dog days

By Jon Shoulders

Back in 2009 Rick and Christi Coffey, owners of Barkefellers on Indy’s southside, saw the potential in opening a dog hotel and day care with an upscale flair. More than 10 years later, the Coffeys and their employees continue to offer their furry guests the best in lodging, indoor and outdoor physical activities, grooming and training at three locations. Rick and his staff offer some insight into the unique business and the dogs for which they share a collective passion.

What was the inspiration behind opening Barkefellers? 
Rick Coffey, president and owner: Barkefellers is a family-owned business with all owners having grown up in Johnson County. The southside was really starting to grow and blossom 10 years ago, and we wanted to be a part of that. Having pets most of my life, I felt the southside needed a more upscale facility, providing several services all under one roof.

What can owners expect for their dog’s lodging experience at Barkefellers?  
Krista Coffey, vice president and owner: We treat our pet guests like family. From the moment you drive up to our valet service, our entries are large and luxurious. Our accommodations offer pet parents choices that best suit the pets. Pets are as different as people, therefore we provide many suite options. Dogs are like people. Some like indoor and outdoor activity while staying. Others like the privacy of our luxury suites with TVs and cameras for pet parents.

Any advice on how we should be treating our pets during times when we’re homebound, i.e., the COVID-19 shutdown?
Jordan Coffey, vice president and owner: Being homebound is a great opportunity to bond with our pets and give them plenty of attention, love and exercise. However, it can be difficult to focus when your co-worker has four legs and a wagging tail, so a day of doggy day care or pet sitting is a great way to get your pet out of the house for a little bit. We are happy that we have been able to stay open during this time to provide a safe and comfortable place for pets whose parents are working on the front lines.

Photo: Owners, from left, Jordan Coffey, Rick Coffey and Krista Coffey.