Northern Stars K9 Resort And Spa

By Kim Benjamin

So you have your reservations and tee times all booked for your weekend golf getaway to one of the fantastic resorts and courses listed in this issue, but what do you plan to do with “Fido”? You have big plans to relax, play a little golf and enjoy some wonderful cuisine, shouldn’t your 4-legged friend have the same experience? Well now they can at the brand new doggy resort and spa that Joy Lewanski and her team have created just southeast of Woodbury at Northern Stars K9 Resort and Spa.

Joy and her husband Jim have transformed 20 beautiful hilltop acres in Denmark Township, a few miles northwest of Hastings and a few miles southeast of Woodbury, into a doggy nirvana. Construction on the impressive facility was just completed in March. The property has trails running through a mix of woodlands and natural prairie; and construction on multiple large outdoor play areas and agility training courses are underway and will be completed when the weather improves.

A resort and spa for dogs you ask? Yes indeed, after 6 long years of research and development Joy’s dream of creating a home away from home for dogs with amenities that include overnight cottage stays, doggy daycare, obedience and agility classes and a SWIMMING POOL. After all, no spa is complete without a pool!

Joy brought in a 20 foot heated exercise and hydrotherapy swimming pool from New Jersey. The idea being that your active pooch could spend 15-30 minutes burning off a little extra energy or you older, less active (arthritic) dog could be in the pool with a trained staff member and feel relief from the massaging jets.

The pool is named after Joy’s own dog, Ringo, who was injured. After spending thousands of dollars on treatments she found the best thing to ease his pain was swimming in the river at the Afton State Park. The pool is heated to just a few degrees below a dog’s body temperature and filtered using ultra violet light and hydrogen peroxide…not chlorine!

Warm water therapy has a range of benefits, such as relaxation (which helps dogs that stress while being boarded), pain relief (especially for arthritic dogs), increasing range of motion, diminishing muscular tension and more. There’s an added physical benefit, as five minutes in a pool produces the same amount of exercise as five miles of walking.

The kennels are set up on the main floor in five different “cottage” areas. Although they rival some resorts for humans with their different themed areas, Paris, Hawaii, Sea Shore and Northwoods, “Fido” won’t be spending the entire day in the cottages. Your dog will enjoy playing on the large second floor training area covered with specialty-cushioned flooring.

Concerned about boarding your dog or maybe they are a little older? No worries here! One of the cottages called, ‘Home Sweet Home’, opens off the staff room and provides a quieter stay for dogs that are older, have special needs or simply prefer a more private environment.

Daycare and overnight “guests” will get plenty of playtime and structured activities multiple times a day both indoors and outdoors. Lewanski has multiple trainers and classes lined up that include obedience, agility and behavior as well as some unique classes such as nose work, four-day kid camps and a session that works on getting both your dog and yourself into shape together.

This state of the art facility also includes in-house grooming, recorded surveillance cameras, security systems, air exchange systems and specialty K-9 outdoor turf throughout all runs.

Whether you have a brand new puppy, a special needs dog or a senior, Northern Stars K-9 Resort and Spa is able to accommodate man’s best friend. Joy and her team are ready to treat your dog like a king or queen…they won’t even mind that you left them home for a day, a weekend or even a week to play golf.