other services.

PHIL   24:33 
I'm guessing there's probably owners who now have the problem of I was just gonna real quick take my dog around the block.

KELSIE  24:39 
Oh, absolutely.

ERIN  24:40 
Oh, yes.

PHIL   24:41 
And it turns to head to...

KELSIE  24:42 

ERIN  24:43 

PHIL   24:43 
"No, we're not going to city dogs. I have 10 minutes before I have to leave."

ERIN  24:47 
Yes. We are told that...

PHIL   24:48 
"We just came down to potty. We're going right back up. Oh no. We're going to..."

ERIN  24:52 
Yeah, yeah. Or they have to pass the dog park to get in for daycare services. So if their mom or dad's dropping the dog for daycare, they are like tearing to get into the dog park.

KELSIE  25:04 
They stop at the dog park. And they're like, "What the heck? I thought we were going to dog party or something like that. Come on. Let's go."

PHIL   25:10 
Or, or God forbid, you're driving somewhere else in the city completely unrelated to a dog park. "You missed our stop! Where are you parking?"

ERIN  25:19 
"What are you doing?"

KELSIE  25:21 
That's funny.

ERIN  25:22 

PHIL   25:22 
Do you have lots of, and I know you do, people you know by name that this is their local bar?

ERIN  25:29 
Yes, yeah. We have built a family of CITYDOGs clients. And...

KELSIE  25:35 
Yeah, they will always come to all the events and their dogs come to daycare regularly. And it's so funny, because I've never seen one of these businesses start from like, day one. So like, from my perspective, it's so funny that like, our very first dogs are now like, best friends with all the other dogs. And I just, I guess, whenever I worked with you other places, I just somehow thought that those relationships just already existed. So it is like really funny that the dogs are like, actually best friends.

ERIN  26:06 

KELSIE  26:07 
And when they see each other, they just get so excited. And yeah, it's been really fun.

PHIL   26:12 
It's like summer camp...

ERIN  26:12 

KELSIE  26:13 
Yes! Exactly!

PHIL   26:14 
...that you go to five times a week.

KELSIE  26:15 
And dogs that—and it's funny then, because when they come to the dog park, all the employees are kind of like giggling and laughing because we're seeing the dogs play. And even though it's the same building, it's a different environment and the dog park than it is in daycare. And so it's fun to tell the clients, the actual human parents, "Oh, my gosh, your dogs play all day long."

ERIN  26:34 
Yeah, that's their best friend!

KELSIE  26:35 
And they love putting kind of like a face to the name on the report card, or when they pick them up we'll say, "Oh my gosh, they played with Cannoli all day long." And so it's fun to kind of see that, you know, like, oh, like the light bulb goes on. "Oh, that's who my dog plays with all day."

PHIL   26:44 
And be honest. I'm sure you know the names of every dog that's a regular. Do you know the name of their human?

KELSIE  26:58 
No. No.

ERIN  26:59 
No. No. No.

PHIL   26:59 
'Cause, yeah, I do not. I'd be able to name every dog that's been here more than once.

KELSIE  27:03 
Oh, yeah.

PHIL   27:03 
And, you know, that's Spot's dad.

KELSIE  27:06 

PHIL   27:06 
I don't know his dad's name.

KELSIE  27:07 
It's our job. Yeah, it's our job to learn the dog's name from day one. And you just kind of never forget it. It just

PHIL   27:13 
And Spot's dad probably introduces himself every time he comes in.

KELSIE  27:16 

PHIL   27:17 
It's like, "I'm Carl. Spot's dad."

ERIN  27:17 
Yeah, I can remember a dog's name but a person's name.

KELSIE  27:20 
Yeah, dogs names' easy. Yeah, that's funny. Yep.

PHIL   27:24 
People think that they are meeting their dog's needs by taking them for a walk every day or a couple times a day. And that exercise is important. But what a lot of them miss and we had dog behaviorist—here's another episode I'm gonna link in the description—with Dr. Ellen Furlong talking about the importance of sniffy walks. If your dog stops to sniff, and you say, "Come on, come on," and you just jerk them along. That is very stressful for them. Maybe you have one walk a day where this is just about keeping moving. "Let's go Let's go, let's go." If you do that, you need to try to get them at least one sniffy walk or bring back smells for them from work or a handful of leaves from outside the door, something to smell. The great thing about a dog park is you don't have the frustration of, "Why aren't we moving? Why are you still sniffing?" The dog can sniff at their own pace, then run if they wanna run, roll if they wanna roll, play if they wanna play. I feel like I'm channeling some rock song. But that dog park environment also gives them access to a variety of smells of all those dogs that were there when they weren't. So who was there earlier in the day that has left?

KELSIE  28:39 

PHIL   28:39 
They still get those smells to beyond how much fun it is for the human and how convenient it is for the human. There is an emotional, psychological benefit for a dog park environment.

KELSIE  28:51 

ERIN  28:52 
Mm hmm.

PHIL   28:52 
You need to put that in your marketing materials. Put that on your website. It's more than just the convenience and the fun. There's a need that is being met that may not be met by the typical walk that you're giving your dog.


And CITYDOGs KC meets that need and multiple others. The grooming. The daycare. If someone wants to become a member, we talked about the pricing earlier, what do they need to do?

KELSIE  29:21 
They need to, they'll just want to visit our website You'll actually hit the "book now" button. And it'll ask you if you're a new customer or returning customer. You'll just select that you're a new customer. You'll go through our customer portal and you'll tell us more about your dog. Tell us more about you. And then you can actually book all your services online right there. Another way to get started is direct message us on Instagram. That goes straight to my phone and I will take care of you immediately. So that's kind of a more simple way. If you have questions before booking you can also give us a call.

PHIL   30:00 
And there's some people who aren't comfortable doing stuff on the computer. I'm thinking my parents...

KELSIE  30:04 

PHIL   30:05 
...may never come here if their only option was signing up for their membership.

KELSIE  30:08 
Yeah, for sure.

ERIN  30:08 
And, yes, you can call.

KELSIE  30:09 
Yes, absolutely call. But yeah...

PHIL   30:11 
My parents listen to the podcast and you know it's true. You would call me...

KELSIE  30:17 
Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. Yeah.

PHIL   30:19 
Or maybe they would prove me wrong.

ERIN  30:20 

KELSIE  30:21 
Right. Ooh.

PHIL   30:21 
So I'm probably going to be having an uncomfortable conversation after my parents listen to this episode. So it's easy to sign up. And because once something goes on the internet, it's on the internet forever. You might be listening to this a year after we record this.

ERIN  30:36 

PHIL   30:37 
And that process may change a little bit. My guess is if it changes, it's because it's gotten even easier.

KELSIE  30:45 

PHIL   30:45 
It's already pretty straightforward. But don't hold us accountable if you click on it's like, "Oh, there's a different way to do this." Or I just have to think it and it happens.

ERIN  30:54 

PHIL   30:54 
And the new Facebook Meta automatically captures my information. And my membership has started.

ERIN  31:02 
Yeah, yeah. You can purchase memberships online, daycare packages online ,upload vaccinations. So it's pretty user-friendly.

PHIL   31:10 
And what a great gift idea.

KELSIE  31:11 

ERIN  31:12 
Yes. We actually just ordered gift certificates.

KELSIE  31:15 
I know.

PHIL   31:15 
So get a gift certificate for the dog owner in your circle of friends and family. This has been so much fun. Peaches and Dawn have been going inside and outside and playing and have a good time. Peaches did all her howling before the episode started. So she's not been the dogs you've heard in the background. Can't wait to come back for our next visit to CITYDOGs KC. And definitely will bring my equipment with me for another interview when you move into your new space and I can't wait for that. What's the target date?

ERIN  31:46 
We're shooting for April. So probably spring, early summer.

PHIL   31:50 
Maybe we can do the interview outside for that?

ERIN  31:52 

KELSIE  31:53 
Ooh, yeah.

PHIL   31:53 
We could have done the interview outside today but there would have been a lot of teeth chattering.

ERIN  31:57 

PHIL   31:57 
Would not have been as comfortable as it is now. Erin Dean. Kelsie Boren. CITYDOGs KC. Thank you so much for hosting me.

ERIN  32:04 
Thank you.

KELSIE  32:05 
Thank you. Had a blast. Thank you.

PHIL   32:13 
I'm Phil Hatterman and you've been listening to Dog Words presented by Rosie Fund.

Thank you to CITYDOGs KC's Erin Dean and Kelsie Boren. Links to and their social media is in the description along with the other Dog Words episodes that I mentioned during the interview.

Next time on Dog Words, author Kendra Clark tells us what to do when your pet is better than everyone else's.

A big thank you to alternative string duo The Wires featuring cellist Sascha Groshang and violinist Laurel Morgan parks for playing the wonderful music you've heard on today's and previous episodes of Dog Words. Supporting The Wires supports our mission. Now you can join Laurel and Sasha as they explore new music and delve into the inspiration behind each work as hosts of Sound Currents on 91.9 Classical KC. Click on the Sound Currents link in the description for more information. Learn more about The Wires, including their concert schedule at and download their music on iTunes. Check out and learn to play fiddle and cello-fiddle online from Laurel and Sasha. Even if you've never played before.

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DISCLAIMER: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document and divergence from the audio file is to be expected. Some content may be omitted, particularly when there is crosstalk.

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