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Where dogs are always welcome

By Rod Lee

Nowhere is it less of a dog-eat-dog world than in the four legged-friendly towns of Millbury and Sutton.

Between them, Bark-n-Bubbles and Bark of the Town (both located on Riverlin St. in Millbury) and TLC Pet Haven on Rt. 146 in Sutton lay claim to years of experience catering to the care of some of their customers’ favorite companions.

All are in a stage of growth, evidencing the demand being felt for the services they provide.

“We are introducing pet sitting and pet walking, poop scooping and we are working on getting a trainer” for the business, TLC Pet Haven’s Denise Jones said.

TLC Pet Haven is a dog and cat boarding kennel that also offers professional pet grooming in-house or by way of two mobile grooming vans. A “Doggie Day Camp” featuring indoor and outdoor romping areas is another component of the business.

Like its counterparts, TLC Pet Haven actually began in Millbury too, as a little grooming shop on Elm St. thirty-seven years ago. Today’s version of the enterprise includes the addition of a second floor, even “overnight suites.”

TLC Pet Haven now employs about 25 people.

Customers’ pursuit of quality day care for the pets is driving a lot of traffic to the door, Ms. Jones said.

Kelly Hauk, owner of Bark-n-Bubbles, worked at Tufts Veterinary and under several groomers until getting the chance to buy her own business in Millbury. She is thrilled. “I have been doing this forever,” she said.

“The townspeople have been really fair to me” in patronizing her boarding-grooming-daycare shop, she noted. “Many just show up. I don’t require notice.”

Ms. Hauk recently hired another worker.

When Yankee Xpress visited, she took a moment to show off her Great Danes “Brady” and “Gronk,” saying, “I want to get a Belichick!”

Bark of the Town, meanwhile, is undergoing a renovation of its work area to accommodate the arrival of new equipment, Val Simoes said.

“There is a very big demand for grooming,” she said, as she combed out a small dog that belongs to a local firefighter and his family. “I might give him a haircut too,” she said. “I groom their other dog regularly.”

Ms. Simoes has been grooming for sixteen years. She will be have been situated at her present site for two years come August.

“Today is just about me and him,” she said, trying to settle the nerves of her jittery customer. “We’re getting to know each other.”

Contact Rod Lee at rodlee.1963@gmail.com or 774-232-2999.