Buster & Lilly’s Doggie Daycare and Boarding
Like many dog owners, Brian Tennison (pictured) dreamed of a job where he could be with his dogs all the time. When the company he was employed with for more than 16 years closed its Portland office in 2010, Brian seized the opportunity to bring his dream to life by opening Buster & Lilly’s Doggie Daycare and Boarding. “It was certainly frightening to leave the corporate world and step outside of my comfort zone, but it has most certainly paid off,” Brian says.
Named after Brian’s first two dogs (both of whom are featured prominently in the company logo), Buster & Lilly’s has been a second home for Tigard’s four-legged friends for nearly 10 years. “Lilly was my first dog ever,” says Brian. “I was afraid of dogs before I got her and surely would not be where I am today if not for her.” Brian’s love for Pugs has led to a role as president of Pacific Pug Rescue and also informs his doggie daycare approach. Buster & Lilly’s accepts all breeds, but they do not accept all dogs. Staff performs a temperament evaluation of each dog that comes through the door to ensure a safe, non-aggressive environment and their facility features two play areas to accommodate different sizes and dispositions.
The effects of COVID-19 were felt at Buster & Lilly’s shortly after cases started rising in the Tigard area. By mid-March, daily attendance had dropped to half of what it usually is, and business dropped to a quarter of normal following the statewide stay-at-home order. “Where we normally have a dozen dogs spending the night with us during spring break, we had none,” Brian says. The slowdown in business also forced Brian to lay off eight of his nine employees and sharply cut business hours.
A “Spring Flash Sale” on pre-paid service packages provided an injection of revenue that, combined with the $1,500 grant awarded through Tigard CARES, will enable Buster & Lilly’s to pay its May rent and help pay the salary for their remaining employee. “We feel very fortunate to have been chosen to receive a grant from Tigard CARES,” Brian says. Brian plans to bring back a full-time employee in early May and hopes to transition Buster & Lilly’s back to regular business hours soon.
To learn more about Buster & Lilly’s Doggie Daycare and Boarding, visit www.busterandlilly.net.