Those who love animals and work with dogs would agree one of the most rewarding experiences is to be witness to the progress of a shy dog. To watch as a terrier transforms from a pup hiding and trembling behind his human companion to a happy, confident master of the agility course.
Michele Mendoza, 39, owner and operator of Austin’s Zoom Room located at 7739 Northcross Drive, knows well this experience. It was instrumental in her and husband Brad Groff’s decision to start a business about to celebrate its one year anniversary on Friday, July 29. Mendoza attended school with Mark Van Wye, Zoom Room Chief Operating Officer and husband of dog trainer, entrepreneur and Zoom Room founder Jaime Van Wye. She and Groff answered a Van Wye posting regarding a new business model and Austin became home to the second brick and mortar agility training center after the original Culver City, California location. All Zoom Rooms are owned by husband and wife teams.
Zoom Room’s slogan is “We don’t train dogs. We train the people who love them.” Mendoza’s passion and satisfaction come from watching the bond and level of communication develop between a dog and its handler. “I hear this all the time; ‘My dog pays attention to me!’ The approach should be about the dog having fun and being engaged, balanced with learning.”
Mendoza enjoys assisting in building bonds within Austin families and the natural next step is giving back to the Austin community she has lived in since 1999. She regularly reaches out to Austin’s humane and rescue organizations and the proceeds for the all-day anniversary celebration on Friday will benefit Austin Dog Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of individuals and families through programs that incorporate the powerful connection between dogs and humans.
Four free agility classes will be held at 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm and 5:00pm and a tricks class begins at 6:00pm. Participants are encouraged to RSVP at 512-371-1223. A drop-in Disco Doggie Party begins at 7:00pm until 9:00pm. Mendoza will have goodie bags containing samples from the retail space offering natural and U.S. made products.
To register for classes outside of the anniversary celebration Friday, visit the Zoom Room website at www.austin.zoomroomonline.com. The schedule is transparent and easy to navigate. The facility is also available for private rentals.
Zoom Room founder, Jaime Van Wye, is busy developing curricula at the Hollywood , California location to expand on the existing classes. “Our latest new offering is a Senior Stretch & Agility designed for older dogs who still want to do agility but with modifications to the equipment and different activities include stretching, Pup-lates and some mental stimulation exercises.” Mendoza will be offering the senior dog program at the Austin location in August.