S: "Paws Inn Paradise, LLC" From the Ground Up.... 2003-2010
BC: The beginning.....2003 - 2010
FC: From the Ground UP
1: History & Fate Ron Bittaker was a police K-9 handler for the St Pete Beach Police Department. He was employed for 24 years, 15 of them in the K-9 unit. In his free time, he held civilian dog obedience classes on Saturday mornings for the residents of the city. One night, while he was on duty with his K-9 partner Ben, he was flagged down by Jason & Angie Chandler, and asked if he had time to speak with them. They wanted any advice he may have to offer on their purchase of a German Shepherd puppy. Always happy to talk about dogs, Ronnie was pleased to help. A Few weeks later, they found him and flagged him down again. They found their puppy! A beautiful female German Shepherd they named Nikki. Now, they were going to need some training! Over the next few weeks as Ronnie went to their house for one-on-one training, they became really good friends. One afternoon when they were talking, Ronnie mentioned how "one of these days', he wanted to build a kennel for his retirement. He knew exactly what he wanted to do with it, he just needed someone to help him build it. He needed the financing. "Well," Angie says to Ronnie, "You need to meet my dad. He's a builder!" Low and behold, Angie's dad, Bill Zalla lived right across the street from them! When they first met, Bill asked Ronnie if he had any plans regarding the kennel, and Ronnie was happy to say yes he did. He had put together an idea of what he would like, from a computer program from a few years back, so he could print out a copy for him. To his credit, Bill did not laugh out loud when Ronnie handed him his one sheet of 8.5 X 11 inch paper, with about 14-16 runs, a bathing room, a storage room and a reception desk on it. They looked it over together, Bill making some changes and penciling in some ideas. They met and talked a few more times, then Bill told Ronnie to start looking for some land, which we all did. Then one day out of the blue, Bill called Ronnie and told him he paid cash for the property on 66th Street! "Oh My God!!! This is really happening!!! & What a GREAT spot!!!", we said to each other, in total amazement and excitement! The partnership was formed and our lives changed forever!! Thank you Angie, for introducing us to your dad... Thank you Bill, for your knowledge and expertise in building and in finance, AND for believing in Ronnie's dream... and Thank YOU God, for Bill..!!
2: "The Plans" 1st computer draft July 2003 | 2nd rough draft | This is the initial blueprint copy. | Bill Zalla | Ron Bittaker | Angie Chandler | Sandy Bittaker | Paws Inn Paradise, LLC
3: We shared many, many dinners at the Zalla compound going over details after dinner. Creating a name... creating a logo... creating a building! OMG! Bill was open for everything we could think of, and then some. If we came up with an idea, he would figure out how to make it work for us, and the following week we would see his improvements on the new blueprints. (Right down to the self-filling water bowls in every run!) It was a very exciting time, seeing all the things you could think of that would make your company the best in the marketplace, coming alive before your eyes, on paper! But building something from scratch was quite the learning experience for Ronnie & I. The very first thing you learn is patience! Nothing happens fast in the building/contracting industry. Especially in the very beginning! You are at the mercy of Mother Nature until you get your foundation built and a roof on your structure... After that, you are at the mercy of supply houses, delivery companies, sub-contractors and your own grit & stamina!
4: “Partners” Partners is “Trust” spelled with a “P” It takes “I” out of the equation and makes it a “We” The meaning is simple, the concept quite clear, Work hard “together” and we’ve nothing to fear! Because what you put in, is what you get out, And we want this partnership to have lots of clout. We know partnerships are risky, some work and some don’t A few will last a lifetime, but most of them won’t. Ours will thrive on honesty, communication too. Perfection will raise our profits, nothing less will do. Persistence will pay off, as we cater to our clients, And learn everything we can about animal science. Our lives changed forever on the day we all met. Who knew our future would revolve around a pet? Because of our partnership, our path took a twist, “PAWS Inn Paradise” – how could we all resist? With God’s blessing on this partnership, we’ll flourish and grow, And become “the” pet resort that everyone will know. Our business will be fulfilling, successful and fun, “PAWS” will be the ultimate and second to none! Sandy & Ron Bittaker December 2004
5: Bill Zalla | Ron Bittaker | Angie Chandler | Sandy Bittaker | Paws Inn Paradise, LLC
6: The property was purchased August 15, 2003 "Holy Toledo! We're building a kennel!!"
7: Surprise, Surprise... 6 weeks, Summer 2004 Hurricane Charley - Aug 14th Hurricane Frances - Sept 4th Hurricane Ivan - Sept 7th Hurricane Jean - Sept 25th .......Oh, will we ever get to build?
8: Proud owners of lake-front property. Thank you Mother Nature!
9: Maybe Dunedin would part with some of their dirt... & Maybe we could even dredge it off the bottom of the ocean...
10: Amazing what a little dirt can do to sop up the water! Now we're cooking! | Oops... Just a tiny bit stuck in the mud
11: We need sunshine to dry our dirt!!!
12: Yipee! Concrete & Plumbing Now that's a foundation!
14: We have a structure!
15: We have a roof!
16: Economy Indoor/Outdoor | Presidential Indoor/Outdoor | Curb Sign Prep | Garage
17: Excellent painting Barrie! | Doggie Daycare Wall
18: Ronnie & Bill working | Grooming Room | Lobby
19: Feed Room | Bathing Room | Economy & Economy Indoor/Outdoor
20: Ron's Office (getting there) | Lobby (looks so bare)
21: In-ground, Heated, Covered, Salt Water Pool (no fence yet)
22: Hallways with Barrie's hand-painted palm trees
23: Penthouse picture windows
24: Laundry Room | Staff helping us paint & touch up the floor before the Open House | Bill working in Daycare with his safety gate!
25: Contractor putting cabinets together in the office
26: Penthouse Suites | Presidential Indoor/Outdoor | Niki looking for her buddy Rex
27: Presidential Indoor/Outdoor | Before | After | New Paint Job
28: Paws Inn Paradise welcomed our first boarders, Rex Sparks, Gator Hughes and Pattie & Shade Mosgrove, Christmas 2005 (we weren't actually open yet, & it was good practice, while we figured out how to structure our days and work our computer software)
29: Our Beautiful Lobby
30: Christmas Day 2005 Gator,(a local pet); Rex,(a good friends pet); Pattie & Shade (whose owners drove down from Maryland), and Ronnie & our Niki Hanging out, but still cleaning & building & painting, etc..
31: Gator | NIKI | Rex still Swimming | Presidential Play Yard | Presidential
32: Looking Good! Getting ready for our big Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the City, and our Open House! Yikes...this is exciting!! | Generator
33: Gator (and Pattie's behind) | Rex diving
34: Doggie Daycare started out with a bang & has continued to grow and be one of our most popular services!
35: We opened our doors to the public on January 2nd 2006, with a "soft" opening. No advertising, just people stopping in and taking tours, and making reservations. Our Very First Month - January 2nd - January 31st We had 49 dogs attend Daycare; We had 38 dogs Board with us; We had 7 dogs come in for Baths (no groomer yet); We had 9 dogs come in for Training with Ronnie; *** For the whole month, we touched 103 dogs *** Today, six and a half years later, we can see 49 dogs in Daycare on any given Friday... and a normal weekend of Boarders is anywhere from 80 to 110 dogs a night! Holidays, especially Thanksgiving & Christmas are crazy busy, with some clients making their reservations a whole year in advance! We have built wonderful relationships and many of our clients have become our friends!
36: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony March 2006 this means we are "officially" open for business! Careful with those scissors big boy! Don't stab the mayor!
38: Open House (same day) March 2006
40: Food, Drink, Prizes, and even Valet Parking
41: We had a great turnout & met a lot of new clients! | Angie | Ronnie | Ronnie & Sandy
43: We had a lot of fun when the Channel 10 morning news crew & the Mix 100.7 morning radio show came in and we were LIVE on the TV and the radio! Once these spots aired, the phones began ringing off the hook, and they haven't stopped since!
44: Training Classes in the back field. Look, there's some grass now!
45: The Cat Room | Can't forget the kitties! Three level Condos with a view! below is boarder Sarah | Sarah's Fish Tank View
46: Misc Pictures around the kennel | K-9 Ben | Peaches | Staff...Our first hires
47: Amanda | Dakota & Shadow | Ruby & Maggie | Shadow
48: Arkin | The Murderer, Peterson's Dogs Dora & Stu | Skyler | Beth at the Open House | Bryan working on computers | Norma after a hard day of laundry
49: Lexi | Sophie | Ben & Waylon | Niki | Picture for Cocoa's mom | Gift from Client
51: BEFORE | AFTER | BEFORE | AFTER
52: Sunshine | Maggie | Niki & Annie | Chloe | Kelly & Crissy
53: Margarita & Friend | Beth & puppy | Ruby | Annie & Amanda | Fiona
54: Daisy | Sunshine | Beau
55: Maui | Pounce | Elliott | Gus | Dakota & Zed | Sarah
56: Halloween is fun for Clients, Pets and Staff!
61: Even Santa comes to Paradise!