Sleepy Creek Pet Lodge drew a crowd during its open house May 3.
Located on New London’s north side, the business is in a specially designed, a newly constructed building.
Co-owners Candy and Mike Janke said a key reason for choosing the Handschke Drive location was the proximity to Highways 54 and 45. Commuters appreciate the easy on/off road location and quick morning and evening service the pet lodge provides.
Since 1991 the training and handling business has been located on the family farm. Candy’s love for animals was fostered in 4-H. In her teen years, she always found jobs working for area kennels and dog show handlers. At the age of 15, Candy gave her first instructional class in a horse arena located on the farm.
Candy Janke, daughter of Audrey and the late Art Cunningham, is proud to have grown up in New London. Her parents encouraged her to do her best.
“They may not have liked the things that I was interested in, but they always encouraged me,” she said.
The Janke family and students have won numerous awards in obedience, agility, field and conformation.
Competing at the highest level in many invitational events. Winning awards in local, national, and breed club rankings.
Candy counted fingers as she recalled all the breeds her family had loved as pets throughout the years. Some of them were Cocker Spaniels, Dachshund, German Shepherd, Corgi and Standard Poodles.
“Our daughter Hannah and her Papillon, Sailor, placed in the nation’s top 20 in the Eukenuba Junior Invitational competition,” she said.
Candy said Hannah is busy with college now, and regularly competes in shows.
The German Shorthair is husband Mike Janke’s favorite breed. His dog, Hank, is a constant companion, and revels at the call when hunting duck and pheasant. Son Zach shares the love of bird hunting. He works for his parents, concentrating on the day care and kennels.
Mike is a full time firefighter who enjoys working with his hands in construction. He and Zach put many hours into constructing the new 6,500 square foot Sleepy Creek Pet Lodge. A 2,900 square foot training room replaces a 900 square foot room. A 35-run kennel replaces a 10 kennel building.
The Janke family is thankful for the quality work that specialists provided during the building process, including United Building of Seymour, Andrew Ralston, Pete Zarda, GRP Plumbing and Heating and more. Daughter Hannah and loads of friends and family volunteered their time and muscle to complete the new building.
The Janke’s said they are fortunate to have a caring group of people surrounding them at the business, Mary Bratt has been loving dogs at Sleepy Creek for 14 years. Bratt’s daughter, Joy, took an interest in training a dog for 4-H, and Mary found she was about to be a Poodle owner. Bratt is a back up handler for Candy at dog shows.
After enjoying a Standard Poodle through its lifetime, Mary became interested in Corgies. Her best friend, a Corgi named Merlin, stays close to her side.
“He’s so gentle and loves the attention he gets, whenever and wherever it comes to him,” explained Bratt.
Merlin is a certified therapy dog, and takes weekly trips to see patients at St. Joseph Residence. Some people who spend time with Merlin are able to talk to him. These people weren’t able to talk prior to that meeting.
Professional Groomer Darcey Upp joined the Sleepy Creek gang three months ago.
“Darcey goes to town on specialty trims,” said Candy. “If she can do that, I know that the day-to-day trims will be excellent.”
Upp has nine years experience in grooming. She worked for a veterinarian, drove mobile grooming units to houses, and trims fancy designs during dog shows.
Upp is excited to work for Candy. “We hit it off right away. Candy is an easy person to like.”
The Janke’s are proud of their accomplishments. A long-term goal is to expand the building for hosting dog shows.