Doggie daycare centre is more than just a pet project for David
A former NHS senior manager is investing £10,000 of his redundancy package to launch a new venture caring for animals.
David Culy, who lives in the West End of Lincoln with wife Jackie and their two border terriers Ettier and Obi, opened a new "doggie daycare" centre last week.
Called 78K9, the indoor complex is appropriately named after the three units on the Chieftain Way industrial estate, off Tritton Road, where it is based in the former Autofix car repair workshops.
The 47-year-old, who dedicated his working life to human healthcare and wellbeing until he lost his job at the end of March, says he is equally dedicated to canine welfare.
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The father-of-two and stepdad recruited all his family to complete the transformation of the premises in time for the grand opening.
They were pressed into service with paintbrushes and helped to install all the toys and special flooring surface which means that the entire building is "pooch-friendly" and easy to maintain and keep clean.
"I'm telling people that I've escaped the rat race to look after dogs for 12 hours each day," Mr Culy said.
"After a long period involved with the Phoenix Stop Smoking Service in Lincolnshire and Dorset, I was a senior manager with the East Midlands Cancer Network until earlier this year when staffing levels were reduced from 50-plus to five.
"I've always loved dogs, I'm part-way through a training programme and I did quite a bit of research into the need for a daycare centre in Lincoln.
"And I know the former owner of the only one in the city which has sadly closed down.
"But the idea I have is for, literally, a dogs' creche.
"It's going to be similar to the ones where people leave their children.
"We will have activity areas, toys and morning walks so the dogs tire themselves out and then have a sleep.
"Then we'll be doing it all over again in the afternoons before the owners come to collect their pets.
"We operate a series of play sessions and quiet times to give each dog the time to burn off some energy, followed by some down-time in our quiet corner, as well as walks outside throughout the day.
"So I'm doing something for a living that has long been a passion for me.
"Both my wife Jackie and I are already a certified canine first aiders and I will soon be completing a dog behavioural course.
"78K9 is designed to allow dogs to play with other dogs in a safe and controlled environment.
"And, as an introductory offer, Lincolnshire Echo readers will pay £15 for their first full day, instead of the usual £20."
Mr Culy is even "vetting" pets by insisting that they are taken in for a free personality assessment before their first session at the centre.
For more details, visit their website at www.78k9.co.uk or call 07446 801816.