A Day as a Play Wash Stay Ruff Ranger

Ruff Rangers wear many hats at Chattanooga’s PlayWashStay daycare and boarding facility. Here’s a peek behind the curtain.

Despite being the envy of all jobs, the PlayWashStay Ruff Ranger position is about more than getting to snuggle and play with dogs all day. Even though that is a huge perk, Rangers always have a full day ahead of them.

Depending on the time of day they arrive their day can look completely different. The first dog daycare Ranger to enter the building at 6:30 a.m. is the opener. They can be considered the Ringleader; reviewing notes and information on all the dogs scheduled for the day helps create a picture of how the day will run.

The opener makes sure boarding dogs have been fed, checks to see if new boarding dogs are arriving, if we have any baths, and if we have any assessments. The information they gather will be told to every Ranger on shift throughout the day to make sure the team is all on the same page.

The next shift to clock in is the welcome desk. The welcome desk Ranger is responsible for greeting the owners, signing dogs into daycare for the day, and making sure all Rangers know which dog is coming into the play yard. They are also in charge of conducting lunches and welcoming incoming boarding dogs!

The evening front desk Ranger is responsible for checking dogs out and collecting payments from owners as needed. The front desk Rangers are a very important part of the facility because they answer phone calls and emails, and are the first interaction guests have with the business.

A benefit of being a part of the PlayWashStay daycare pack is each pet parent receives a report card about their dog’s day of play. Both morning and evening front desk Rangers are the creative minds behind the fun, silly, and informative daily report cards.

The mid-day shifts move and groove with the pack all shift long, as midday is when most of the daycare day activity happens. By 10 a.m., all the dogs have arrived. With upwards of 50 energetic dogs a day, it is important for the Rangers to switch their focus to pack management, engagement, and enrichment.

Early midshifts (8 a.m., 9 a.m., or 10 a.m.) is all about getting the dog’s initial energy out and helping manage packs during drop-offs and assessments. Assessments happen at 10 a.m. or 12 p.m. and require Rangers to confidently lead the pack during an exciting but stressful time. Lunch takes place between 11 a.m. and noon, and the Rangers now have to move dogs in and out of the pack efficiently and safely.

Midday shift Rangers are also in charge of completing any bath and blowouts, which happen between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.. Depending on the dog, a bath and blowout could take up to one hour per dog, so Rangers have to be proficient in time management and efficiency. Some dogs get antsy in the wash station.

The afternoons are usually everyone’s favorite time of day, as dogs are tired and looking for naps and cuddles. By 4 p.m., the Rangers are able to slow their pace, take a deep breath, and enjoy love, cuddles, and hugs from the dogs, who are starting to settle down. With the decreased energy, the closing Rangers are able to start their task of cleaning, sanitizing, and preparing the facility for the next day.

Once the daycare dogs have gone home by 6:30 p.m., the overnight Ranger is just getting started with feeding boarding dogs and getting them ready to wind down for the night! These pups just spent the day at daycare, so they should be super ready to sleep and snuggle close while the Ranger watches a movie in their onsite apartment. When the overnight Ranger wakes the following morning, it is time for the opener to come in and start the day all over again!

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