Caring for first responders’ dogs

US & World

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) – Essential workers are doing more now than ever before. From doctors to nurses, police officers and grocery store workers and delivery drivers, they still need to care for their pets while at work doing these critical jobs.

One Bay area business is staying open to care for these dogs, even as the doggy daycare struggles to stay afloat.

It looks fun and fuzzy and The Grateful Dog, even as the coronavirus pandemic crushed this doggy daycare company.

“We had to go into personal savings because we are in the red and we go day-by-day by the moment,” Karla Rivera says.

Business is down 90%. Most people are working from home and not traveling, so the need for dog boarding went bottom up.

The doggy daycare has two locations. One in San Francisco’s Marina District, the other in Greenbrae, off 101.

While it could have closed, the owner decided to stay open.

“We are literally just open for people who are out there working essential business who need a place to keep their dogs,” Rivera says.

The Grateful Dog follows all CDC guidelines for keeping clean and safe distances. By still operating during difficult times, it is their way of giving back to the doctors, nurses and first responders who must return to work.

“We feel we have to do our part. plus the pets still want to play all day. Dogs need dogs like people need people so we are here for them too,” Ernie Cervantes says.

The appreciation for being up and running for essential workers is flooding social media, like this comment from a physician at UCSF.

“So much happiness!! Thank you for staying open during these strange times so Riley can play and see his pals while I’m at work! <3”


And while business is hurting, this fills the owners hearts with gratitude.

“People who don’t even use us from other counties are thanking us for staying open for them and so we do it for them,” Rivera says.

Because business is down so much, The Grateful Dog has reduced hours.

Even do, it can accommodate graveyard and weekend shifts for any dog owner who needs that kind of care right now.

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