Holly Tilstra has gone from driving Greyhounds to boarding and grooming hounds.
Tilstra just opened Place of Hearts Grooming and Pet Services at 1953 Dartmouth Road — conveniently located across the street from a local dog park. She offers full grooming services as well as dog daycare. Her shop includes a large outdoor area, fully enclosed and with lots of grass.
"The dog owners have been great. I'm meeting all kinds of people who love their dogs," she said.
The business had a soft opening earlier this month. She has special events and drop-in socials planned for July 27, Aug. 3 and Aug. 7, but preregistration is required and there is a nominal fee of $3.
"I saw the need for this service with my own little dog," Tilstra said. "For a single person who owns a dog, it's hard to do everything
you can. My motto is, 'an auntie to care because I can't be there.' I operate small scale to create an extended family environment in home-style comfort. Presently, we are eager to add four full-time monthly daycare friends. I will fit clients' work hours, whatever they may be, to have that solid core pack coming regularly."
She spent the winter training with a program based in the Queen Charlotte Islands. She chose that program ahead of others due to her admiration for the instructor.
Born in Summerland, she previously worked for Greyhound, driving buses all across B.C. More recently, she worked in property management. Opening Place of Hearts is a dream.
"I've had dogs all my life. I did volunteer dog walking at Humane Societies and volunteered at petting zoos and with therapeutic riding groups. I love wildlife and every kind of animal, but for me dogs have always been special."
She also has a unique philosophy with her grooming.
"I like to follow a dog's natural order as much as possible. Sometimes when they're getting groomed, they need a break and need to go out and play for a few minutes. If it takes a bit longer, then it takes longer. For the dogs, I want it to be a fun place for them to come where they're not stressed out."
To book a spot at the special events or for any other information phone 250-488-8414 or visit weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.