Rambling with… Woofs ’n Wags
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/04/2022 (418 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
“Funny how difficult I found these simple questions to be. It is different when you speak about yourself…lol!”
That’s the first comment I got from Nikki Sherwin, the owner of Woofs ’n Wags, an industrious dog-related undertaking that involves grooming and a variety of other pet-related services.
As usual, I’ll turn everything over to Nikki:
“I currently have two locations,” she said. “For now, two locations (at 491 St. Anne’s Rd. and 2 Donald St.) are plenty but, in the future, we will probably see one more location.”
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect her business?
“March 14, 2020 — I will never forget that day. We lost 90 per cent of our business overnight. I was forced to start laying off team members off and within one week we went from 25 to four and (me) and my daughter were two of those. Rehiring began slowly in late fall that year. We were one of the fortunate businesses that was deemed essential, and we were permitted to remain open. It was a very difficult time for everyone both mentally and financially.”
How is the business structured?
“I am the sole owner of Woofs ’n Wags. The St. Anne’s location opened first, approximately 15 years ago. The Donald location has been open for just over two years and is managed by Victoria Scott, who has been part of our Woofs family for over 10 years and upholds the beliefs and approach to dog daycare management that we are proud to offer our community. Expansion post-COVID is definitely a goal.”
Who came up the catchy name?
“The name was actually not my first or second choice. I wanted it to be simply Woofs but was turned down… (then) I put together Woofs ’n Wags to expand on the singular woof. Then my play spaces and our canine kids instantly had their nicknames. Our Woofers are our larger canine kids and play in the Woofer play space. Our Wagglers are our little canine kids, under 30 pounds, and play in our Wagglers play space.
“At our Donald location, we have recently introduced two additional play spaces. Our Wigglers are for our littlest play friends, under 15 pounds and our Welcomer area is designed for older play friends, and they hold a special part of our heart.”
When I asked if she had anything to add, I could tell Nikki was able to get over her shyness, as she shared lots:
“I have been working professionally with dogs for over 25 years. I have held many titles with dogs, from working in a vet clinic to managing one. I have been a pet sitter, a dog walker, actively involved in performing throughout North America in dog sports, head of an obedience facility, a behaviourist, a seminar presenter (and then) I reached my dream of opening a dog daycare.
“I started from the ground up, with no assistance just sheer determination and my passion for dogs. I promised myself when I opened up Woofs ’n Wags that I would lead from my heart and manage groups of play with positive principles. I have kept true to my promise.
“I am proud to be surrounded with a strong team who leads each area that makes up our facility. Our services include dog salons. Our ‘K9 education’ department is led by Jenn Penner (CPDT-KA), who (who has been) part of the Woofs family for over 10 years. She leads our certified team of instructors, heads up our group classes and offers private consults.
“Each day I thank the families that entrust us with the care of their canine kids. My heart is filled, and I am surrounded by the best and happiest of dogs. I know I will always be at the entrance of one of our facilities forever, as I am so fortunate to live a dream surrounded by canine kids.”
St. Vital community correspondent
Weldon Rinn lives, writes, and enjoys living in St. Vital. He can be reached at email@example.com