At first glance, eddieandbarkus looks like a swanky spa with its gold and burnt orange walls, professional ambiance and clean smell.
While the prima spa is one of the business’ services, it is not for two-legged customers.
Eddieandbarkus boards dogs when their owners are away, but the south Fargo business is not a typical kennel.
“We treat dogs like they would be treated at home,” said owner Marcia Humphrey.
The business is a canine hotel, day care and grooming facility.
A boutique offers small, fluffy beds and stylish collars. Paw prints are embedded into the stone floor. Dog treats can be found in a dish at the front desk. And a sign on the wall proclaims eddieandbarkus as a place “where your best friend becomes ours.”
The business offers play areas for dogs and Web cams that allow pet owners to digitally check on their pets throughout the day.
“It’s actually quite fun to watch and see them playing throughout the day,” said Nikki Bruce of Fargo, who has been taking Gus, a 2-year-old goldendoodle, to eddieandbarkus since he was a puppy.

Dogs can be found running and playing on slides, ramps and with their pet sitters.
“We sit with them and play with them and keep them entertained,” said Teanna Aduddell, pet sitter and veterinary technician student at North Dakota State University. “We make sure they have a good day and everybody gets along.”
Toys – which range from playhouses and plastic trucks to fire hydrants and balls p are scattered throughout three large play areas where dogs are separated by size and personality.
“When I drop Gus off, he is excited to go,” Bruce said. “It feels good as a pet owner to know that my dog’s being well taken care of and he’s getting some great play time and pack time.”
A climate-controlled kennel area, which is known at eddieandbarkus as the hotel, offers several large chain-link runs where dogs eat and sleep.
A surround sound system plays classical and jazz tunes when the dogs need to rest.
“It calms them down,” Humphrey said. “When we have Frank Sinatra, you will hear a whole different place. It is amazing. We didn’t believe it until we tested it out.”
Rock ‘n’ Roll music is pumped into the area at play time, which fires up day care, Humphrey said.
“Our dog is a very, very high energy dog. He needs probably an hour to two hours of exercise every day,” said Jackie Meyer of West Fargo, who uses eddieandbarkus for her Jack Russell terrier, Wilson, two or three times a weeks.
“Probably about an hour after day care, he goes to bed for the rest of the night, so we love it. It’s so nice. On non-day care days, we look forward to the day care days,” she said.
The dogs are supervised in an outdoor area throughout the day. Garage doors also open to reveal screened doors that allow outside air into the facility.
A fresh-air system draws fresh air in and removes old air, and a cleaning system sanitizes the facility.
Several dogs can be found in the grooming room, waiting their turn for a scissor cut or bath, which averages 40 minutes to an hour, and includes two washes with show shampoo, conditioner treatment and hand drying.
A prima spa uses a pressure washer to get the shampoo down to the skin and really clean the dogs.
Some dogs visit Sally Jewett, canine stylist, as much as once a week. Jewett is booked into January.
“It’s all about the dogs,” she said. “ It’s not that I just wash dogs or anything. I get to do lots of different haircuts. People want their dogs to look the way they’re supposed to. They care.”
Humphrey opened the facility two years ago, inspired by her love of animals.
She looked at 14 kennels in Denver and Minneapolis and worked with a veterinarian to put eddieandbarkus together.
“These dogs come running in here,” Humphrey said. “It’s a testimony to all who work here. It’s the team that we have.”
She plans to build another eddieandbarkus facility in Fargo as well as one in Minneapolis.
“We believe that the dogs deserve the best, and we’re staffed for that with, I think, the most experienced in this field, and I think that’s what makes us different,” Humphrey said.
Many of the employees are pre-veterinarian or veterinary technician students.
“It’s been fun,” said Christine Brooke, pet sitter and pre-veterinary student at NDSU. “How many people get to play with dogs for their job?”
For Deanne Schatz of West Fargo, like many pet owners, eddieandbarkus provides peace of mind.
“I can’t giver her the attention I used to before I had kids, so it’s a nice compensation,” said Schatz, who has 9-month-old twins. “It’s constant playtime. It’s the attention that they deserve, but they don’t always seem to get because people have jobs and busy lives.”
Her Great Dane, LuLu, spends two to three days a week at the facility.
“Some people say it’s just a dog. For some people they are just a dog, but for most people they’re part of the family,” Schatz said.