Earth Pups: Chicago Woman Fulfills Dream of Green Doggy Daycare

Earth Pups specializes in small dog care.

Difficult Choices

The commitment meant many difficult decisions and careful calculations throughout the two-year construction process of Earth Pups. When Thomas had to stray from her green business ideas, she agonized. After three months of considering all options, Thomas finally resigned herself to using PVC in one area of the dog’s playpen-the biodegradable option would have to be replaced every few years as it wouldn’t stand up to the dogs hard use. When it was feasible, however, she did it-even when it meant having items custom made or special ordered. For example, the paneling was one custom made item that Thomas had adapted to her need for a protective covering from sharp little claws. However, even when she found a green company to order from, she discovered it only came in black.

“So, the question was-what goes with black?” she said.

Thomas also loves owning her own business because it lets her decide exactly what she wants to do in the community.

“There is no red tape,” she said.

Many years ago, she rescued her own dogs with the help of a local agency. Now, she welcomes dogs from neighboring canine rescue into her building for socialization workshops.

Earth Pups has been open for thirteen, short weeks.Β  Thomas excuses herself for the hair on her shirt and several months without sleep, but she is all smiles. “It feels good to watch a baby grow,” she says, looking at the 17 dogs playing in the yard with staff. One day, she hopes to have up to 30 dogs, but this is a good start.

One of her own two dogs plays alongside the others.Β  The other one-black and curly haired- is curled in a staff member’s lap.Β  She smiles at them, then ducks so they don’t see her. Her standards for their care are even higher than her green standards. And she built her business to please herself.

“It’s a place I’d leave my babies,” she says. “You can’t sell something you don’t care about.”

Image source: sarah m scott at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

kyknoord at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

  1. pays to live green

    What a great story. Whenever somebody takes a chance and succeeds in something they truly enjoy is great to hear about. I wish continued success to Julie Thomas and hopefully her business continues to thrive.

  2. Kate

    That sounds really great! I always wondered if there would be a doggy day care. I bet the dogs love it and it sounds a lot better than working in the corporate world!

  3. Mike

    I just came upon this article after clicking through from earthpups dotcom, and it doesn’t surprise me the success of this woman and her doggy day care. I knew Julie during her successful banking days, and even then the most prominent pictures in her office were of her two ‘little babies’ – her two rescue dog cockerpoos(?) mixes. …you couldn’t get out of her office without her showing you the glossy 8x10s of each dog, adorned in the sweater of the season. Too cute.

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