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Lisa Getson runs a day care. There are potty breaks every hour, cubby holes with names written on them and various play areas. But Mrs. Getson's daily visitors aren't children - they're dogs.

Lisa Getson, the owner of The Animal House Inc., is bombarded with doggy kisses at her dog day care and boarding facility.  Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Kendrick Brinson/Staff
Lisa Getson, the owner of The Animal House Inc., is bombarded with doggy kisses at her dog day care and boarding facility.

After eight years of working in child care, Mrs. Getson and her husband, Bryan, opened The Animal House Inc. in Augusta four years ago. They didn't want to keep their dogs in crates and created a solution.

Overnight boarding, a cat corner, grooming, specialty dog foods and even designer dog clothing are offered in addition to the doggie day care.

The day care has about 36 dogs per weekday divided into seven play groups based on size, age, personality and activity level.

Mrs. Getson's experience with child care has come in handy, and she knows organization is key. There are charts with dog names, ages, information about any medicines, their food types and more.

"We have everything labeled. It runs smooth because everything is written down," she said.

She runs the doggie day care "the same as a child day care in every aspect, the only difference is dogs." Her organization works well, too, as her business has doubled since it opened. Canine owners can drop their pups off as early as 6 a.m. and pick them up as late as 6:30 p.m.

The dogs get to socialize with one another and play with handlers all day, and by the time they're home with their owners they are relaxed and calm. Some of the dogs are even reluctant to leave their furry pals at the end of the day.

"You either really love it, or it's not your thing," Mrs. Getson said of being around dogs all day. She's found herself getting attached to them, having watched some grow up from puppies.

"You can bond with them. They love you no matter what. They're hilarious. I've learned they have such unique personalities," she explains.

As far as comparing dogs to children?

"Dogs are easier. They always have the same happy-go-lucky mood," Mrs. Getson said.


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