Dog’s best friend

Rob Joseph

Rob Joseph is a friendly guy, but you ain’t seen nothing until you catch a glimpse of him around his best friend, Argon, a German shepherd-Malamute mix he shares with his fiancée, Robyn Grassmyer. Having grown up with dogs, Joseph, 45, lamented the fact that for the past 20 years, working as a graphic designer, he was not able to bring his dog to work. So, he got an idea to open a doggie day-care center for people who can’t bring their dogs to work. In July, after receiving his training from the Animal Behavior College, Joseph, along with Grassmyer, was ready to open Wacky Wags Doggie Day Care Center. The facility is at 2145 Park Ave., Ste. 12, and the warehouse building is equipped with two vast playpens, an outdoor play area and a grooming center. For more information, call 342-9247 or go to

What does Wacky Wags offer Chico?

I think it’s the first one in Chico that offers a really complete dog day-care and boarding facility. Not only that, but we offer training, and pretty soon our grooming facility is going to be up and running, so we kind of have a one-stop center. Our dog kennels are four-by-six; they sleep inside those. But during the day, they come out into one of our play pens in our warehouse building. It’s climate-controlled, but we also have a giant outside area as well for the dogs. So the dogs get the best of three worlds, really: they sleep in the best quarters, they play in the best quarters, they get to go outside in the best quarters.

Has Wacky Wags helped build your relationship with dogs?

Every day is a brand new day with dogs. Somebody comes through the door with a dog, it’s a whole different personality that comes through the door, it’s a whole different way of playing with this dog. I mean, no two dogs are alike.

Do you have a most memorable moment?

One of the most compelling things I’ve had experience-wise with dogs so far was with training. We once had a dog stay with us for two weeks while her parents were on vacation. It was an Icelandic sheepdog, and her name was Brenna. Brenna was a car-chaser, so we needed to get her to stop chasing cars. It was quite a challenge … but by the time the two weeks were over, the owners could not believe what they saw in this dog, how this dog started to totally ignore cars. Being able to take this dog and to see the smile on the owners’ faces was just a way of telling me that this is definitely going to work, this is why I’m here.