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Pampering your pet

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By Stephanie Doyle

A few of the collies and Great Danes have figured it out, especially those canine film fans who’ve been catching an afternoon flick such as the slobbering St. Bernard movie Beethoven, and so havethe senior pooches who already are taking naps on the couch in the new doggie lounge.

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The Siamese and Persians have definitely figured it out. They can’t get enough of the new, custom-made, 7-foot-tall scratching post and playing hide-and-seek in their new cubbyhole spots.

The latest animal goodies are part of a major renovation at TLC Pet Center on Mount Eden Road in Shelbyville. Although the pet center has been around for almost two decades for pet boarding, the center has undergone a facelift that includes new furnishings, fresh paint, an expanded retail area, new pet comforts and added hours (including weekends).

“We’ve pretty much restructured the whole business plan,” said Ashley Shelburne, co-manager of the center with Nancy Moore, who has worked at TLC for 15 years. “We’re trying to be a place that is going to be able to serve all of your pet’s needs.”

The public can check out the renovations and additions at a grand reopening celebration from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 12. The event will include door prizes, tours and refreshments.

One of the first rooms guests will see is the “senior playroom” for older dogs that have aches and pains or just need some quiet time. Pillows and a couch likely won’t get chewed up because such canines are there for rest and relaxation. No puppies allowed.

Also nearby is the doggie daycare area – extra play space for wintertime months and rainy days.

In between the playroom and doggie daycare area is a remodeled and expanded retail area, with four brands of food and other pet items.

One of the first TLC weekly specials was a free bag of treats with a retail purchase. The center will continue to offer weekly specials, which currently is $1 off a spa bath.

One of the nice surprises at TLC, Shelburne said, is that clients won’t find any monetary surprises. “Everything is included in our fee,” she said. “There are no extra costs.”

For example, $20 per night for boarding includes medication administration if needed, and playtime, where pets receive individual interaction with a staff member in a grassy, fenced-in area. The grassy area is a wide-open space that abuts farmland. “The cows occasionally are obsessed with the dogs,” Shelburne said.

Each of the 48 dog runs at TLC, which offers “daycare” drop-in hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays for $15, is air-conditioned and heated for a climate controlled environment. The floors are on an automatic alarm system and alert staff when temperatures rise above or fall below desired temperatures.

And then there’s the music. The “Through a Dog’s Ear” CD pipes classical music throughout the dog kennel and cat condo areas to help soothe and calm the pets.

“It’s all about animals,” Shelburne said. “The bottom line is, I care about these animals’ happiness.”

TLC is a sister company with the adjacent East Shelbyville Animal Clinic. If a pet requires medical attention during his or her stay, staff will consult with one of the East Shelbyville veterinarians.

Along with caring for pets, TLC Pet Center raises money and volunteers for the nonprofit organizations Lifebridge for Animals – Shelburne is vice-chair – and Woodstock Animal Foundation in Lexington. One of Shelburne’s goals is to see local pet rescue groups improve their collaboration.

“We want to try to bring the Shelby County pet community together,” Shelburne said.

TLC is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays and are now open on Sundays from 3 to 5 p.m., for owners who want to pick up their pets on that day.

TLC Pet Center is located at 731 Mount Eden Road. For more information call 633-4442.