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Tiki Tails Dog Resort’s grand opening Sunday

What was once a dream now a reality for Cape residents

May 17, 2019
By KATIE EGAN ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Tiki Tails Dog Resort has been a dream for Kaleigh Lawson for about six years.

For the past six to eight months, Lawson and her partner, Brandon Perau, have been working to design and build the 7,200-square-foot-facility.

Lawson and Perau moved to Cape Coral from Fulton, New York, 3 1/2 years ago.

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Kaleigh Lawson and Brandon Perau, and a furry friend, at the Tiki Tails Dog Resort.

Lawson, a former vet technician for nine years and a professional pet sitter for eight years, always had the idea to open a dog resort.

Recently, Lawson and Perau decided it was time to make it a reality.

"We really love this area and want to bring more to this community," Lawson said. "We wanted to invest back in the Cape and keep people here and offer something."

Lawson also likes that many of the restaurants and bars in Cape Coral are family owned and operated.

"That's why we wanted to be in the Cape," she said. "Now we're Cape residents so let's give back to the community because this is where we want to live."

There will be a grand opening party Sunday, May 19, at 1 p.m., so the Southwest Florida community can come out and see what Tiki Tails Dog Resort is all about.

"I want us to be an open book," Lawson said. "I have nothing to hide. I believe in our product and that's the biggest thing."

On Sunday, Eight-Foot Brewing will be serving up samples of its craft brews. Maverick Grille will offer samples of its fresh food dishes, and Personal Touch Catering will be selling hamburgers and hot dogs. "Lickey Loves" Gourmet Icy Dog Treats and The Beach Dog pet supply shop will also have merchandise for sale.

If you're thinking about adding a new member to your family, Paws Crossed Inc. will be there with adoptable dogs and they'll also have more information on the adoption process.

Located at 4414 S.E. 16th Place in Cape Coral, Tiki Tails Dog Resort will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday.

One of the things that sets Tiki Tails apart from other dog resorts in the area, Lawson said, is that it's open seven days a week.

"That's huge for working people who want to go away for a long weekend," Lawson said. "I talk to people about what they do with their dogs and they say they can't pick them up on Sunday, and they have to get back to work on Monday."

Now they don't have to leave their pups for an extra day or two. Since Tiki Tails is open on the weekend, pet owners can scoop their fur babies when they want to.

Lawson said another perk for pet owners is that Tiki Tails doesn't turn away dogs that don't like other dogs, but also still need to be boarded. There are separated areas for pets that are less active and social or need extra care for recovery.

Boarded dogs will receive access to daycare, and sleep comfortably in a spacious, clean and safe "Tiki" suite at night. Full grooming services are also available.

"It's a fun, clean place for people to feel comfortable to leave their dogs," Lawson said.

So far, the reaction from the community has been great. In fact, Lawson is "blown away" by how many people are interested in the business.

At first Lawson thought she got a little carried away with the tiki theme.

"But people come in and they love it," she said. "We're having a lot of fun building the place out and a lot of people are loving it, too."

Lawson keeps the public updated on the dog resort's Facebook page,

She spends a lot of time during the day giving out quotes and information. People have also been asking if they can stop by.

"It amazes us to see so many people interested in us," Lawson said. "It makes us feel good with pushing forward and going all out because we see people actually want this."

So where does the tiki name and theme come in?

Lawson knew she wanted it to have a theme and a "Florida" type of feel.

"When people go on vacation, I want them to feel like they're giving their dog a vacation," she said.

When members of the community visit Tiki Tails on Sunday for the grand opening, Lawson wants to make sure people have the opportunity to get fully involved and tour the building.

"Some places don't offer a tour because there are certain areas they don't want people in," she said. "The way we have set up our place is that people can still view inside the playroom without having to go in them."

This is an opportune chance to tour the facility.

"It's hard to show tours when we're working and have dogs there for daycare and boarding," Lawson said. "We want people to know more about us and what we offer. We want people to meet me and understand if their dog has certain medical needs or personal needs, they can be met here."

For example, sometimes people go out of town and they don't want to leave their dog with a condition like diabetes. Lawson's training lets her care for diabetic pets requiring insulin injections, respond to seizure activity, treat and provide geriatric care, and provide injectable fluid intake for kidney failure patients.

"I want people to know that they can stop here and this can feel like a second home for them and their dog," Lawson said. "You don't want to drop your kid off at daycare if you can't see what's going on behind the door."



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