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Grand Forks dog care center an extension of love for animals

From left: Ruffing It owner Sue Christopherson holding her basset hound Bernice, owner Jan Ress, and Ress' daughter and Ruffing It manager Joy Hagen with her golden retriever, Brock. (Photo by John Hageman/Grand Forks Herald)

Q. How did Ruffing It get its start? 

A. My parents heard about Rovers Playhouse in Fargo and thought it was such a great concept. Our family has always had pets and adored animals. We felt there was a need in the area for a boarding facility that allows pets to have fun and not have to be locked in a cage all day. We also felt that socialization is an important part of a dog’s life and daycare provides that.

Q. What are some common challenges in working with animals? 

A. For grooming dogs, the biggest challenge is lack of grooming at home or too long between appointments. Most dog owners have a misconception about dogs being too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter. If a dog’s coat isn’t well taken care of and becomes matted in the winter this can cause bigger problems than cold weather. The same goes for summer, many pet owners believe that their Great Pyrenees is too hot because he’s panting and feel that they need to shave their dog to cool him down. This is not the case. (Their) fur actually keeps them warm as well as keeps them cool....

Boarding and daycare challenges are basically dogs that are nervous and scared. The best thing a person can do for their pet as a puppy starting at four months is introduce them to the boarding and daycare setting.

Q. What changes have you noticed in your business over the years? 

A. Basically that we have needed more space and dogs are hard on things!

Q. What’s a piece of advice that you wish you would have received before starting Ruffing It?

A. I guess I can’t really think of anything. This business like many is one that you are always learning and adapting as time goes on. I can honestly say though that my job is awesome, my customers are awesome, and I don’t have any regrets.

Name: Joy Hagen

Title and business: Manager, Ruffing It Doggie Daycare, Overnight Center and Grooming

Year founded: 2004

Number of employees: 12

Address: 1521 DeMers Ave., Grand Forks

Phone(701) 780-0700

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

(701) 255-5607