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BrewHound Dog Park + Bar turns yard into dog 'recess' area amid COVID-19 pandemic

"We wanted to figure out a way to utilize the yard that still wasn't a gathering place for people," Wyckoff said.

Every day we're seeing local businesses get more and more creative with how they reach their customers, of course, while keeping social distancing in mind. BrewHound Dog Park + Bar is one of those businesses and Thursday, they put a new plan into action. 

"It would be obtuse to think that we weren't worried or a little bit scared," said Jason Underwood, Co-Owner of BrewHound Dog Park + Bar. 

If you've never been to the dog park, you're bound to see around 300 dogs coming through their gates every weekend. It's a place where people can meet up with friends and their dogs, sit back with a nice cold beer and enjoy the view. Recently, that hasn't been the case.

"Our main concern was if we cut everything off, how do we keep our employees employed?" Underwood said.

That's a question a lot of business owners have had to ask themselves and in some cases, they weren't able to come up with an answer.

"We don't know how long this is going to last," said Lauren Wyckoff, Co-Owner of BrewHound Dog Park + Bar. "It's like yes, we can do pressure washing and maintenance but it's like how long can we be paying people because we don't have anything coming in and we are new."

They knew they needed to get creative.

"We wanted to figure out a way to utilize the yard that still wasn't a gathering place for people," Wyckoff said.

An employee at the dog park brought the suggestion of a "doggie recess" to the table. It gives pet parents a break while they're working from home and it also gives the dog a few hours to socialize with other dogs. 

Wyckoff and Underwood know the stress their business is under, so they understand the stress their employees and guests are feeling too.

"It's times like this that you either see people's hoarding and wanting for themselves or the people that are so willing to give," Wyckoff said.

With the help of a rescue called Fur Sisters and small business Pet Wants, BrewHound is the location of a pet food pick up.

"If folks are picking up food, we know that they're struggling right now which we completely understand and there's no shame in that or anything," Wycoff said. "It's hard, it's hard right now."

You can also stop by the dog park and drop off food.

"We've have some people that we know come up and it's just really moving," she said. "People with bags of food and they're just like here you go and it's just so beautiful."

"You know these people in a business sense," Underwood said. "You sell them a product and you give them an experience." 

In these times, Underwood says it's more than that. 

"Those people are coming over and not wanting to buy anything but they want to come over here and make sure you're okay," he said.

If you want to take your pup to doggie recess, all you have to do is text the number (904) 297-5030 and provide your name, your dog's name and preferred day and time. You can only reserve 1-3 hours daily starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. You can also add a bath for a small dog at $10 or a big dog at $15. There will be staggered check-ins to comply with social distancing and crowd restrictions.