Onion Creek Kennels

'Happy tails' the goal of Buda pet facility

As a middle school student, Jaime Bragg went to work at Onion Creek Kennels as a pet care technician when it first opened in 1989. She said she already knew she wanted to make a career out of helping animals.

Now, 23 years after starting her career, she is managing the Buda kennel where it all began for her.

Onion Creek has a staff of 20 pet care technicians, groomers and staff. The business offers boarding, grooming and pet transport services to dogs, cats and small exotic animals such as guinea pigs, sugar gliders and ferrets.

"This business is 100-percent not just customer service, but customer satisfaction," Bragg said. "We want a happy tail coming in and a happy tail going out."

One of the kennel's services is pet transport for transcontinental moves. Each country has different documentation requirements.

Bragg has worked with transport companies all over the world. In August, Bragg was making arrangements for a dog's delivery to Australia.

"I have a cat that I'm shipping next week to Rome," she said. "It's a military move, and they have a kitty cat they want to take with them."

In addition to its standard services, the business has a few nontraditional offerings.

Strolling the Hood is Bragg's name for the one-on-one walks around the neighborhood that some dogs receive.

Doggy Daycare allows pet owners with jobs or daily engagements to drop their pets off in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.

One of the biggest draws for Onion Creek comes from Bragg's house, which sits next door.

When Bragg moved into the home, she said she knew the pool in the backyard could provide hours of fun and relaxation. She just wasn't visualizing herself enjoying it.

Bragg made a few adjustments to the pool's filtration system and created a way for dogs to beat the summer heat. She calls the service Pooch Pool Play.

"Our star swimmer is Esperanza," she said. "She's a chocolate lab, and she demands to go to that pool all summer long."

The pool is fenced off and shaded by trees to ensure safety and comfort for the animals. There is also a hot tub that Bragg said is perfect for older dogs, who can use it for joint therapy.

Pet care technician Leah Noel has been with Onion Creek since May 2009. She said the company's success comes from the cleanliness of its facilities and the relationships it has developed with the customers and their owners.

"The dogs that come here, we know their owners on a first-name basis," Noel said. "If you see a black Tahoe [in the parking lot], you know the Pomeranian's coming."

Bragg also works as a corgi breeder, and the kennels hosts the annual Corgi Celebration as a reminder to owners of all pets of the importance of being responsible owners.

Last year the Corgi Celebration attracted 388 people and 193 corgis, raising $11,000 for a Texas corgi rescue group.

This year's event will be Oct. 27 at Onion Creek Kennels, and all proceeds will benefit the Greater Houston Pembroke Welsh Corgi Fanciers.

Onion Creek Kennels, 902 Canyon Wren Drive, Buda, 312-0595, www.onioncreekkennels.com