Doggie Play Days
It was the winter of 2010, and Alisa and Mark Theurer were trapped indoors with a new baby boy and an active yellow lab named Tigger. They had just made a big move to Rhode Island after years overseas with the Navy, and, true to New England, were greeted by a string of mid-week snowstorms that plagued the region all season.
The little family searched for a climate-controlled place to exercise Tigger together — she weighed more than 100 pounds when they adopted her in Japan — but no such facility existed in frosty (or humid) Rhode Island. Now two years later, Tiggs is the inspiration and canine heir to Bow Chika Wow Town, the state’s first-ever indoor, off-leash, climate-controlled dog park where “dogs bring their people to play.”
“Our business’s vision has grown to become much more than a safe, clean and inviting play spot in which Tigger can socialize despite inclement weather,” Alisa says.
The Theurer’s dog park, located near TF Green Airport in Warwick, boasts 8700 square feet of bright play areas, round-the-clock professional supervision, a doggy daycare and a pet hotel (not to mention workers on mess duty armed with non-toxic, animal-friendly cleaning products). In addition to pup-friendly fun, the park offers a monthly activity calendar with events for singles (BYOB!), families, retirees, stay-at-home moms and professionals. The facility also houses an indoor jungle gym for children six and younger — a safe zone to keep the kids happy while the family pooch releases some energy.
Bow Chika Wow Town officially opened its doors on December 1, but there’s no better time to visit than this Saturday, December 22, the official ribbon cutting celebration and first-annual Holiday Benefit. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian will preside over the ribbon cutting, and all donate-what-you-can admission proceeds will support the Friends of Warwick Animal Shelter.
In addition the ribbon cutting, the day will feature a host of fun, family-friendly activities including a DIY dog treat seminar, family photo ops with Santa, raffles, pet product vendors and an ugly sweater photo contest with prizes. Guests can avoid the long Santa line by calling Bow Chika Wow Town or signing up in advance on the Facebook page. Ugly sweater images can also be posted via Facebook for inclusion.
Holiday Benefit Details: Dec. 22. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Admission is donate what you can.
Indoor Dog Park Details: Open Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–8:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission $8 per day (plus $2 for additional dogs). Although the Indoor Dog Park is a drop-in-no-appointment-needed service, Bow Chika Wow Town requires guests to register their dog/owner information and to bring in a copy of the dog’s vet records. 450 Pavilion Ave., Warwick, 378-2643, bowchikawowtown.com.