The growth and expansion of the pet resort is what Sedwick's father had intended before his passing this last December. It was he who had inspired the whole idea of their family's first pet resort more than eight years ago.
"My father shared his love of dogs with me," recalls Sedwick longingly. "He had his first dog, Poochie, when he was about 6 years old, just after his mother had died. Dad liked to save dogs, too, as much as they saved him. His last dog, Biloxi, in fact, was a Katrina storm survivor whom we housed at our Springfield location. Biloxi is a large Mastiff-Lab whose combination of incredible toughness and sweetness made him a perfect fit for dad." At about the same age Sedwick's father found Poochie, she began accompanying her father on morning and evening dog walks along with their family dog, a big, black French Briard named Brie. "My dad told me I had learned to walk by holding on to Brie’s long hair," shares Sedwick, adding she and her father would attract attention when walking Brie. "Many folks hadn't ever seen a French Briard so Brie was often a curious sight for those passing by."
Over time, the father-daughter walks evolved into hearty discussions about dog breeds and their characteristics. "I imagine," reflects Sedwick, "this is not unlike how some fathers and sons might identify the make and year of cars they see." And if Sedwick could not identify or recognize a certain dog breed? Not to worry—she could always research information in her father's dog book library. "Dad had an actual room consisting of hundreds and hundreds of dog books— you could find most anything there from classic texts by Nobel Prize winning Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz, various veterinary medical text books and even 19-20th century novels about dogs."
Clearly, the loving memories of this family patriarch live on vividly in Sedwick's mind and heart. And it is with the fondest of these memories and with profound, deep affection for their loved one that Sedwick and her mother have joined forces to continue the dad's vision for growing and expanding the pet resort operations throughout the region.
MAYRA RUIZ MCPHERSON is the founder of Ruiz McPherson Communications, a marketing ingenuity and digital PR company based in Dulles, Virginia. You can follow her on Twitter at @mayraruiz, via her practice’s Twitter handle @ruizmcpherson or on Facebook at facebook.com/ruizmcpherson.