Man's best friend has quickly transcended the limits of the idealized lap-dog by asserting its role as an irreplaceable and valued member of the modern family. Pet owners today have been known to implement baby strollers, throw birthday parties and even serve what many would consider gourmet food in the name of their four-legged family members.
Fortunately, eco-friendly owners demand the same means of sustainability when pampering these beloved canines as they have come to expect in human-targeted products and services. The city of Atlanta is no stranger to these green demands and one company in particular, Greendog, as the title implies, has gone above and beyond to make available sustainable resources with which to indulge these furry companions.
Greendog is located in the Atlanta neighborhood of Castleberry Hill, which is Atlanta's only greencell, and has proven ideal for Atlanta's first environmentally-friendly canine retreat. This progressive area is an eco-driven community dedicated to solutions that reduce waste, improve water and energy efficiency, as well as encourage recycling and composting. The primary goal of the greencell is to nurture grassroots growth through collective community clean-ups, recycling programs, and buying arrangements for the local restaurants and businesses to utilize specific practices like biodegradable take-out containers. That being said, the obvious progression in the community spirit was to incorporate the pet needs of these green-minded citizens, and thus, Greendog was introduced.
November 2009 marked the initiation of Greendog into the Atlanta community, and would also serve as a memorial for owner Jennifer Nichols' beloved Whippet, Petie, a cancer survivor who passed two years prior. She has since added a member to her canine family of one, meaning nine year-old Italian Greyhound, Peanut, has a new companion in Italian Greyhound puppy, Iggy Pop.
The transition from chef/owner of a fine dining restaurant and catering business in North Georgia to owner of a sustainable doggy day-care center was rather simple for an animal lover raised on a Kentucky farm. Despite a culinary degree and previously held job titles such as model, photographer, chef and organic gardener, this Renaissance woman has focused her efforts on transforming the pet industry through services, products and educational classes. Nichols' dedication to her craft is uniquely infectious, and her green locks serve as a bold reminder of a lifestyle devoted to the natural health and well-being of all species.
Greendog currently offers grooming, boarding, and day-care, and Nichols will soon open a retail boutique to market green pet products, like her frozen organic soy dog treats
. The backbone of these services and products lies in the mission statement, which asserts that providing not only a clean, stress-free environment is crucial to a dog's health, but by using only environmentally friendly products and conserving energy and water, Greendog is protecting the Earth as well. Ecologically-sensitive cleaning products, low-VOC paint, recycled graywater and low-flow toilets have all been implemented in the facility to further this mission and reduce overall impact. In addition, each dog is given the benefit of an eco-den on this urban sprawl, complete with natural wood fencing, watched over by the careful eye of handlers trained in CPR and first aid.
The company states that "Greendog uses less, so we can give all dogs more." It is clear from this ideal that the underlying role of Greendog in the community is to encourage dog-lovers to make crucial ecological decisions not only in their own lives, but in their dogs' lives, and in the lives of other dogs, as well. Greendog teaches Atlanta's citizens to act selflessly in the name of animal rights and environmental rights alike, while treating your dog to the serenity of an eco-retreat unlike any other. Thank you, Greendog, for giving canines hope for a greener spot to play!
Sites to get your paws on: