RACINE -- A business in Racine is making quite the splash -- especially with its K-9 clientele!
“It’s fun! It’s friendly. The dogs love it," said Tammy Williams, client.
“Oh gosh, she loves it," Jennifer Perman said of her mastiff. "She starts crying as soon as we pull up. She’s crying in the car and can’t wait to get out.”
At Club Aqua Paws, life is anything but 'ruff.'
“This is a good, clean environment for you to swim your dog," said Mike Iwon, co-owner.
Iwon and his wife, Lisa, opened the business last spring, but expanded their hours in November after Mike retired from his nearly 40-year career in the 'real world' -- just in time for a Wisconsin winter.
“This won’t freeze," Iwon said of the 13' by 25' indoor tank. "We’re open year-round.”
While the weather outside may be frightful, the water temperature in the 10,000-gallon tank is a balmy 75 degrees. Mike says a 20-minute swim is equivalent to a 5-mile run for the dogs.
“It builds different muscles, which then support the ligaments and the joints, and it helps them not have the joint problems that they usually get when they get older," he said.
In the case of some of his loyal clients, they’ve actually seen their pets’ conditions improve.
“Now that we’re coming here consistently, her stiffness in her hips has really gone away. I mean, it’s very rare to ever see her limp in her back end, so I know that it’s made a big difference," said Perman.
“She’s not limping anymore, and she’s able to get some exercise, which makes her happy and me happy at home," said Williams.
It’s not exactly a new trick for an old dog -- but a new lease on life.