So, she started her own.
Located on Centerville Road just a mile north of Capital Circle, MoJo's Backyard has grown into one of the Tallahassee dog community's most revered institutions. Many consider it THE place to drop off your canine furkids before jaunting off to work or school for the day. They just celebrated their 10th Anniversary last September.
For those who can't spend all day with their pooch, MoJo's provides a wonderful opportunity to let your pal engage in active play and socialization with other canines. Pet parents can drop off their furkids as early as 6:30am and pick them up any time up to 7pm on weekdays. And while the bipeds are off at work or school, the quadrupeds get to spend their whole day getting their dog on with the dog-friendly crew at MoJo's.
And if you need to make an overnight business trip, or take a weekend jaunt to the beach and can't take your pal along, MoJo's offers boarding as well. They'll play with them, feed them, and then "tuck them in, in the privacy of their own comfy crate." The next morning, they'll eat breakfast and start the fun all over again.
MoJo's also offers a few "extras": for an additional charge, they'll be glad to give your dog a bath and/or clip it's nails. They can run your pooch to your favorite groomer if you don't have the time. And when you drop by, you can always check out their in-house store of high-quality dog accessories and gifts, everything from Kong toys and food treats to artwork and photographs by Rachel Compton.
Almost as much an institution as MoJo's itself is Megan Federico, who joined the team shortly after they opened and became the manager in 2007. Megan is the public face of Mojo's; or, in Dawn's words, "the heart and soul of the business...our creative force as well as a mentor, leader, and guru of all things MoJo."
"I boarded my dog, Chloe, at MoJo's shortly after moving to Tallahassee in 2005 and thought that it would be a fun place to work," Megan said. "I had no pet care background before MoJo's (other than being mommy to a Toy Fox Terrier), just a love of dogs. Everything I learned about dogs, Dawn taught me."
Dawn must have taught her well, because MoJo's is the kind of business that elicits a devoted clientèle. "There are a couple of dogs that have been coming since we've opened in 2004," Megan said. "Jimmy, a mini dachshund, and Bisquit, a chihuahua. Then there is Laura, who brought her Wire Hair Fox Terrier, Caesar, when we first opened and then Caesar's successor, Jake, after Caesar passed.
"We think every MoJo's dog is special and we all feel so happy to be a part of their lives. Getting to see dogs that are straining on their leashes because they can't wait to come in and play and then see those same dogs so happy to tell their parents what fun they had at pick up is just so much fun!
"MoJo's has been around long enough that we've seen dogs grow from tiny puppies into mature adults and then into gentle seniors. We've watched dogs make best friends and become big brothers and sisters to doggie and human siblings. We've been so lucky to have so many friends (dog and human!) throughout the years."
Although she's the official "public face" of MoJo's, she's not the only face that clients look forward to seeing. Dawn and Megan take special pride in their carefully-selected team of dog-friendly service-oriented professionals: Brandy, Roberta, Alex, Aaron, Matt, Megan (different Megan), Selena and Candy are just as much a part of MoJo's Backyard as, well...MoJo herself.
There are other familiar faces at MoJo's. Oreo and Ciri are fosters who have never been re-homed, so they're welcomed to stay as part of the MoJo's family as long as necessary.
"MoJo's used to do quite a bit of fostering for the shelters and Boxer Aid and Rescue Coalition," Megan explained. "But since Oreo (Bainbridge shelter) and Ciri (TLCASC) are such special needs and have still not found their forever homes, they have become our perma-fosters. We support local dog organizations as much as possible throughout the year by sponsoring their events and donating to their silent auctions."
As MoJo's enters it's second decade, Megan and crew are determined to keep moving forward. Late in 2013, they expanded their square footage to add MoJo's Minis, a separate area exclusively for small dogs. "We've always kept the little dogs in a different area from the large dogs," said Megan, "but this new addition has given them twice the room to run and play." (Check out Megan's pics at the Mojo's Friends Facebook page)
Last June, Dawn and Megan opened another facility called BFF Dog Ranch. Nestled in the woods of Moccasin Gap, just a few miles north of Bradley's Country Store, BFF Dog Ranch offers private climate-controlled kennels, comfy Kuranda dog beds, and 24-hour access to fresh water, as well as a wonderful open-air play area and the same personal commitment to excellence that has made MoJo's Tallahassee's go-to place for quality doggie daycare.
Interested in checking out MoJo's Backyard for yourself? Feel free to make an appointment to check them out. Megan and crew are always happy to show newcomers around the facility. And feel free to bring your four-legged friend with you...it's MoJo's, after all, so you can be sure they're gonna love your dog.
BFF Dog Ranch
Mojo's YouTube Channel