There's always room for one more dog. That's the motto behind a new dog day care and boarding facility in Waterloo.
The Barking Lot in Waterloo opened on September 3, a significant date for owner Marie Benedict. On September 3, 2009, Benedict's 16-year-old daughter died.
"Alyssa was killed in a car accident. She was with three friends and they lost control of the car, a tire blew, and she was the only one killed," said Marie Benedict.
Alyssa is a big reason Marie Benedict decided to move from Tiffin to Waterloo and open her own business.
"I told myself after that I need to still go on," said Benedict.
Alyssa loved animals, and she wanted to be a large animal veterinarian. Marie knows her daughter would be thrilled to see The Barking Lot.
The Barking Lot offers day care, boarding, training and even a paw taxi for your pet.
"I don't have kennels for boarding, I have suites so they can have their own personal room they can sit in and they're off leash all day," said Benedict.
Marie Benedict has a couple full-time employees, including Cristina Johnson, who admires Benedict for following her dream of owning her own business.
"She's a very strong woman, and she loves what she does. She loves her dogs, and she's just a great human being when it comes to people, too," said Cristina Johnson.
The Barking Lot also gets help from students with Waterloo's Expo High School Star-C Program, which specializes in educating students with special needs. Benedict's son has special needs.
Marie Benedict isn't a dog trainer, although she has one onsite, but she said her most important qualification is simply being a dog person.
"We're as paw crazy about your canine as you are," she said.
The Barking Lot is all about pampering your pets, just like they are at home. Benedict knows it's exactly what Alyssa would do is she was here to help.
Right now, The Barking Lot is open Monday through Friday. Benedict plans to add Saturdays beginning October 13th. It's at 1921 Hawthorne Avenue in Waterloo. For more information, click here.