We want to introduce you to the dog whisperer, your furry baby’s very own Ms. Frizzle, and creative soul, Hayley Efird and the gem she has brought to her hometown and our beloved city— The Doghouse.
If you believe in a place “Where messy is good, mud feels right, and being you is a good thing,” then The Doghouse is the place for you and your dog. Efird and her crew have turned a large 3-story house on Summer Avenue into a dog’s playhouse. Efird described The Doghouse experience as, “The complete opposite of the traditional dog care business.”
When it comes down to literal terms, they are more of a dog day school than a dog daycare. “When we say ‘school’, we are not talking about training, though we do plan to incorporate training down the road. This place is more like your toddler’s elementary school experience—the kids here get journals to write in about how their day went like new friends they’ve made, about their crush, or a poem if they are feeling a little extra,” Efird said. “They also get a personalized school bag where dogs earn badges based on their personalities or things they are infamous for. Each bag is packed with a school folder to take home to the parents that contains notes, invitations to future events, crafts made that day, and more. Some days we partake in music class, movie time, and spontaneous adventures in the school bus.”
The inspiration for The Doghouse came to Efird when she was in town hanging out at a friend’s house and grabbing a snack from the fridge.
“I noticed that these proud fur parents had their dog’s progress report taped to their refrigerator from their doggy daycare. It was a simple checklist of activities and behaviors from the dog’s day. Nothing too fancy, but it sure blew the socks off the parents. That’s when my mind started going places. I thought about how this could be so much more than a list of checkmarks. It could be so much more personal. I thought about what my dog, Pete, would enjoy doing at the same time and how I (the parent) could enjoy that experience, too. Having never taken him to daycare or board, other than to Petco for a much-needed bath, I realized that dogs deserve a more personalized experience because, after all, he is my child.”
The Doghouse has about 20 to 30 dogs in-house regularly. They truly go above and beyond for you and your dog!
- Day School
- Sleepovers (a.k.a. Boarding)
- Snack bar (Coming Soon)
- Canine Carpool
- Park Adventure
- Neighborhood Walks
- Trips to Starbucks (Puppuccinos… Holler!)
- Joy Rides (They drive, not the dogs)
The long-term goal for The Doghouse is to take it to the coast! “We have a lot of fans from various places around the country, even Canada, so we’re excited to see where the next Doghouse ends up”, Efird said. Creatively, they want to brand The Doghouse as a creative hub that focuses on rolling out projects based off real stories of the pack.
“Our first big project is our bi-annual “DogHouse Days” yearbook, but that’s just the beginning folks. For example, Woof Radio is a project we’re about to unleash soon. Other ones in the pipeline are a series of children’s books, a bi-weekly newspaper, a short-form documentary series, and some other goodies”. We are just as excited as Efird that The Doghouse is a part of the Memphis community.
“It is exciting to be a part of the story Memphis is unfolding. It’s amazing- one of the best feelings. The Doghouse is proud to call this city home. Memphis is catchin’ a vibe and it’s not stopping. It’s just the beginning”.