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Kath Allen was wearing jeans to her next interview. The 49-year-old redhead didn’t look quite as professional as she normally would, but she’d chosen the denim purposely. After all, her last interview had ended with her black suit covered in hair.
Allen was conducting a doggie interview, a get-to-know meeting she or her two business partners sets up with every pooch that’s a potential client of their new, Golden-based service, Hike Doggie. Officially launched on Monday, Hike Doggie facilitates two-hour hikes with certified dog walkers for canines of all sizes and personalities. “We live in Colorado, which is all about exercise and being healthy,” Allen says. “A dog sitting home all day is not the picture of health. It makes me sad.”
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For $65 to $85, Allen or one of her Hike Doggie co-founders, Sharie Thompson and Stephen Hillen, will pick up your pup in their customized Hike Doggie bus, secure him in one of 12 large carriers (dubbed “Zen Dens”), cushioned with easy-to-clean, antimicrobial pillows, and take him to explore some of the 227 miles worth of trails in the Jefferson County Open Space system. (They’re planning on pursuing permits for other areas as well.)
Worried about your older mastiff keeping up with more energetic breeds? Hike Doggie offers three groups based on your pup’s activity level. There’s the Stroll-N-Sniff group, which is designed for dogs that prefer to take leisurely walks; the Carefree Jaunt for hounds of average energy; and the Leg It Out option, for the most spirited pups. Hike Doggie also offers a Party of One, where an individual walker will take out a dog that prefers not to socialize. (The maximum number of dogs per walker is four.)
Hike Doggie already has 10 clients in locations from Evergreen to Washington Park. Right now, each ‘hood is assigned a day of the week (Monday through Friday) and a time (morning or afternoon), so all the dogs from Arvada hike on, say, Wednesday afternoon. But Allen says she and her partners will walk your pup multiple times a week if that’s your preference and are hoping to expand to the weekends once ski season starts.
You can celebrate Hike Doggie’s launch at its Sniff ‘n Social on Saturday, May 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. in Golden’s Lions Park. Expect hors d’oeuvre from catering company Biscuits & Berries, “pupcakes” made by Gold Mine Cupcakes, a bacon-flavored bubble machine, activities like bobbing for apples and carrots, and a doggie–owner lookalike contest. Plus, there’ll be a raffle with goodies for your pup (a Ruffwear Performance Dog Gear leash) and you (a $250 haircut and color at the Parlour Denver).
Follow editorial assistant Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.