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.
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