Meet Your Neighbor: Megan Ahlburn Occupation: Dog Care Neighborhood: Kings Beach
How long have you lived in Tahoe?
For 10 years now, I am from Rhode Island and lived in Vermont before moving here.
I came through here on a road trip after college and I thought this was the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen and I wanted to live my life here.
What do you do in Tahoe?
I have my own business called “North Lake Dog Camp” where I provide overnight and daycare, as well as play group adventures for dogs, like hiking, swimming and dog cross country skiing.
How did you get into the dog business?
I originally started working for the North Lake Veterinary Clinic, and after working there for a while I didn’t find myself scientifically inclined. I felt like I am more of a mom and a care taker. So when I started out I began doing home visits and playgroups, after six years I bought a place at the light industrial zone area in Kings Beach, so I could begin taking dogs overnight. Now I have a huge fenced yard that backs to the National Forest.
How do the playgroups work?
The playgroups start at 10 a.m. on a pick up and I take the dogs out for a two to three hour hike, or cross country skiing in the winter. Dogs are screened in advance to assure that they are well sociable, have a good temperament, and are athletic. Dogs need to be spayed or neutered, plus up to date on all shots to participate. We go to fantastic places like the Blackwood Canyon and Page Meadows for a huge off-leash adventure.
How do you feel about your relation with the dogs and your job?
I feel deeply fulfilled from the unconditional love I receive from the dogs, and nothing is more important to me than keeping them safe, happy and healthy. It requires an immense amount of patience, compassion and responsibility from me.
Where are your clients from?
Fifty percent local clients, fifty percent from the Bay Area. I have clients who drive their way up from the Bay Area, drop their dogs off, drive back, and go on for their long vacations, because they believe if they are going on vacation their dog should go too.
Why do you think your clients prefer Tahoe?
They want their dogs to be outside exercising and happy, plus my overnight dogs don’t have a kennel-like experience, it’s a completely different experience, is a loving home environment with lots of individual attention and lots of exercise.
How many clients do you have until now?
I don’t know, maybe 300 to 400 dogs, some are frequent weekly clients and other are once a year clients.
Do all dogs like you?
Ninety-nine percent. The reaction I get from the dogs when I pull up in my van is “dogs going bananas,” they freak out, because they know they are going for a big adventure.
What is one thing neighbors don’t know about you?
That I traveled to many different countries and I have a list of places I would like to go to.
What are the places you have visited?
I used to live in Prague, I visited New Zealand, Tahiti, Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, Bali, Korea and I want to travel more.
What was your favorite among those?
Nepal, the Himalayas and the people from there are the happiest in the world, despite their poverty and suffering.
” The Sierra Sun’s Liz Motta interviewed Ahlburn for this week’s Meet Your Neighbor. Send Meet Your Neighbor suggestions to email@example.com.