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Greytown’s doggie daycare

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

This festive season is the perfect time to pamper your pooch.

A new boarding kennel, ‘Dog Days’, is opening in Greytown on December 1 and will offer an enrichment program that includes massage treatments just for dogs.

Owners Ben Markwick and Sarah Ellich bonded over their love of animals when they met working as canine attendants for the SPCA in Auckland about five years ago.

Now, they are hoping to share their expertise to make sure dogs are well looked after when their owners are away.

Ms Ellich completed a canine massage certificate online to learn more about how to help dogs relax.

She then went on to complete a massage course at Wellpark College, in Auckland,  just to make sure had the feel for massage.

“You need to know you’re doing it right,” she said.

Another key aspect of the program is the idea that ‘scent is everything.’

Dogs get to play a variety of ‘find it’ games by sniffing out hidden leaves and twigs that have been scented with essential oils.

The smell of peppermint will be used for dogs who are after something interesting.

“What makes us stand out is the experience from the SPCA,” Ms Ellich said.

“We have both worked with a huge range of dogs, we have seen a range of dog behaviour from the worst to the best.

“We have a good understanding of what makes dogs happy and what makes them settle in a new environment.”

The kennel can hold a maximum of 18 dogs at any one time and the pair have no plans to expand in the future because they want to make sure each dog gets the individual attention it needs.

The couple have two dogs of their own who will be helping them along the way.

As former SPCA dogs Flick and Holly have come a long way in a group environment.

“Flick and Holly are both very experienced in helping dogs settle in a new group environment,” Ms Ellich said.

“The biggest goal for us is to become a big part of the community.”


  1. Sarah & Ben are probably the best possible team to care for your dogs. If you don’t live in Greytown, you should possibly consider moving there, for this reason.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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