Working at Your Pet Space

 An insider’s perspective

The famous Your Pet Space sign we have put up outside of the facility.

The famous Your Pet Space sign we have put up outside of the facility.

                When you first walk into the big red doors at Your Pet Space you quickly realize that this isn’t any ordinary place of business. One quick glance around the ever-changing complex can give you a good idea of the environment that the owners, Joy and Dave Jones, provide at the only cage free boarding facility in the city. When I had first joined the team of loving and caring staff members I noticed the amazing services that Your Pet Space provides for its clients and the community. They are the only boarding facility that is IBPSA (International Boarding & Pet Services Association) certified in Las Cruces as well as having the only pet CPR certified staff. YPS also works with some of the most amazing groups of people ranging from fantastic pet trainers to the nice folks at APA (Action program for Animals).

Dave and Jones the owners of Your Pet Space

Dave and Joy Jones, the owners of Your Pet Space.

          Expanding our space  

  I had applied at Your Pet Space searching for a part time job that I could maintain while being a full time student at the university. What I didn’t know was that I would fall in love with the animals and all the things that I find myself busy doing here. I was hired before we officially opened for business and had no idea what to expect. I first began with helping Dave build the various fences that would help us create our quadrants available for dog care. It was very interesting to manufacture our own walls and help with the rubber flooring that we would provide for the animals in my first few days working. Dave Jones is quite the handyman and I’ve found that he would much rather build his own things than rely on something he can find somewhere in the stores or online. It took a few tries and failures to finally decide on the perfect lock systems to allow our dogs to come inside our quadrants with ease but not be able to escape. Still, things can always be improved and Dave never stops thinking of new ways to better our facility.

Dave Jones checking up on the walls he built for the facility.

Dave Jones checking up on the walls he built for the Alpha quadrant.

Doggy daycare

After I had done my share of help with the “carpentry” aspect of my job I jumped right into working with the animals. Although I did not have much experience, other than taking care of my own two dogs, I was eager to learn from the pet experts themselves. Joy was able to teach me how to control a large group of dogs with relative ease. She also was very helpful with teaching me the most practical ways to play with the dogs without starting too much commotion amongst the pack. It’s crazy how much you can learn from an animal after spending the day with them. I started my job worried about getting hair on my clothes and getting slobbered on but have now found myself embracing the love from all the dogs I have the opportunity to care for. No two days are alike here at Your Pet Space and the energy in the facility is contagious.

Dave playing with some of the dogs we have staying with us for daycare/boarding.

Dave playing with some of the “crewmen” we have staying with us for daycare/boarding.

Laz the writer

                When I wasn’t working at the complex I found opportunities to pursue my dream in writing while still benefiting the place I worked. Joy Jones gave me the chance to write articles for the website that she ran, with a chance of being published, if it met the criteria that she asked for. I was blessed to have a shot at gaining some experience in the world I longed to be a part of, while still being employed by the great folks at Your Pet Space. I was super excited to get to work and I managed to get two articles published in my first month. What is a bulldog? Greyhounds vs. Coyotes Things at school however, began to demand more of my time and I was no longer able write articles until now.

Photograph of the current quadrant system we have set up. We are ever changing however and are always willing to change it up if needed.

Photograph of the current quadrant system we have set up. Dave cleverly built the fences to easily be moved and we’re always prepared to change it up if needed.

     Laz the editor

Since then I have managed to get steady hours at this place I love to work, and have even found myself taking on new responsibilities. I am fortunate enough to be the new managing editor of I am very excited to be working towards something I would like to do as a career in my near future. I handle editing the various articles we receive from the multi-talented and multicultural authors working for Joy and Your Pet Space. Now that I am running things on the website we can have multiple scheduled article postings a week and I can relieve Joy of some unneeded stress as well.

The Milky Way, a place for the dogs at our facility to take a nap during the day.

The Milky Way, a place for the dogs at our facility to take a nap during the day.

Gateway to sweet doggy dreams…

When it comes to our place of business, stress isn’t something just us humans go through. Dogs too can become stressed out and need a nap just like people do. Your Pet Space is great because we offer a three-hour napping period for all the dogs to relax at noon and get some well-deserved rest from playing all morning. During this time we turn off most of the lights and lock the doors so that nobody disturbs the animals. Nap time in the Milky Way gives myself and the owners time to eat lunch and calm the pack of dogs down for a bit. It also gives me time to work on the website and to write my own articles.

A quick snapshot of a few of our "space cadets" during nap time.

A quick snapshot of a few of our “space cadets” during nap time.

Your Pet Space? 

If the idea of a cage free boarding facility wasn’t awesome enough, just throw in the fact that Your Pet Space is set up to literally be your pet “space.” Dave and Joy are huge sci-fi fans and show their passion for it through their businesses theme. One quick visit to their official website gives you a huge clue as to what they are all about. Drawing your eye when you step through the doors is a large space mural with stars that actually light up. In the Milky Way there are tents or space pup tents for dogs to sleep in during nap time. For new clients, or clients that come very frequently, we offer a mission report. It is basically a card written specifically for each dog giving the owners a summary of how their dog has been doing during their time with us. Not only is the idea creative with its terminology, it is also shows the amount of attention we show each client’s dog. The “Ambassadog’s” Seba and Hoagy, Joy and Dave’s dogs, are always meeting new “cadets” to accompany them on their daily “deep space missions” we have at our facility. Beam me up doggy!

Space mural custom made for our facility.

Space mural custom made for our facility.

Duty calls

With a lot of animals in our care comes a lot of cleaning and other chores as well. We use veterinary grade, animal friendly products to mop up and sanitize our floors after accidents and try to handle them as quickly as we can spot them. Often times new dogs will “relieve” themselves immediately upon entry of our facility, which we try to emphasize, is a totally normal thing for us. I think of Your Pet Space as a safe haven for dogs because we will never lose our temper and instead treat them just as we’d treat our own pets. Sometimes the dogs may tear up the beds or wear down toys from excessive play but it’s never treated as a serious problem. Dogs are dogs and we understand that things can happen while they’re enjoying their time with us. Our priority is the safety and care of your dogs.

One of our daycare dogs, Lou. She loves to play in our water bowls.

One of our daycare dogs, Lou. She loves to play in our water bowls.

Scooby snacks

Feeding time is also something to write about here because it tends to be one of the most hectic times at Your Pet Space. In this moment, knowing the dogs you’re working with is very helpful. It pays off to know that certain dogs can become very aggressive or territorial when it comes to their food. When you know who you’re working with, you can accommodate and put certain dogs in separate quadrants when they eat to avoid problems. We also have a handy red cart that allows us to expedite the whole process and have multiple food bowls with us at once for feeding. We get various dog foods from clients and are always precise in feeding their pets the correct amount specified by their owners. No order is too tall for us and we understand that certain dogs may need medications or special feedings that we’re happy to administer.

The bright red food cart we use to help feed and give water to our dogs.

The bright red food cart we use to help feed and give water to our dogs.

Out of this world experience…

Since first starting at Your Pet Space, my shifts have become longer but have began to feel much shorter. I have seen the business grow from the grand opening and everyday we are becoming bigger and more popular among pet owners in the city. Playing and interacting with the dogs has become so natural to me that stepping into the Alpha quadrant, our main holding area, has made me feel like I’m truly the leader of the pack. Just a few stays with us has changed a lot of anxious and nervous dogs for the better. This is a place where a dog can burn excess energy and experience a fun social environment. Playing “pitball” and running over and under the “space bridge” is just a small part of the Your Pet Space experience. I’ve grown fond and familiar with a lot of our client’s pets in the short time I’ve been a part of the Jones’s team. Our demographic is pet owners who love their animals and want them to be supervised and taken care of the same way they would be at home. Your Pet Space is a great place to work, to board, and for your pets, a great place to stay.

Sleepy cadet Jolene resting in one of our space pup tents.

Sleepy cadet Jolene resting in one of our space pup tents.

Lazarus Gomez

 Lazarus Gomez, an aspiring writer/photographer from Phoenix, Arizona has been freelance writing for local newspapers and is currently majoring in journalism at New Mexico State University. He has always been an avid animal lover and has two large bulldogs named Levi and Diesel. He currently resides in Las Cruces, New Mexico and is hoping to pursue his passion in sports writing.

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