Just think of the possibilities--a happy, safe, environmentally-friendly place where humans and dogs can socialize, practice new tricks, and pick up a few treats--all while strengthening the bonds of one of life's greatest relationships.
The Zoom Room, opening Saturday in Belmont, is an indoor facility loaded with everything dogs, and their human companions love--a large gym-like play area complete with agility equipment, balls, treats, rest areas and even a Doggy Disco ball!
Zoom Room owners, and new Belmont residents Andrea Ou and Ivano Gagge have taken their love of dogs and turned it into a place where others can bring their dogs to train, socialize and shop.
The grand opening of the Zoom Room, 1412 El Camino Real, will be Saturday, April 27 from 4-7 p.m. Festivities will include food, drinks, Doggie Disco, dog caricature drawings, raffles, photo booth, dog trick contest and more.
“I really wanted to be a veterinarian, but I fell into the art world in college,” said Ou, whose post-college career took her to Hollywood as a filmmaker.
“But I’ve always loved dogs, and used to volunteer at the Peninsula Humane Society, and got my first dog at age 11 from PHS,” said Ou.
Ou, who was born in Taiwan, grew up in Burlingame and went east for college.
She met her husband Ivano Gagge in Prague while both were studying in Europe.
“I studied film in Europe and Asia and was working on a commercial in Hollywood when I decided to do a major career change,” smiled Ou as she took Patch on a tour of the new facility.
“I saw a Zoom Room (franchise) n Los Angeles and thought it would be an amazing opportunity to bring it to the Bay Area, plus I really missed it here.”
So Ou and her Italian-born husband and their dog, Don-Don (“He’s really the boss,” says Ou.) took the leap into opening their own Zoom Room franchise right in the heart of the dog-friendly Peninsula.
The Zoom Room is an indoor facility that offers a variety of classes (agility, puppy, obedience, tricks, herding, therapy dog, etc.) as well as socialization activities such as birthday parties, fundraising events, and an agility league.
And dogs, like their owners, don’t need to be young and agile to enjoy the Zoom Room.
“We have plenty of fun things for older dogs, like Pup-lates (a word play on Pilates), and low impact activates for dogs who are moving slower or recovering from surgery,” said Ou.
A selection of all-natural treats, and other dogs supplies are available at the Zoom Room shop and no dog will be able to pass up the selection of free-range bones and chews.
One unlike feature in a place that caters to dogs is a prominent disco ball suspended from the ceiling.
Ou explains, “It becomes a Doggie Disco! People can rent the facility to host parties or fundraiser. A toy chest is stocked with things for dogs to play with at the party."
And what’s a human to do while their dog is in a training session or playing with other dogs? Why, they can relax in the Hound Lounge of course.
“We’ll have fair trade coffee and other beverages and a comfy couch for humans,” Ou explained, while clearly wanting to lounge herself after a crazy week of pre-opening planning.
Ivano was busy putting the finishing touches on everything from the human bathrooms to the signage and agility equipment, while Don-Don chewed on a knuckle bone that was larger than his head.
One of Ou’s goals for the Zoom Room is to give back to the animal community by making donations to the Peninsula Humane Society and CuriOdyssey.
The grand opening of the Zoom Room will be Saturday, April 27 from 4-7 p.m. Festivities will include food, drinks, Doggie Disco, dog caricature drawings, raffles, photo booth, dog trick contest and more.
Zoom Room will donate $10 to PHS for every dog that attends the grand opening celebration and 100 percent of all proceeds from the day’s raffle will benefit CuriOdyssey, San Mateo’s science and nature center.
Ou says that down the road Zoom Room hopes to host other events for rescue groups, animal non-profits and adoptions.
“We just want to have fun with our dogs and have a safe and healthy live,” she added.
For more information, or to RSVP for Saturday’s grand opening, go to www.zoomroom.me/BLMT427.
Zoom Room is located at 1412 El Camino Real (next to the Lariat) in Belmont.