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If you thought you had your dream job, think again – because Arat Montoya most certainly has you beat!
Based in West Linn (Portland, Oregon), Montoya offers a unique doggie daycare service. Every morning at about 7 AM, he picks up the pups for a day of outdoor fun while their humans work. At 2 PM, his furry friends board the doggie school bus again for drop-off back at home.
Sure beats leaving them by their lonesome while you’re off making ends meet!
The Doggie School Bus Idea
Arat Montoya, 36, was born in Mexico. He moved to Canby with his family when he was 16. Despite Montoya’s family working as bakers his entire life, Montoya had other dreams for his future.
When his father told him he had to continue with the family tradition, Montoya said, “I’m sorry, Dad. I love dogs.”
Following this (admirable) confession, Montoya spent a few years working at the Dog Club of West Linn. However, when the business closed, Montoya was left with a choice: carry on or walk on. Of course, Montoya chose to continue offering the services straight from his home.
In 2016, Montoya’s wife became pregnant. While the couple was clearly ecstatic at the news, Montoya also knew that he would need to expand his business. Babies can be costly – but so, so worth it.
Thus, Montoya took his gold Scion X8 and added some black stripes along the side. The final touch was a decal that read, “Doggie School Bus.” Then, he parked the car in his driveway and waited patiently for the inevitable to arrive: clients and their adorable pups.
“I got 16 customers within two weeks,” Montoya smiles, thinking back to the beginning.
Montoya only charges $30 for a full day, including pick-up and drop-off within a 5-mile radius, and takes the pups to the 5-acre rural property he rents from a friend. It’s here that the pups spend their day at play.
Doggie School Bus: Bigger and Better
In 2017, one of Montoya’s clients recorded a video of her pup bolting excitedly out the front door and into the Doggie School Bus. The clip quickly went viral, and Montoya’s Facebook page grew to over 28,000 followers.
He soon had to upgrade to a bigger bus. To put it into perspective, on the average day, Montoya picks up about 20 pups in the converted 1998 Ford Econoline van – though if the group is mellow enough, he can carry up to 30 at a time.
And now, Montoya’s looking to expand his Doggie School Bus business even more. While he does have another vehicle that he’s already converting, the hard part is finding another driver for pick-up and drop-off.
“I’ve already tried three people,” he confesses. “And the dogs…they don’t behave as they do with me.”
A Special Kind of Bond
There’s no wonder as to why Montoya is best with the 300+ pups (he has a different group everyday). Not only does he know all of their names, but he can even identify them by bark!
“I’m the happiest man in the world doing what I’m doing,” he explains with a smile. In another interview, he told KOIN 6 News: “I just love dogs. I love dogs and I’m always looking for the best for them.”