Happy tales: Pine View Kennels celebrates 35 years

HOYTVILLE – It’s hard to leash the excitement of a dog visiting Pine View Kennels.
The tail starts wagging as soon as the kennel is in site, and the owner is invited to walk the dog right
into its kennel before scratching its ears goodbye.
This kennel out in the country draws pets from as far away as Michigan.
Tammy Conmay built Pine View Kennels out of an existing three-sided metal building and a barn on four
acres at the intersection of Ohio 235 and Ohio 18.
The kennels opened in 1986 and have been offering “a warm heart to cold noses” ever since.
Conmay said she is on the fourth dog for some families and attributes the kennel’s success to how it
treats the animals boarding there.
Dogs have elevated resting benches and “lambskin” blankets so they don’t have to huddle on the floors.
There is air conditioning for hot summer days and heat for cold winter nights.
There is a pool out back for dogs, as well as playground equipment.
The dogs spend individual time in that large grassy fenced area four times daily to stretch their legs
and roll in the grass. They also get potty breaks four times a day: 8 a.m., noon, 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.
Feline friends are also welcome. They stay in “cat condos” which feature a resting shelf and cuddle cup
bed.
Sometimes Conmay’s day doesn’t end until 1 a.m. in order to accommodate all the dogs for their last trip
outside.
She is a self-proclaimed Army brat who attended 13 schools by the time she graduated high school in San
Francisco.
“I wanted to have a place of my own that I didn’t have to move and I knew I wanted something in the
country, and somewhere in the back of my mind I knew I wanted to do boarding,” she said. “And it was a
dream.
“Everybody said I was nuts.”
The property, which included a house, came up at auction and its four acres were overgrown with old
fences and old barns. She and husband of 41 years, Robert, bought the property.
“I knew it was perfect because not only was it in the country, for business you’ve got the main highways
here,” said the McComb native.
The location is at the edge of Wood, Hancock and Henry counties, where the two state highways split north
of Hoytvile.
North Baltimore, Bowling Green, McComb and Findlay are all within a 30-minute drive.
“I wanted to make it a place where I wanted to take my dog,” Conmay said.
Guests can bring their own blanket, treats and food, and there is a veterinarian and vet tech on call to
administer medicine or shots.
There is a window through which owners can watch their pet being groomed.
Staff take pictures of every dog that comes in and put the photos over their kennel doors, personalizing
the spot.
“It’s little things about knowing your customers,” Conmay said.
Other little things include making sure bedding is clean – and washing any blankets before the pups get
picked up.
“People come back from vacation … the last thing they want to do is dog laundry.”
The kennel’s success in the last 35 years and its customer base has exceeded Conmay’s wildest dreams.
“I attribute that to taking care of the small things and always doing the right thing,” she said. “It’s
what I judge a business by.”
She can board up to 32 dogs (by doubling up family pets) and five cats and usually has a waiting list.
Conmay said she has seen a sharp decline in business since travel restrictions went in place due to the
coronavirus pandemic.
They were closed for almost four weeks after the state shut down businesses in March. She brought in her
workers to paint walls, deep clean, clean out closets and update flooring.
At the time of this interview, she had seven dogs.
Pine View Kennels is open seven days a week, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 9
a.m.-noon Saturday; and 3-6 p.m.on Sunday and Wednesday.
The kennels are closed on holidays.
“There’s not a place in this kennel you can’t go see. There’s no door that says, ‘no admittance, staff
only.’ We encourage people to take the dog back there. We want people to see where their dog is going to
be,” Conmay said.
“If you take care of the little things, you don’t even have to get to the big things,” she said. “I
haven’t built this kennel on the big things. I built it on the little things, and that’s what makes us
different.”
She doesn’t worry about competition or about being located in a very rural area.
“But I have a dream and I’m going to do it right.”