Business Update – How a Dog Playpen Saved my Business


So as you guys remember, there was a terrible accident at my business a few months back. I thought for sure that I was doomed. After a few months of litigation, my insurance company finally settled.

I almost lost my business, but I was luckily able to bootstrap some cash.

Want to know how I did that? I started using that dog playpen that I had bought.

What? Well, I would bring the dog playpen to public places, such as the beach or the park, put my dogs inside of it, and let people pet the dogs!

I would do this in the off-hours, when my business wasn’t profitable (e.g. cost more to keep it open than it was making). I’d leave a tip jar outside of the dog playpen and asked people to contribute whatever they could.

I didn’t think that I would make much doing this, but it turns out that people really love petting dogs. There is something so soothing about petting a friendly puppy.

The dog playpen was perfect for this as it allowed the dogs to stay in an enclosed area, without risk of hurting anyone. It almost acted like a pen that you’d see at a petting zoo. The dog playpen that I had bought was a heavy-duty dog playpen, making it extremely hard for my excited puppies to get out. I also purchased a cover for the pet playpen so they couldn’t jump out, although I didn’t need to use that much. The dog playpen really tired them out.

I received so many compliments for bringing my dogs and dog pen around with me and offering this service. Whenever I would talk to people, I would give them my business card and suggest that they come in.

I altered my business cards to added a reminder on there that I was the ‘dog playpen’ guy. This has brought me in an incredible amount of business.

I still go out to the beach and parks during my slow times and earn some cash from the dog petting playpen tip jar, but my primary source of revenue from it comes in the form of the business that I generate from handing out my cards.

I really should write a more elaborate case study on this. It’s truly an amazing thing that I was able to accomplish – all with the will-power to succeed and a dog playpen (and some cute puppies)!

Thanks for reading – and for those of you who wrote in during my time of struggle, I really appreciate it. Your positive words kept me going.

Much respect!

judgement day

While Judgment Day has been upon me. After some back and forth with the lawyers, the owner of the dog that I accidentally her and myself have reached a settlement. While I can’t disclose the exact figure of the settlement, I will say that it is enough to nearly bankrupt me. I have no idea how a dog can cost me that much money.

And before anyone asks, yes I did have insurance. It was actually really good top-of-the-line Allstate insurance. Surprisingly, it didn’t even nearly come close enough to covering the cost of the lawsuit. They also claimed negligence on my part and when to pay out the full sum.

I had mentioned that my aunt had given me an inheritance. I had to use all of that in order to not go fully bankrupt.

As for the dog grooming business, I’m probably gonna have to put that on hold for a while. While it is my passion to be a dog groomer, I just simply can’t afford to take the risk right now. I need a steady income coming in. Yes, that means I’m gonna have to go back to my 9 to 5 job. Luckily my old employer is going to take me back. It’s really sad that I have to go back and work this job again. I was really enjoying the freedom of being an entrepreneur.

I’m starting to do dog grooming on the side. Hopefully I’ll be able to master the technique so when a more financially well-off I’ll be able to go back into dog grooming business.

bad news

So I have some terrible news. The result of the dog incident is probably going to put me out of business. The owner is filed a civil lawsuit against me for a settlement of $1 million. I have no clue how a dog is good be worth $1 million, but I’m sure that I’ll still have to pay out a handsome sum. Luckily I do have a bit of an inheritance from my deceased aunt. That should cover the majority of the lawsuit. However, I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to sustain my business afterwards.

I’ve been having anxiety attacks ever since the dog incident. It’s been quite unsettling. I often wake up and wonder what I could have done differently or how I should’ve reacted differently. I know that it wasn’t my fault, that I was jolted out of nowhere. But I still feel awful about it.

I’m going to go to my therapist and talk about the dog incident. I’m a huge fan of mental health. If only more people sought out mental health treatment options then there would be less unhappy people in the world.

I really don’t know what I’m gonna do. I absolutely love being a dog groomer. I know I wasn’t the best at it, but I sure did work hard. I also don’t know if I would be able to keep my assistant on. I’m sure this lawsuit is going to drain me. I don’t know what I’m gonna do.

Oh god

Well, my worst fear has happened… we accidentally hurt a dog when we were cutting him. This is absolutely my worst fear. At the very least, I’m lucky that the dog isn’t seriously injured. However, this is going to put a serious dent in my business.

It all started off when I was cutting a dog during a very bad storm. There was thunder and lightning going on for hours at this point. Normally that kind of weather doesn’t bother me, however for some reason today it absolutely startled me. During a particularly loud flash of lightning and a very loud boom of thunder that I wasn’t expecting, I jolted and accidentally took the shears to the dogs ear.

There was so much blood everywhere. The dog began to cry uncontrollably. He defecated in urinated all over the table. I felt God awful.

The owner had left us with the dog’s vet information should any emergencies occur. I immediately had my assistant apply pressure to the wound and calm the dog. While he did that, I called the veterinarian and let them know what happened. Fortunately, the owner of the dog goes to a very high end veterinarian. The veterinarian sent someone out to my shop to take care of the dog.

Once the dog was settled and no longer flailing and whining uncontrollably, the veterinarian took the dog away back to their business. That is when we begun cleanup of the salon.

I’m not particularly sure what’s going to happen as a result of this, but I am sure that I will be subject to some sort of lawsuit. I really feel bad for the dog and wish that this never happened. I guess this is a lesson learned for the future. Hopefully I don’t go out of business.

Hired some help

So I finally bit the bullet and hired some help this past week. As you previously read, I had been having a bit of a problem getting the dogs to sit still when I was trying to groom them. Nothing that I was trying seemed to work.

I came across a video on YouTube and they suggested to use a partner if I was having a hard time:

Well, needless to say that’s what I tried out. I hired a high school student part-time who is interested in one day being a veterinarian. He said that it was impossible to find internships at veterinarians unless you’re in college, so he figured dog grooming was the next best thing. Okay, whatever works.

I’ll skip the boring stuff and let you know that it’s actually worked. He holds the dog while I groom it. Bam! No more restless dogs.

You have no idea how happy this makes me… it was seriously such a pain trying to groom the dogs by myself. While the expense of having another person is a bit daunting, it’s more than off-set by my increased efficiency.

I am well on my way to being profitable!

Please sit still

The biggest challenge that I have had so far with dog grooming is getting the dogs to sit still while I groom them. It’s so much harder than it looks. I know that most groomers hook the dog’s collar securely on the platform like this:

But that still doesn’t prevent the dog from squirming all over the place. I’ve been using dog treats, like really good dog treats including bacon from this recipe on AllRecipes, but that hasn’t worked.

I’ve even tried tiring all of the dogs out before I groom them. Usually I have around 2-3 dogs at a time in my shop. I had previously been putting them all in their own dog crates while they weren’t being worked on, but figured that this was only containing their energy for when they actually got to the grooming part. So I purchased a dog playpen that I found on Best Dog Crates and Beds in order to tire the dogs out. But that hasn’t worked.

I don’t know, maybe I need to go for a run with them before I groom them? I don’t think that’s feasible though. That would take up so much of my time and I’m already operating on razor thin margins.

I’m sure I’ll think of something eventually, but this is super frustrating…


Hey everyone! My name is Thomas. Welcome to my blog!

You’re probably here because you’re in need of a dog groomer. Well, I’m your man! Sort of…

I left my 9-5 job a few months ago to pursue my passion to be a dog groomer. While I am much, much happier with my new found freedom, I am unfortunately not the best dog groomer.

So the money hasn’t exactly been flowing in.

I’m making this blog in order to inspire others that they can achieve their dreams if they’re willing to take risks…