In 1970, Marni’s parents built and operated Tail End Kennels, a 100 dog capacity boarding facility in Reisterstown, Maryland. From age 3, Marni entertained the customers’ dogs and helped the kennel staff. A well known dog trainer, groomer and breeder of German Shepherds, her mother was ahead of her time, throwing dog birthday parties for the K9 guests. At age 5, Marni started competing in Junior Handling classes and cat shows. Sadly, the family kennel sold and it became Marni’s life long dream to build her own modern “Pet Resort”. Marni obtained her Bachelors Degree in Health Education from East Carolina University and moved to Florida where she worked for managed care companies and as a paralegal for workers’ compensation law firms.
In 1997, after a very unpleasant boarding experience with her own dog, Marni knew she could make the boarding experience better for the dogs. At that time, no Pet Resorts existed in South Florida, so after six banks turned her down, persistence paid off and in 2001 she obtained an SBA loan for 1.3 million dollars. She quit her job at a law firm and waited tables, while the 15,000 sq. ft. Resort was built on a 5 acre parcel in West Ft. Lauderdale. Tail End Pet Resort offered: boarding, grooming, day care and a few pet products. It was the first luxury Pet Resort in South Florida.
Tail End was featured many times in the Sun Sentinel, was on the front page of the Miami Herald, was voted “Best Place to Pamper your Pet” by City Link Magazine, and was the choice for many Miami Dolphin, Florida Panther and Florida Marlin Players.
In 2008, Marni sold the business to a national pet boarding chain in order to move to Mount Dora, a smaller town in Central Florida. Her obsession with raising the standards for pet care led to another Pet Resort project on 9 acres. Unfortunately, the economy crashed and one week before the loan was scheduled to close, the bank backed out and all of her savings was lost.
Original project, Tail End Pet Resort – Davie Florida – 2001
In 2009, Marni attempted to start an online healthy pet product store called The Green K9. After giving a deposit to a website development company, they went out of business and kept the deposit money with no online store return. Facing personal bankruptcy, she persisted and sold her last asset, a 1964 Convertible Volkswagen Beetle. The money was injected into a small space on Main Street in Tavares, FL and The Green K9 brick and mortar store was opened.
The Green K9’s mission was to provide customers with pet products, services and education that would help them maintain a healthy lifestyle for their pets, while protecting the environment. The store was focused on providing: Natural, Organic, Holistic, Made in the USA, Recyclable, Recycled and Sustainable pet products and offered dog day care, bathing and pet birthday party services.
The Green K9 continued to grow, but there was not enough traffic in the small downtown area to grow above the break even point. Once the shop reached 26 day care dogs in one day, it was time to move to a larger location in the more populated City of Mount Dora. In 2012, a loyal customer saw potential and fully funded the buildout of the new 7,200 sq. ft. Green K9 location, where boarding and full grooming services were added.
After divorcing, Marni wanted to be near her sister in Urbana, so she moved to the Urban Green Apartments in Urbana. This pet friendly complex was perfect for The Green K9. Marni is an onsite owner and groomer and is available everyday for product and grooming questions and recommendations.