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Blog & News

April 4, 2014

Ernie’s Birthday PARTY!! Spring Clean Ups- What are April Stools? And Nikkilee!

Ernestly Ernie

The most important thing happening in the near future is my Birthday Party. You are invited;



We ALWAYS celebrate my birthday, but because of our 10th Year Anniversary, this year is going to be super special.  Brad and Stephanie (owners) would like the opportunity to say hi and thank you, in person, for your business.

Save the date!

Ernie on grass

Later, Ernestine


Crate Escape + som|dog =



The spring thaw has given us an idea of what lies ahead and we’ve been seeing and hearing about piles left behind. We can help by carrying extra dog bags around to clean up any piles that may have been missed through the winter season. Dog feces can spread disease to our pups, so ‘going the extra mile’ and helping pick up something missed will make a difference.

For Crate Escape’s April Deal, we are offering a discount on Earth Rated poop bags. Check out the blogroll, to the right, for more info.

We are joining som|dog in the Somerville Spring Clean Up on April 26th.  We purchased ‘fools stools’ and will be planting them before our the Somerville clean ups (and in other Crate Escape areas prior to clean up events). The April Fools Stools will be clearly marked, and if you find one, you will win an amazing prize! Be on the lookout for more information! (Brian Davis, President som|dog)

spring fling1

  • som|dog is a local organization who fosters relationships with city officials and follows news trends and legislation as they relate to dog ownership and effect city and state laws. As a 501(c)3, the group also solicits grants and donations to improve local animal control’s facilities and maintain existing city dog parks. som|dog also advocates for canine rights and works to expand recreational space. They are based in Somerville, and partner with surrounding towns and dog businesses/ organizations.


Title:  Manager of All Things Crate – Here’s Nikki!!

2014 – while Crate Escape is celebrating our 10th year anniversary, it  is a great time to celebrate Nikki.  Many people reading this have been with us through our growth and changes. They have observed, first hand, that along with our expansion, we are able to provide more customer and dog services.  Nikki is key in a large part of Crate Escape’s growth. Her intelligence and incredible multi-tasking skills are invaluable in juggling the tasks of  three properties, and continually raising the bar in every area of the business. We are truly grateful to have her. (oh, and her real title is:  General Manager!)

The Family:
patrickbeach  nikalexdressedup  flywink1

          Patrick                             Nikki & Alex                                             Fly


1.  How did you discover the Crate Escape management opportunity?
I’ve had a few different careers in my short 30 years on this earth… I worked in Finance, I sold cars and I managed and/or bartended or served in a bunch of restaurants.  When I had the opportunity to join the Crate Escape team I was working at a new restaurant in the South End of Boston.  I got a phone call from a close friend telling me about how her old boss was looking for a manager for their doggie daycare.  She knew I was in the market for a day time job in hopes to leave the restaurant industry all together.  I set up the interview with Bradley and made my way over to 20 Flanders Rd.  Bradley and I sat and chatted a bit while Ernestine continuously barked at me unless I continuously scratched her bum. He hired me on the spot… and that is how I ended up taking care of a pack of dogs.

2.  Did you have dogs growing up?  Describe them.
I had a few family pups growing up.
When I was 10 my dad brought Monty home (Montgomery P. Wilcox Esq. to be formal) he was an 8 week old boxer.  Around the same time my step mother gave birth to my twin brother and sister.  They grew up together and it was fun to watch.  He was an exceptional dog with the patience of a saint, with twins it would’ve been bad had he not.  He was off leash and never suffered any anxieties or re activeness… Truly a first dog dream!  When he was 10 he was diagnosed with cancer and suffered a huge tumor in his stomach which made it impossible for him to eat.  We made the tough decision to “let him go.”  It was summer or fall but still warm out so we prepared a family cook out and all said our sad good byes… He had steak tips for dinner that night.

My mom and her husband had two dogs while I was in High School/College… The first one was Princess Ruby a little fluffy Lhasa who was a joyous addition to the family it was my first experience with a small breed.  My Mom tended to spoil her, we always laughed about how Mom treated Ruby better than us.  Ruby lived to be 13 (I think) she had a charmed life 🙂

Sir Oliver the English Bull Dog was their second dog (I had nothing to do with naming any of these dogs btw) he was 10 weeks old when we got him and he was my first 4 legged love!!  Don’t get me wrong I loved all our other dogs but I really had a connection with Oliver.  When he was a baby his rolls would fall over his hind legs when he sat, it was adorable!  He loved to lay in the kiddie pool and rest his chin on a float we would strategically place, so he would drowned.  He was the first time I had two dogs together in the same house… Ruby and Oliver were a match made in heaven!  She was a brat and he was the passive type.  If he was playing with a toy and Ruby wanted it he gave it up instantly.  Oliver passed when he was 3 due to vaccination complications 🙁  He was allergic to his distemper shot.

3.  Do you have dogs today?  Describe them.
I currently share two four legged babies with my fiancé… Our first was Patrick!  We adopted him when he was just a little pup, he is a Red Nose Pit Bull.  He is the “king” of our house.  I’d like to think all my experience with dogs would help me curb bad behavior in my own dogs but… Patrick is a typical pushy pitty and he is so cute that we can almost never say NO.  Our second pup is Fly, she is a beautiful Tri Aussie Shepard.  We rescued her when she was about a year and a half and at the time Patrick was about a year too.  They are total soul mates! He is a pushy brat and she is a passive push over.  He is motivated by food and she is motivated by love.  He likes to play fetch and she enjoys herding  Patrick.  He swims at the beach she rolls in the sand.  Having two dogs is amazing… Watching them play together and interact everyday is endless entertainment.

4.  Brief outline of your job.
I refer to my job as “manager of all things Crate”  Crate Escape is currently 3 stores strong with the prospects of a fourth store always on the horizon.  I’m a busy girl… I do a lot of the buying for the stores and keep all the Crate Escape shelves stocked with doggie foods, treats and merchandise.  I manage the store managers, we have a monthly group meeting and I also try and visit each store at least once per week.  I keep all of our non-profit work in order… We foster at the Belmont facility for LHK9.  We also work closely with Som Dog, FCNY, Huron Village Business Association, Finney’s Friends and Fairy Dog Parents.  I do a lot of planning and scheduling for all our promotional events, we like to have dog friendly parties every few months.  Hiring and training of new employees.  Setting goals for stores.  My favorite… Managing overall facility care, an exhausting task of making sure everything is running and working properly.  Product quality control and customer satisfaction.  I do all the things that most General Managers do… I do generally everything.  I’m lucky enough to have an amazing team of managers behind me, always pestering me to give them a task or two.

5.  Biggest challenge overall
Losing our old timers… I’ve been with crate Escape for over 5 years now.  A lot of the dogs that I started with back in 2008 are starting to reach that age 🙁  Some of the older dogs have already passed.  All the dogs that come to Crate Escape become a part of our family and are treated like family so, having to say that forever farewell can be just as hard on us as the owners.

6. If you could do anything new or add anything what would it be?
We have talked for a few years of having the time to start up our own rescue.  A sanctuary, maybe something for elderly dogs needing homes or finding a cause that speaks to us to help dogs in need.  I think as the Crate Escape empire continues to do well we will find the means to give more back to the dog community.

7.  What do you see in the future for you and Crate Escape?
I love my job and have high hopes for Crate Escape in the future.  I really enjoyed the excitement of opening our Charlestown store and I hope to find the right place in the future so we could eventually have store four.  I truly believe Crate Escape offers the best dog care in the Boston area and I proudly stand behind our product!  Bradley and Stephanie give me a ton of independence and respect and trust the decisions I make and the opinions I have.  For the far future I hope (when they’re ready) Brad and Stephanie will retire and trust me to run the Crate Escape empire 🙂 LOL!

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Crate Escape | 30 Brighton Street, Belmont MA 02478 | (617) 489-9003 | Fax: (617) 489-9002
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