Doggie Party

(First published in the October 18, 2018 issue of City Pages)

New dog care business in Weston is now introducing doggie parties — and people are already loving it


Cutline: Heide and Dave Maxwell opened their dog care business about a year ago but are now jumping on a new trend: doggie parties.

Heide and Dave Maxwell love dogs — they’ve been in the doggie daycare business at Heide & Dave’s Pet Care in Weston for a year now. Their puppy, Driver (yes, named after famed Green Bay Packer Donald Driver), meanders through the shop while the Maxwells run their business. And they know that most dog owners love their pets like family, too.

The facility offers a wide variety of dog activities such as training, obedience, doggie daycare, and therapy dog training as well as selling food, “fun” products and apparel. But they’ve stepped up their dog dedication to the next level: They just added dog celebrations to their line-up and already have booked parties for next month.

The parties — birthday, new puppy celebrations, and other events — are held at the facility, last two hours and customers are offered the choices of a doggie cake, cupcakes or cookies, says Heide Maxwell. The Maxwells decorate the party with balloons and specially themed plates, and there are hats and bibs for the dogs to wear if they want to. “There are three levels to choose from and you can choose a theme… all the food is doggie approved and is mostly made from carrots and peanut butter and comes from La Prima in Wausau,” says Heide Maxwell. “I eat it too. If I can’t eat it they don’t eat it,” she says.

There are even doggie cakes made from mainly rice, peanut butter and cheese, with no added sugar or wheat products. The frosting is cream cheese and peanut butter, says Rollie Thomas, owner of La Prima. “She came to us looking for something really specific and pet-friendly and healthy for the dogs and something that would look nice, too,” says Thomas. “We tried to come up with something unique and fun.”

The dogs can invite canine and human friends and family to their bash (there is human food as well) and the party room is decorated in celebration style. “They have banners and decorations and favor bags and they play games and they get to play ball in a large environment.”

Parties like this are common all over the world. There are pages and pages found on the internet dedicated to pet birthday parties, including some on party etiquette, what to serve and doggie party supplies. It’s quite clear, people love their dogs like children and Maxwell agrees. She thinks the dog parties at her facility will be popular with those who don’t have the space to host a party or get together or for anybody who just wants to come and have fun with a bunch of dogs in a safe and enclosed indoor and outdoor setting.

It’s not just for the dog owners, says Maxwell; the dogs enjoy the parties as well. “It’s all about them.”

Along with the dog celebration parties, Heide & Dave’s Pet Care offers doggie daycare on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and every other Friday. Daycare is much like human daycare with two sessions of schooling where the dogs can learn obedience, games, light agility, and puzzles. “We even have a structured nap time (their videos on their Facebook page feature dogs sleeping and snoring on beds) with blankets and beds,” she says. “And humans are invited. We are dog-friendly and welcome children.”

For more information on Heide & Dave’s Pet Care call: 715-571-1252. They are located at 5407 Westfield Ave in Weston.