Pets’ paradise

Published 10:51 am Monday, December 20, 2004

Niles Daily Star
NILES - Some of the best ideas come from when we day dream, as many of us did as children. As a child, Maggie Patterson couldn't understand why there couldn't be a place for dogs to get treats like people go to McDonalds. Her original Doggie-Drive-Thru on Third Street in Niles was unique enough to be on late night shows and spread across the country in newspapers.
Now Maggie has expanded and moved out of her tiny drive-thru window and established a full service spa for animals. This week she also is introducing another unique concept - fruit treats for dogs.
Using a nickname from her childhood, "Magpie" the Niles graduate of 1975 is test marketing her dog and bird berries at Pets Supply Plus in South Bend, Ind.
The berries are a mixture of cranberries, blueberries and cherries, which she has used before to put on her doggie snow cones in the summer.
She recommends trying a small quantity at first to make use the dog can tolerate the fruit. In that vain, she will offer small dollar size bags.
The design of a magpie came to her in a dream, and she was helped designing the label not only by an artist, but by friends in the departments of agriculture in Indiana and Michigan.
Before she could market the product, labels needed to offer the fiber, fat, protein and moisture content.
She has expanded from the original dog biscuits she bakes in the shapes of burgers and pretzels, but has continued to believe animals also need to eat healthy. She offers supplements and holistic foods.
Her reconstruction project has added a courtyard for animals and a spa service, where she can trim nails, clean ears and also offer shampoos. She is do consultations for those who believe something is wrong with their pet.
When she is a pet nanny, she said she only takes one dog at a time. Presently she is keeping a great dane, Ripley, for a friend who is moving and looking for a new house.
In her own home she has four dogs, Nicholas, a cocker spaniel; Mr. Sparkle, a dalmatian; Punky Doodle, a toy terrier, and Lexie Tina Marie, a toy poodle.
Maggie gives Edward Lowe credit for helping her develop her ideas into actuality. She said she talked with the inventor of Kitty Litter from Cassopolis, though she wouldn't let him in as a partner on her ideas. Now she never sells less than 2,000 pounds of her "cookies" or dog biscuits a week.