Dickie Palazzo of Purr’n Pooch

It’s no secret how I feel about my dog (here, here and here). I think she is the Best Dog […]

It’s no secret how I feel about my dog (here, here and here). I think she is the Best Dog Ever. Of course, most people feel that way about their pets and that’s the way it should be. Unfortunately, once you add this new member to your family, you visit places that don’t always allow canines. What to do, what to do? We are very fortunate here in Monmouth County, there is a pet resort called Purr’n Pooch. The owner is Dickie Palazzo and everybody who brings their pet there loves Dickie. You know why? Because Dickie loves your pet the way you do. It’s also evident that the employees at Purr N Pooch love your pet. When we drop off Charley, our Goldendoodle, for grooming or boarding, she is in such a rush to get in there to see all her friends. It’s quite amusing. Dickie has a way about him that makes you feel like your pet is the most important pet boarding there at the moment. I know I feel that way, but the fact that he makes me believe he feels that way makes me feel more secure leaving Charley. Since this place is so essential to our lives, I wanted to find out more about Dickie. What better way to get to know someone than in an interview ? I introduce you to – Dickie Palazzo:

ID: Please tell us a little about yourself and how Purr’n Pooch became a destination pet resort.
DP: My education and background is in veterinary medicine. I also learned to groom and train dogs, which led me to team up with a veterinarian who started the Purr’n Pooch concept. We joined forces to create one of the best pet hotels in the world.

ID: What was your childhood ambition?
DP: When I was young, early school testing said I should work with animals and possibly become a farmer. I thought the testers were crazy. A farmer? At the time, I never thought my passion for animals would become a career. I guess they were right. Although I still don’t have that farm. Dogs, sheep. What’s the difference? Hah.


ID: What was your first job in high school?
DP: Coming from a household of seven siblings, second in line, my job was to help my mother care for the family. I also set up my own business, It’s a Dog’s World, in my van doing grooming and training to supplement my income. At 16, I was also a Jones Beach lifeguard on Long Island.

ID: What’s the dumbest thing you did when first starting out?
DP: I borrowed a lot of money to find out I bought financial debt

ID: What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?
DP: I have been advised and I have mottos I live by. When I bought financial debt, I called myself stupid. My wife Mary, told me “You are only stupid if it happens to you twice.”

My motto is Go by your own intuition. Put your blinders on and stay focused on your own business. Don’t look to the left or right and don’t worry what other businesses are doing, it only dismantles or distracts you from moving forward. I also feel like everything originates from the seed of determination. Determination is the stepping stone for passion and that is where I am so blessed. Passion and love of what I do are the reasons for my success.


ID: Please tell us about your career highlight.
DP: My highlight is being in business and working with animals for over 45 years. On the 40th anniversary of my business in 2010, my daughters, Koren and Betsy, gave a present to my wife Mary and myself, the development of the Purr‘n Pooch Foundation for Animals. The foundation was created to help and save animals. It’s one of the most rewarding feelings to be able to give back to a cause that I tremendously believe in. By the way, the next Foundation event is the Summer Gala on August 17th at the Channel Club. Join us! 

ID: Please tell us about your pets at home.
DP: I have and had the privilege of sharing my life with many different pets, dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles and horses. I presently live with my family, two German Shepherds, one rescue cat, 1 rescue dog and our horse.


ID: If you could do anything else for a career, what would it be?
DP: My passion is still so strong for animals, which doesn’t give me time to deviate my thoughts to something else. I would, however, like to make time to lecture, host educational seminars and write books from the animal’s point of view and understanding. Throughout my life, I have viewed the world from the way they see it. I’d like to help others understand how important this is to interacting with them and providing them with full lives.

ID: What do you like to do in your spare time?
DP: I enjoy my private time to recollect, read and be with my pets. Spending time with my wife, children, and grandchildren is very special and important to me. If time is available, activities such as golfing, skiing, swimming, rowing and tennis relax me.

ID: Please tell us a random fact about Dickie Palazzo we would be surprised to know.
DP: Growing up with a family of seven siblings, I am truly a self-sufficient guy who enjoys cooking. I can sew, iron, and have changed many diapers in my life. I truly love to still groom and train pets but wish I had more time to do it. I also enjoy art, gardening and have a soft heart and love for older animals.

Dick as Child

ID: Lastly, please describe yourself in 5 words.
DP: I can do it in 6…loving, giving, passionate, appreciative, private and blessed.

Dickie, saying thank you doesn’t seem to be enough. But, thank you for the warmth you have shown me, my pets and everyone who walks through the doors of Purr N’ Pooch. Thank you, as well, for answering the questions so fully and thoughtfully. I know everyone will enjoy getting to know you a bit better.

Images courtesy of Purr’n Pooch


  1. Thank you, Constance! Happy, Healthy New Year to you, too! No, I cannot believe it is 2017 already, but I feel like that every year!

  2. Constance Muller

    Hi Carrie,
    Glad you posted your top ten list, because I missed reading about Dickie Palazzo’s Purr n Pooch. His company and his spirt sound wonderful. You are fortunate to have a great place like this for Charley!

    Happy New Year Friend
    Can you believe? 2017 already!

  3. Wow, so nice! You certainly were very lucky to have worked with Dickie and Purr’n Pooch!

  4. Suzanne, that’s so funny! So happy you got over your fear of dogs – having a dog in the family can really change your life. Does that sound too over the top?

  5. Suzanne Schissler

    i love this article. I can really sense how much dickie loves what he does for a living. I’d love to visit purr n pooch to see all this in action. And coming from someone who just recently got over a fear of dogs???….that’s saying something!!!!

  6. G

    Wonderful man, beautiful family – inside and out!!

  7. B. O'Neill

    I walked into PNP 3 decades ago a broken person with a little tiny long haired chihuahua in tow from Dallas, Texas. Dick Palazzo gave me a job, a purpose and believed in me when I didn’t believe in much. I worked for him for twenty years until the birth of my daughter. He has been a HUGE influence in my life, one of those people that imprinted your life to this day. To this day, my pets go nowhere but PNP for boarding, trust no one else with my furry family members. The reason pets love PNP is simply the *family* atmosphere Dick has created from way long ago starting with staff. We were a close-knit group in and out of work, all with a passion and love for animals. Dick nurtured us, taught us and allowed our passion to grow. I can remember his daughters running the halls in their black patten leather shoes squealing as Hector and Roland (the family’s loyal German Shepards) would chase after them playfully. Now beautiful grown women, and mothers with gorgeous children who all continue the passion for animals. Forever blessed to have walked into PNP so many years ago, who would have thought what an influence on my life, a driving force on my and furry family’s lives… To this day, I still quote Dick “Approach is everything”… words I live by. Thank you DP for giving so many peace of mind when it comes to themselves and their fur babies xoxo

  8. I am sure she is happy there! You would definitely know if she wasn’t!

  9. Amy

    I recently started bring my Nayla (Rhodesian Ridgeback)to Purr ‘n Pooch – seems very happy there and now I know why❤️