The grabber is the color scheme of her signs, Carole Jordan said. Brown and pink, the placards for Boothbay Canine Daycare & Boarding are hard to miss as you pass 653 Wiscasset Road.
“People ask ‘Why those colors," said Jordan, a kinetic force who opened her business in July. “I’m a hunter and a dog lover. They tie in together. They work.”
One step into the business confirms this. There are dogs, lots of dogs, big and little, purebred and not, dogs that use their voices to announce their presence, and ones that chill out in the kennel.
At the center of it all is Jordan, 53, who’s well-known in the area for her longtime excavator work with Jordan Construction Co., the business she co-owns with ex-husband Alden. The move to running a daycare/kennel may well have benefited from Jordan’s standing in the community. She said a lot of people have come to see her, but the business will grow based on a need it’s fulfilling: a lack of kennel space in the area; and the quality of service.
Jordan said the first and most important offering is a personal touch. When a new dog arrives, she wants to know what it likes and doesn’t like, so it will be at ease and the owner can be assured for the hours he or she is away from the pet.
“Do they like belly rubs? Are they afraid of thunderstorms? I want to know these things so I can provide the best experience possible."
The business offers the usual services: grooming, walking, and longer-term stays. She also offers self-service dog washing: The owner does the work and Jordan supplies the facilities. Plans include more personalized touches, such as a doggie taxi service. "You’re coming off the boat or a plane. We pick up your dog, and you go do your thing. We’d like to establish that.”
The operation is a blend of recreation and leisure, with big outdoors fenced areas for the dogs to play together and easy access to the indoor kennels where they can rest. Calling on her background in construction, Jordan did her own site work and general contracting, building on one of the lots she owns with her ex-husband.
The plan was launched in earnest last August, as Jordan consulted with established kennels and did her homework on how her facility should look and function.
“We basically put her to work with the dogs,” said Trish Toppi of Brickyard Kennels in North Yarmouth. “We showed her how it was to handle the dogs, keep them from fighting, that sort of thing. It’s a bigger job than you think it is. Carole was so good. She’s just really good with dogs. They took to her.”
When it came time to build the business, Jordan’s partner in the venture, Donna Desjardins, provided support with bookkeeping and formulating a business plan, and now helps Jordan run the entire operation. At various times, either or both can be found moving dogs, playing with the pets, or tending to clients coming and going. Another constant presence is Penny, Jordan’s 4-year-old Vizla.
“We have an AKC dog show here every day,” Desjardins joked.
Desjardins said of the business, “The concept and design and resources, that’s all Carole Jordan. But we need each other to keep it going.”
Jordan envisioned the business as a way to step into her dreams in the latter part of her working life. The work with the construction company was challenging and edifying, but spending her days among dogs is more a labor of love, she said.
“I’ve had a lot of dogs. I understand them. I know what it takes to keep them happy and healthy.”