Mulder is owner of Zoom Room Rockville, a dog training center and canine social club that offers classes for pet owners in an indoor dog gym to increase the animals' agility and fitness.
Where'd you get the idea for your dog gym? I was a federal government lobbyist for more than 20 years and just got burned out. Around that time, I gave in and got my kids a dog, which I immediately fell in love with. So I decided I wanted to work with dogs. I was turned off by doggie day cares, however, where two people are stuck in a room with a bunch dogs. So we started Zoom Room Rockville, where everything we do involves the owner.
What kind of activities do the dogs do? Our facility is unlike anything else around, it's not just an aisle at a PetSmart. We have a full gym with puzzles, games and agility equipment. We focus on low-impact aerobics to work on their core strength and flexibility while making sure they're having fun. There are courses for dogs of all ages, from puppies to older dogs.
How does the facility differ from a dog park? A dog park will be full of a lot of dogs that you don't know and that your dog may or may not get along with. [Dog parks are] dirty, smelly and either a mud hole when it rains or a dust bowl when it doesn't. Our building is nothing like that. It's clean and climate-controlled. And, for safety reasons, it's limited to three dogs only. In the dog world, we say three is a party, four is a pack.
Is the facility just for dog training? No, it's also a social club. We have a disco ball and a light show so owners can host parties and fundraisers there. We encourage people to come in and hang out with their dogs. - Taylor Holland