K9 Country embarks on operation in Colesburg

COLESBURG, Iowa — With the opening of K9 Country, Mindy Meyer has become the solution she once hoped for after a less-than-perfect dog-boarding experience.

The new Colesburg business is a dream come true for Meyer, her family and the local community.

She’s feeling supported after a weekend open house Saturday attended by at least 20 during the snowstorm. According to Meyer, many are sending good wishes through K9 Country’s Facebook page, and others who weren’t able to get out are calling to schedule a tour.

Growing up, Mindy participated in 4-H and went on to teach dog classes after she completed high school and college. She’s always had pets and felt a particular affection for her canine companions. Mindy’s household currently includes her wife, Laura, and their son, Jackson, 3, as well as two dogs: a labradoodle named Odie, 6, and a dachshund named Agnes, 10.

A former beef nutritionist, Mindy often had entertained the idea of stepping away from her comfortable position to create a dog-boarding facility, but she opted for security. Then, changes at her place of work became the push she needed, giving her the go-ahead to make the leap.

Over the past year, Mindy and Laura carried the vision forward by visiting other facilities and diving into research about meeting the needs of dogs. They also spent time making sure they understood Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship requirements for boarding facilities.

“It’s a big undertaking because it’s 365 days a year, and you’re taking care of people’s pets,” said Mindy, who wanted to be certain she was prepared.

In November, they broke ground on land purchased from Mindy’s mother on the family farm, six miles from their current home.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better construction crew,” Mindy said.

The entire build was finished and ready for canine visitors in less than two months. Wood Center carpenters, Electri-Tek and Moser Mechanical brought Mindy’s design to life, and the doors unofficially opened on Dec. 23.

Mindy wove together ideas from other facilities and her research. On one tour, she remembers experiencing an open floor plan with lots of noise, which filled her with anxiety.

“I can imagine the dogs were feeling even worse,” she said.

She chose to go with suites and separate rooms for little dogs and big dogs to create a more peaceful environment. The suites have been a big hit, with one family traveling from Madison, Wis., solely because of the amenity.

Feedback has been positive so far from Guttenberg, Colesburg, Elkader, Strawberry Point, Dyersville and Dubuque clients.

The focus at K9 Country always will be boarding, but Mindy plans to add doggie daycare several days each week in the near future. She hopes to find a groomer who’s eager to work from the space she’s designated for grooming, and she also plans to add a half- to full-acre fenced area this spring. There’s already an indoor play area and places for the dogs to watch television.

Mindy and her team want their guests to feel “loved and supported.”

They want to accommodate them if they are having any challenges.

“I don’t want them just sitting in a kennel,” she said. She knows from experience, “when I leave my dog at a facility, I want to be sure they’re getting the attention they need.”

The business can be found on Facebook and reached at 563-880-4752.