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PUP culture 

Christine Black ditched the courtroom for a roomful of seven-pound dogs. The verdict? She’s guilty of having the best job ever.

click to enlarge Christine Black and Chester, owners of Petite Urban Pooch small dog daycare. - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Christine Black and Chester, owners of Petite Urban Pooch small dog daycare.
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Her heart just wasn't in it anymore. That was the main reason Christine Black left her life as a lawyer behind a year ago—that and her love of her tiny pup Chester. After many long days in the office, and many guilty nights coming home to the little Yorkshire Terrier who'd been holed up in her condo all day, she was inspired to find a spot where she wouldn't have to worry about him when she was at work.

The idea to open Petite Urban Pooch, a small dog daycare, started as a joke. But when she wasn't feeling fired up at work, and her both her loved ones and CEED (the Centre for Entrepreneurial Education and Development) supported the idea, it became a reality and the newest resident of 2863 Isleville Street in north end Halifax. "It's not as much about excluding big dogs as it is catering to small ones," says Black. "I think sometimes small dogs are over-looked. People think they don't need to go outside or socialize."

PUP (possibly the cutest acronym ever) is a kennel-free daycare that offers up a napping area equipped with plush beds and little tents, an indoor play area for roughhousing and lap running, with a fenced in backyard space attached. "What I'm trying to recreate here is a second home for urban pooches, one that has everything except for their human," says Black of her 1,500-square-foot space. "I have big dreams for what it could be and I really hope I'm on the right track."

Pooch parents looking for peace of mind can check out petiteurbanpooch.ca or drop by the daycare Monday through Friday, 7:30am-6:30pm. Prices range from $24-$30 per day, but most importantly—your fur baby will have to pass an interview with Chester himself. Black hopes to engage dog owners in the area through hosting events and workshops in the future.

"I really hope that this encourages people who aren't taking their dog to daycare to try something different and see if it works."

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