Contributed by Bradley Robertson
There’s a new dog kennel in our area, and it’s not your average doggy daycare. It’s the farm-life dream, and it’s just for the lucky canines living in the Auburn-Opelika area.
Amanda Kimball, along with her husband and three small kids, wanted to get out of busy Atlanta and settle somewhere more slow-paced. Amanda knew Auburn would hit the spot, and the growing area also inspired the couple to think of opening a small business.
The family began to seek out a plan that would be practical for their family, but also a service to the community. And so began the journey of Willowwood Dogs.
Willowwood Farms is located off Wire Road on County Road 188, a few miles past the Auburn University Vet School. The family was fortunate to find the property, which already contained a large, sturdy barn with horse stalls and water, plenty of grass space for running and playing and a pond for cooling off.
Kimball always loved creatures in general and along with being outdoors, she saw this business as the perfect fit for her family.
“My husband Andrew and I have always had a passion for the outdoors and nature,” she said. “We wanted to find a place where someone could send their dog, so they can enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment.”
Willowwood Dogs is a boarding facility as well as doggy daycare. The business opened for the first dogs on Jan. 5 and serves dog owners Monday through Friday for daycare and through the weekends for dog boarding.
Kimball and staff pick up the dogs from their homes first thing in the morning, bring them to the farm to play and carry them back home for the owner after 2 p.m. Dogs enjoy lots of playtime outside, plus treats, plenty of water and all the fun a dog can dream up.
“Dogs get to get their energy out here,” Kimball said. “They play fetch, get lots of snuggles and we have treat time. We take them home in the afternoon and you have a worn-out pup and a happy pup!”
Kimball, being a mom herself and animal lover, naturally plays the mom role for the smiling dogs at Willowwood Farms, who follow her around like ducks, happy for sunshine and lush fields.
Dr. Dan Caldwell, local vet of MAC Animal Clinic, is partnering with the Kimballs when necessary and hopes to host vaccine clinics. Kimball also has a vision of an Open House this spring where dogs, owners and children can visit the space and get a little farm fix.
Auburn-Opelika is thriving, and it’s a pleasure to see new business pop up that can serve this community well.
For more information on Willowwood Dogs, call Kimball at 980-254-5892 or visit their website at www.willowwooddogs.com. You may also find them on Facebook and Instagram.