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New Play Spot For All Those “Covid Puppies”

In a neighborhood already filled with dogs, even more have arrived in the North Loop during the isolation months of the pandemic– the so-called “COVID Puppies.” And a new facility will be ready to welcome them to romp and play next week.

Dani and Lindsay DiMeglio

Furball Fitness, an indoor dog park and daycare facility at 316 North 6th Avenue, is opening for dogs of all ages and sizes, September 16th. Owners Dani and Lindsay DiMeglio have started giving preview tours of their 3,000 square foot park this week.

“We call it ‘dog camp,'” said Lindsay. “We’re all about open space, cage free, plenty of room for the dogs to play.”

Their business, which will also offer dog food and other supplies for sale, will be within easy walking distance of most condos and apartment buildings in the neighborhood. And for an extra $5 each way, someone from Furball Fitness will walk to your home to pick up your dog and later walk them home–within a certain radius of the business.

Located between First Draft And Farrell’s

“Being city people, we really targeted a need,” said Dani, “and the convenience of this location was really important.”

Lindsay DiMeglio is living out her dream of being an entrepreneur and small business owner after 12 years as a marketing professional. She and Dani, who were married in February, came to Minneapolis a year and a half ago when Dani, production manager for Live Nation, helped open The Fillmore. It was only open a month before COVID shut it down.

By then, the couple had also spent nine months preparing for this new business venture. “COVID couldn’t scare us away,” said Lindsay, “because we knew how much of a long-term value this would bring.”

Cali and Ziggy

A painting of their two dogs, Cali the English Springer Spaniel and Ziggy the Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, will be featured prominently in the lobby, and both will become familiar characters to those who visit regularly. “We’re building what we know they would love and enjoy,” said Lindsay.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association