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Canine Connection 

Canine Connection (4920 Tchoupitoulas St., 218-4098; www.canineconnectionnola.com) is a daycare and boarding center for dogs and the realization of a longtime dream for owner Deedra Wing. "I always wanted to open my own business," Wing says. "But it never seemed like the right time."

  Like many who lived in New Orleans in 2005, Wing left town for Hurricane Katrina. During her absence, she was haunted by stories of pet owners desperate to reconnect with furry family members they let behind. An owner of four dogs, Wing felt inspired to create the company she'd always dreamed of founding. In 2006, Canine Connection was born.

  Canine Connection boasts 24-hour pet supervision, several outdoor play areas, private suites and a doggy swimming pool. Owners can check on their pets at any time using the company's website, which features webcam monitoring individual rooms and group areas. The brightly painted front office is adorned with colorful pop art portraits of pups, and the din of barking rarely ceases for long. On any given day, the operation hosts between 70 and 120 pets. The front of the facility houses Canine Culture, the company's dog-centric retail store, where owners can find all kinds of treats for their pets.

click to enlarge Owner Deedra Wing's resident dog, Wendy, provides a cheerful welcome to Canine Connection visitors.
  • Owner Deedra Wing's resident dog, Wendy, provides a cheerful welcome to Canine Connection visitors.

  The company regularly sponsors events to benefit groups like the Louisiana SPCA, including this year's BARKtoberfest. Wing's favorite part of operating the center is greeting "all of the tail-wagging dogs (that) enter our doors on a daily basis." She believes all pups have unique personalities, and she looks forward to getting to know them. To Wing and her employees, this means, quite literally, "making the canine connection."

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