Spread the love

By Cara Beth Lewis

Barking Lot, Inc. is a place where pets are pampered and cared for in White Lake. What started as an at-home dog grooming salon has grown tremendously since 2003, servicing pets and their owners from near and far. As the 19-year anniversary of Barking Lot approaches, the owners reminisce about how far the business has come, and what inspired the endeavor in the first place.

Owner, Denise Cross, has a passion for dogs. When her husband brought home a brochure from Bladen Community College regarding an upcoming pet grooming class, she could not resist the opportunity. After completing the first semester of her pet-grooming education, she completed an intermediate class the following semester.

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In an ever-growing and ever-changing industry, Denise makes continuing education a priority. Denise continued education by volunteering part-time grooming services with a pet grooming friend in Whiteville, then studied under the leadership of Hayley Keys, Nan Hall Pet Grooming School in Greensboro, through seminar and private study. Thanks to her broad experiences, she has great knowledge in her field. Denise has all breed grooming knowledge and is certified in non-sporting, sporting, and short-legged Terriers and proficient in hand stripping.

Denise stated, “Pet grooming, which includes for our staff, many hours of study and continuing education on skin and coat care, in addition to quality grooming knowledge, is vital to the health of dogs. Our services are a vital link to the health care of dogs in our care. We work closely with individual pet veterinarian’s when needed and are proud to have a long and quality relationship with Dr. Douglas Gensel, and his staff, of Elizabethtown Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Gensel has served as Barking Lot’s on-call veterinarian for over 15 years. We are truly blessed.”

Safety is crucial in a co-mingling dog setting. To ensure safety is maintained, quality training and skills are crucial. Barking Lot’s motto is, “We are competent and caring and never sacrifice one for the other.”

With quality as a top priority, Barking Lot, Inc. Read below for more details about what is offered:

“Barking Lot offers three types of boarding accommodations: traditional, modern, and private suites. Guest vacation areas, except private guest suites, are determined by the size of the dog. Private suites are decorative rooms and each has a television. Barking Lot also offers an extra large suite for multiple dogs of the same family. There is no chain linking on any accommodation inside. The Modern runs and suites were custom built and designed by Snyder Manufacturing with the safety and comfort of your pet. Each resting/sleeping area has an appropriate size cot for dogs. In addition, dogs are walked, have individual play time four times per day with an extra bedtime tuck in late evening. Boarding operates 365 days of the year with closed or abbreviated public hours on weekends and major holidays. Staff is onsite with a manager during these non-public hours. Barking Lot is also monitored with surveillance equipment and additional individual monitoring by management.”
– Denise Cross, owner

Karen Jones-Galin

Barking Lot stays busy and has many loyal clients who trust the staff with their “fur babies.” If you would like your pet to pay a visit, you can make an appointment by calling 910-862-7387. “Jennifer Inman-Bratt or Karen Galin-Jones will be happy to assist,” Denise added.

If there are no available appointments, a wait list is offered. It is recommended that new clients book their appointment four to six weeks in advance.

Barking Lot employs seven full-time and 5 part-time employees, according to Denise. She shared, “We are presently searching for an experienced part-time dog handler. Our employees are a blessing and we operate as a working family. Employee years of service range from 6 months to 18 years.” She added, “Barking Lot is proud that four of our employees have helped us serve the community for 13-18 years.”

Lastly, Denise stated: “I’m humbled by the faithful support of our community and those who have moved and traveled for our services. The pandemic was hard on small local businesses and Barking Lot was no exception. Our employees and clients rallied in support as all were facing the same challenges of a new, and often painful, way of learning to do our jobs and life differently. Thank you for, soon to be, 19 years of service. Dogs are our way of life. Humble gratitude … God bless you!”

Barking Lot is located at 5054 US Highway 701 North in White Lake, NC.