When Jose Morillo and his wife Joan decided to adopt a long-haired Chihuahua named Taco, they had no idea that this new member of the family was going to inspire big change in their lives.
For 17 years, Jose worked in the healthcare field, first as a physical therapist, and then as a CEO of a hospital in Florida. After many years in corporate America, the father of one decided that he wanted a new adventure.
“As I was figuring out my next move, we got our little puppy, Taco,” Morillo said. “We looked at several places where he could go when we were working. A Camp Bow Wow had opened up where lived. I just fell in love with it, and said, this what I want to do when I grow up.”
Morillo had always wanted to start his own business, and with a new passion for caring for dogs, Camp Bow Wow seemed like the perfect fit.
But because there was already a Camp Bow Wow in their area, Morillo wondered where to begin his business.
“My wife and all of her family are from Houston,” he said. “And when I started my physical therapy career in 1987, I started in Victoria, so I knew about Katy. So, I said, why not move to Katy?”
So, the couple packed up their belongings and their buddy Taco, and found a new home in Texas.
It wasn’t long before Morillo was out making a name for Camp Bow Wow, and meeting fellow dog lovers.
“I did a lot of marketing in the beginning, but basically my biggest role now is networking,” he said. “I get to know as many people as I possibly can and make them understand that Camp Bow Wow is a good option for them.”
The business is part doggie daycare and part overnight boarding facility. It offers air conditioned play areas and cameras where “mom and dad” can check on their “baby,” during the day.
“Dogs are like family to people,” Morillo said. “They have to be able to trust me. I hope they feel that with every encounter.”
Morillo started out with just a couple of employees, but now has a marketing director, a general manager and numerous camp counselors and certified trainers to make every dog’s stay a safe and enjoyable one. Camp Bow Wow also offers training and grooming services as well.
The facility’s owner knows the care each furry family member receives is important to his or her loved ones, so it is important to be meticulous in every aspect of that care.
“I run [Camp Bow Wow] like a hospital,” he said. “We use hospital solutions for cleaning everything, and we use some of the same methodologies when it comes to medication administration.”
Morillo’s wife Joan also values structure when it comes to their business because she was a Major in the Air Force during the second Iraq War. She is also a pharmacist, which helps with medical administration as well. But her medical skills are just part of why Joan is so important to the business.
“Had it not been for her, I wouldn’t have been able to step out and [start the business],” he said. “With her support and love, I was able to do that.”
Morillo believes building strong relationship is not only important in his home, but also with his customers and their dogs.
“I use a quote that says, ‘be the person your dog thinks you are,’” he said. “It’s a good way to live your life. So, every day, I strive towards that goal.”
Morillo hopes that his passion for his business shows pet owners that it is okay to take that well-deserved vacation.
“We’re going to do everything possible to make sure that you can [take that trip] and not worry about your baby,” he said.
If you are interested in what Camp Bow Wow for the services they provide, please call them at (281) 849-3647 or visit their website at www.campbowwow.com/katy.