Landenberg Pet Resort
● By J. Chambless
Bob Bowe with Pax, a great dog who was abandoned one year ago because his family couldn’t afford to keep him. He’s a pit bull mix that is three years old and neutered. “I love him, he’s a very good dog,” Bowe said, explaining that he hopes he can find a permanent home for the dog.
By Steven Hoffman
The way Betsy Bruhn sees it, if her family couldn’t take their beloved dogs, Maddie and MeMe, to the Landenberg Pet Resort, they might just skip their vacation entirely.
Like a lot of people, the Bruhn family loves their dogs—two beagles— and they need a place where their pets will be cared for in a safe, comfortable environment whenever they go away and can’t take their pets with them. The family wouldn’t be able to enjoy themselves if “Mr. Bob” wasn’t the one seeing to the care and comfort of the dogs.
As Bruhn and hundreds, if not thousands, of people will attest, there isn’t a better place for dogs to stay when their families are away than the Landenberg Pet Resort on Penn Green Road.
Bob Bowe has been running the business for 27 years, and there is something of a golden rule for the quality of the care that Landenberg Pet Resort provides its four-legged clientele in the clean, spacious facility situated a short distance behind the Landenberg Post Office.
“If we were away,” Bob asked rhetorically, “how do we want our dogs taken care of?”
That’s the rule at Landenberg Pet Resort: Here, the dogs are cared for in the same manner that the Bowe family cares for their own dogs, Memphis, Amelia, and Yeager.
As a result of this rule, the dogs love the Landenberg Pet Resort. And their owners love Landenberg Pet Resort even more.
According to Bruhn, Bowe provides an invaluable service for any pet owner.
“We’ve used Bob for more than ten years,” she explained. “We call him ‘Mr. Bob.’ The first dog that we took to Landenberg Pet Resort was Belle, and she just loved going there. Whenever we said, ‘Mister Bob’ she would just get so excited. She loved going there and seeing Bob. And he really cares about all the dogs that he gets to know.”
When Belle passed away, Bruhn explained, Bob Bowe was heartbroken over the news—that’s how genuine the attachment is between Bob and the pets that he cares for. So when the Bruhns welcomed Maddie and MeMe to the family, there was no doubt that they would be staying at the Landenberg Pet Resort when the family was away from home.
“They are just as excited when we take them to the Landenberg Pet Resort as Belle was,” Bruhn explained. “It gives us a great sense of security to know that the person running the kennel cares so much about my animals.”
Bob Bowe’s work day begins at shortly after 7 a.m. each morning and it doesn’t end until 9:30 at night. He doesn’t mind because, each time he arrives, he is greeted by wagging tails and barks of glee. It’s a great way to start a day and a great way to end the day.
“The greeting that I get in the morning is incredible,” he explained with a laugh.
While Bob loves animals, he did not set out to operate a pet resort.
In 1992, he and his wife Karen helped a friend start a kennel in nearby Hockessin, Delaware.
At the time, Bowe was working in banking. When the friend needed to move out of the area, the Bowes decided that they would take over the business. Karen works in the nursing field, so Bob was able to dedicate himself to the new venture.
“I had a great boss at the bank, and I was told that I had a job waiting for me,” Bob recalled. After about six weeks of running a kennel, and being surrounded by the lovable dogs, Bob went back to his employer and informed them that he wouldn’t be coming back.
He admitted that running a pet resort wasn’t something that he thought he would be doing. “But we realized how much fun it is to be around dogs.”
As pet owners themselves, the Bowes already understood the concern that a family would feel any time they left beloved members of the family in the care of someone else.
“It’s so hard to board your dog in the first place,” Bob explained. “It’s always tough to see the first-time boarders leaving their dog for the first time. There have been plenty of hugs and tears in the parking lot.”
It’s a scene that has played out time and time again.
Of course, while saying goodbye is difficult for the pet owners, the reunions a week or two weeks later are heartwarming. Even though Bob loves caring for the pets, it’s always great to see the dogs reunited with their families.
“The smiles on their faces are unbelievable,” Bob explained.
The Bowe family opened the Landenberg Pet Resort on Penn Green Road in 2003. It is situated in a quiet and pleasant country setting behind the Landenberg Post Office, and near the family’s home.
Having his home close to the kennel allows Bob to keep a close eye on the pets. As Bruhn explained, “the kennel is so close to his home that, if there is ever a problem, Bob is right there.”
So while the typical work day begins shortly after 7 in the morning and doesn’t end until after 9 at night, Bowe is always on call if the dogs needs him.
“We’re down here in thunderstorms, during the Fourth of July, and on New Year’s Eve,” Bob said, referring to the noisy times that are known to be unsettling for dogs.
The Landenberg Pet Resort is very much a family business, and through the years numerous members of the Bowe family have become involved in caring for the furry friends staying at the resort. This includes the family’s three children—23-year-old Casey, 20-year-old Madison, and 17-year-old Aidan.
“What a help they have been in the family business,” Bob explained. “I have relied on my wife and family members tremendously.”
He added that some extended family members have helped out, too. Bob has also hired a few youngsters in the community to help out—but only those people that he personally knows can be entrusted with taking care of the dogs.
“I need to know who is dealing with my animals and my customers,” he explained.
Dogs of any breed and age are welcomed at Landenberg Pet Resort. There are 41 runs at the facility, and each one is five-foot-by-eighteen-foot, and designed for the maximum comfort for the dogs. Pets that live in the same household can share a run if that’s the preference, so there can be 40 or more pets at the Landenberg Pet Resort at the same time during the busiest times in the summer when many families in the area are on vacation.
The arrival of a visitor can get the dogs excited, but typically the resort offers a mellow environment for the pets.
“When there’s nobody here, it’s amazing how quiet it is,” Bob explained.
In addition to boarding, the Landenberg Pet Resort provide the basic grooming services, too.
The policy at Landenberg Pet Resort is to make the clients, and their pets, happy, no matter what. Bob explained that they primarily feed the dogs Pedigree or Alpo, and families can also bring their own food if they want to. It’s important to keep the pets on their regular diets.
The Landenberg Pet Resort even has after-hours pickup for families that are eager to be reunited with their pets after a vacation.
“I always tell people, if it’s a reasonable time, just give me a call,” Bob explained.
All of these services and care are provided at an affordable rate. Pet owners care much more about ensuring that their beloved pets will receive the proper treatment than they care about the cost of that care, but Landenberg Pet Resort has long prided itself on affordability. The current rate for a dog to stay at the resort is $27 for a day.
“I want it to be cost-effective for anyone who wants to go away,” Bob explained.
Most of Landenberg Pet Resort’s clients live in Landenberg, Kennett Square, Avondale, or Hockessin. Some of the clients keep bringing their pets to Landenberg Pet Resort, even if they move a little further away, because of the quality of care. Having someone reliable to lovingly care for a pet is a real blessing.
Bob said that he loves being based in Landenberg. It’s a great place to be involved in a business that caters to pets because so many people in the area love their animals. There’s also an abundance of good veterinarians in the area.
Giving back to the community is important to the Bowe family. Bob is a member of the New Garden Township Planning Commission. They also offer $500 scholarships to local students, and they have also contributed Amazon gift cards to local schools.
Of course, the best gift that he can give to the community is to continue to operate a pet resort that really sets the standard for high-quality pet care.
Bob explained that he always considered it a great responsibility and a privilege when someone would place a beloved pet in his care.
His clients are very grateful.
“He is just so reliable,” Bruhn said. “I wouldn’t leave my dogs anywhere else.”
For more information about the Landenberg Pet Resort, visit the website or Facebook page.
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org.