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Fenway Bark opens its doors to four-legged guests

Posted by Your Town  April 11, 2011 08:06 AM

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(Lauryn Paiva)

The newest luxury hotel in South Boston offers only the finest amenities to its valued clientele.

Custom-made orthopedic mattresses, acupuncture, hydro-surge massage and gourmet steak and salmon dinners are only a few of the indulgences. The luxury suites are also equipped with Skype, so out-of-towners can easily connect with guests, face-to-face.

Ready to book your reservations yet?

Sorry, humans, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The lavish accommodations at Fenway Bark are meant only for four-legged companions.

Jane Fulton, president of Fenway Bark, wanted to open an upscale boarding kennel that combined quality service with transparency, so owners would have peace-of-mind when leaving their pups behind.

“I come from the business aspect of this, with a passion for animals and a passion for doing things right,” said Fulton.

The hotel combines high-class daycare and boarding with high-tech features. In addition to Skype, live cameras set up in the public playrooms can be accessed from the Internet. Suites also are equipped with high-definition Web cams and flat-screen TVs [cable included], for pets who might be accustomed to home-like background noise.

Fulton and business partner Jim Morrison enlisted the technical help of Glenn Grant, chief informational officer of G2 Technology Group, in order to make their hotel as cutting-edge as possible.

“Jane is an entrepreneur, we’re entrepreneurs,” said Grant. “She had some crazy, awesome ideas for us to implement.”

The addition of Skype to the luxury suites was part of Fulton’s focus on transparency -- maintaining a comfort level for owners and their pets while they are separated, she said. The system is outfitted to automatically answer calls from an accepted numbers’ list, instantly connecting owner with dog or cat at any time of the day or night.

“You can see your pet, and your pet can see and hear you,” said Grant.

Prices for dog care range from $40 for a basic one-day stay, to $150 for an amenities-packed “owner’s box” stay. A weeklong stay ranges in price from $252 to $945, depending on the level of service.

Fenway Bark employs 26 staff members, including a full-time veterinarian, a dog behavior specialist, a pet salon manager and a number of groomers. The facility, which includes a combined 200 square feet of play space for the dogs, expects to be fully operational by the end of April.

“We wanted to build a place that we would bring our own dogs to,” said Morrison, who owns four Golden Retriever rescue dogs with Fulton.

This article was reported and written by Northeastern University journalism student Lauryn Paiva, under the supervision of journalism instructor Lisa Chedekel, as part of collaboration between The Boston Globe and Northeastern.

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