Burnt out as an IT specialist, Ryan Fochler, top dog at Bark + Boarding, decided on a whim to go back to his first career inclination: working with animals. At the time, he had little notion that his temporary foray into the dog-walking world—inspired by his then-girlfriend and now-wife—would became an entirely new career, an independent business, and a groundbreaking approach to pet care in the DC area.
He learned by listening and watching. Each dog had a story to tell, and Fochler paid attention to what each dog said through aggression or fear or stress. He also listened to the dog’s laughter and play. He saw how others in the pet-care industry worked with animals in their care. And, he put all of it together into a daycare, boarding facility, retail center, and home visit business that puts pets and their needs first.
Fochler knows from experience that a happy pet is a pet that gets its needs met—its needs for regular meals and potty breaks, play, socialization, and rest—and he set up systems and hired staff members that enable him to constantly refine how best to meet the needs of Bark + Boarding’s many clients on site and at home. A proud owner of a dog that remains a work in progress, Fochler knows how to give pets what they need and how to help owners in the never-dull task of creating a happy life with their pet.