It’s a dog’s life

Charlsye Lewis ’04 and Marcus Brunt ’98 (MLA ’00) open a Fort Worth doggie day care business.

It’s a dog’s life

Charlsye Lewis ’04 and Marcus Brunt ’98 (MLA ’00) open a Fort Worth doggie day care business.

Business goals for Charlsye Lewis ’04 and Marcus Brunt ’98 (MLA ’00) have gone to the dogs — and they couldn’t be happier about it. The couple opened Metro Animals, a doggie day care, in Fort Worth at the beginning of the year and the tails won’t stop wagging.

“When we adopted our dog, we found that we needed a place for him to go during the day. So I began looking into day cares in the area,” said Lewis, who had operated a part-time pet-sitting business for six years. “When I found only a few options in Fort Worth, I decided to solve the problem by opening an upscale day care of my own. I researched the possibility, ran the numbers and scoped out locations. Marcus thought it was a great idea from the very beginning.”

Apparently other animal lovers agree. Metro Animals ( landed two long-term dog customers its first week “and it just keeps growing steadily as the word gets out,” Lewis said.

Located near downtown and the medical district, Metro Animals is open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It offers air-conditioned indoor space, an outdoor yard and plenty of play, exercise and socialization for its doggie clients. A full day of care is $25, while services like nail trims, baths, ear cleaning, teeth brushing and vitamins are available for additional fees. They even offer discounts for multiple-dog families.

“A few of the dogs’ favorites are a big blue couch, the wall-mounted TV playing “Animal Planet” and dog movies, the shady yard and, of course, our never-ending supply of tennis balls,” Lewis said.

And the best part for Lewis and Brunt is knowing the dogs are getting good exercise and staying healthy. “That is important to us. Also, seeing shy dogs come out of their shell when given the opportunity to romp around and make friends,” noted Lewis, who is working on the venture full time, while Brunt also owns a software consulting company and telecommutes from Metro Animals.

Looking ahead, Lewis and Brunt are exploring the possibilities of a second, larger location and even franchising. (Lewis also plans to begin work on her MLA in the fall.)

Lewis and Brunt’s own “children” include Wynton, a Weimaraner/German shorthaired pointer mix; Ella, a Catahoula Leopard dog; Zorro, a Siamese who likes both dogs; Odie, a 16 year-old blue-front Amazon parrot; and Boogie, the bullfrog who lives under the porch.

“Since Marcus plays jazz trombone, we named the dogs after his favorite artists — Wynton Marsalis and Ella Fitzgerald,” Lewis said.

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