Alexandra “Alex” Knoll is hoping to help dogs get comfortable and have a little vacation get-a-way while their humans are out of town.
Recently, Knoll opened “The Cozy Cabin,” a boarding facility that she describes as a hotel for canines, located at 1684 Ilka Switch.
“It’s been a blessing,” Knoll said of opening the cabin. “I really like it. I like spending time with the dogs. Every time I look at the cabin, I’m just like, ‘wow, I was just picturing this, and now it is real.’”
For as long as she can remember, Knoll has loved animals and has wanted to work with them.
Not long after she and her husband James moved to Seguin, the couple opened a business making parts for water parks around the country.
She eventually began fostering dogs.
“I’ve always wanted to be involved with animals, I just never knew exactly what I wanted to do,” she said.
Over the years, Alex wanted to do more. So last year, she began boarding dogs in the home she shared with James and their two children.
“It just got out of hand,” she admitted. “With 12 dogs in the house, kids, I just said ‘I can’t do it.’”
With encouragement from friends, the couple purchased a hollowed-out cabin and set to work on creating a facility that would house dogs safely and comfortably.
Alex said anything she could dream up, her husband would make happen.
He even added some personal touches.
“My husband has been a blessing,” she said. “He did most of the work. Thanks to my husband, we have some incredible details. He really created what I had in mind, plus a little bit more.”
The cabin itself is fitted with a dozen 5-foot by 6-foot kennels set in two rows.
“Each room has a doggie door, and each dog has their own personal yard where they can go outside as they like during the day,” she said.” They’re not cooped up inside all day.”
The last two kennels on each row have an extra doggie door that opens into adjoining enclosures for the clients that have several dogs to keep them together. Depending on the size of the dogs, Alex can house them together as a family.
Surrounding the Cozy Cabin are three large fenced yards where the pups can play together, Alex said.
“I can separate them in playgroups, and we spend a lot of time outside playing,” she said. “When they come here, it is like a vacation for them. They don’t sit inside all day being bored. My goal is for them to be happy, to exercise and to go home happy, not depressed and losing weight.”
It’s not just Alex who gets in on the play action. Her husband, 3-year-old son, and 9-year-old daughter visit with the dogs and play with them.
“They love dogs. We’ve always had dogs,” Alex said. “When the kids get home from school, they play outside on their playground with all of the dogs. They are very good with dogs; they are very respectful toward them. My husband plays with them all of the time.”
When guests are deciding if Alex’s Cozy Cabin is the place for them, she invites them out to visit.
The potential clients get a tour of the facility, and Alex runs down the list of services she offers while the pups are under her care.
“If they are in training or crate training, we can accommodate that. If they’re leash training, I try to make some time for that,” she said. “When a dog comes in, I ask that they bring their food, their bed or their blanket — something that smells like home to make them more comfortable — and of course all of their toys.”
In addition to boarding, Alex is a professional pet sitter and offers a pet taxi and doggie daycare.
“I am also a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, am certified in Pet First Aid,” she said. “I go to conferences and different classes, so this is not just a hobby, I take it very seriously. My goal is not only to keep people’s pets happy and entertained but to also give the owners peace of mind that their fur baby is safe and with someone who knows what they are doing.”
To get more information on Alex’s Cozy Cabin, visit www.seguinhappypaws.com .