October 22, 2018
Story by Sergio Portela
Photos by Nathan Pillow
After 10 years years in the biotech industry, Foxy Friends Dog Care owner, Keith Davis, finally feels like he’s found his true calling in life, caring for animals in his West Sacramento home.
Davis, originally from the East Bay, lived in San Francisco before moving out to West Sacramento with his husband, Rich. He was shocked at how different the city is from what most people think. Davis believes the city gets a bad rap, but he loves this diverse city.
“It’s very diverse here,” Davis says. “Our mayor is gay. That was one of the things we noticed when we first moved out here is we had this total idea of Sacramento just being rural. Even like West Sac, we thought it would just be suburban, closed minded a little and I thought it was going to be predominantly white, but when we moved here we noticed it’s super diverse. It’s a little bit of everything. I love it.”
Davis got his start nearly four years ago when he was at a crossroads after first moving to West Sacramento. Having to decide to commute to work like his husband or start something new, Davis chose the latter of the two, getting the idea from a friend in San Francisco.
“I was like ‘wow he’s doing this full time, he’s working from home, he seems to really enjoy it,’ Davis recalls. “So, when I came out here there was no biotech out here, my husband was working out of Vacaville; he was commuting. So I got to either try to go back to biotech or start something new. I was like, you know what, I want to do something with dogs. Back three-and-a half years ago, there was no small business like mine in West Sacramento. If you googled it at that time it was all Sacramento or Midtown. So I kind of filled that niche, and the first couple of years I did real well.”
Davis originally got the word out for his business through Craigslist, word of mouth and signed up to get licensed through Pet Sitters International, which is an educational association that represents professional pet-sitters. “You can find any dog-sitters on Craigslist, but if something happens, and they aren’t insured or bonded, and in your house and something breaks,” Davis says. “I’ve got that covered and that’s what my business offers, just reliability.”
From then on Davis’ business grew, still being one of the few dog care providers in his city, he was also able to reach out to multiple areas of greater Sacramento, thanks in large part to the close proximity to the freeways.“I have clients in Davis, clients in Arden, Elk Grove, the Pocket, Midtown and it’s just me,” he says. “I don’t have any employees, so I have anywhere between 12 to 15 appointments a day, and it lasts from 15 minutes each. Some of them are just like potty breaks. I’m able to cover a lot of ground with the freeways here. I can get to anywhere within 15 minutes without traffic.”
Foxy Friends Dog Care offers doggy daycare, similar to that of child day care, boarding pets for when an owner has to leave on vacation. Davis sometimes stays at client’s homes so that their dog won’t become distressed in another environment. A majority of Davis’ business is dog walking, which he says is “constant walking from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.”
Overall, Davis is a professional who takes the necessary steps to provide quality service to care for others animals. Anyone could go on Craigslist and offer to take care of someone’s animals without the proper training or licensing. Davis’ expertise and qualifications puts his clients mind at ease as he cares for their furry children with care.
“My business is one of the few here in West Sacramento that offers the insurance the bond on the home and I’m licensed,” he explains. “I’ve only had one emergency where I’ve had to go the vet, and then I realized that’s what people are looking for - someone who can take them to the vet, cover the expense for whatever the emergency is, and I think when I’m out of town that’s what I look for, someone that I can make sure has it under control. A lot of people who try to make money on Craigslist are just trying to make quick money and just think ‘oh it’s easy to just drop your dog off - I could just make quick money watching someone’s dog’, but there is a lot more to it. Dog’s eat stuff, they get out, they fight with each other. I’ve had every type of thing come up. I also send video and picture text updates instead of having a live cam here. People get like full updates everyday. So, I offer a lot of things. People like to be reassured about how they are, while they’re gone.”
Davis truly believes he’s found his true calling with Foxy Friends Dog Care, filling a void after losing a beloved pet. His interaction with the many pets he cares for and their owners brings a smile to all of their faces.
“I had an animal pass away last year. Being able to deal with other peoples’ cats and dogs fills in that void when you are mourning that animal,” Davis says. “So I’m around animals all day. All of my animals love me.They greet me with a smile. It just makes you feel good. I love animals, I don’t need anymore because I have like 20 basically.”