Just about a month ago, my good friend Erin Gilles and her fiancé took over as the new owners of Cantaloupe Kennels. Gilles grew up here in Iowa, and even though her family moved to Indiana when she was in middle school and she spent 12 years in Texas after graduating college, she knew she wanted to come back. Every summer, she would come back to do RAGBRAI with her father, and she knew one year she would stay for good. “I always felt Iowa was home, even though I left when I was 13,” she said.
Recently, she and her fiancé, a veteran retiring from the military, started looking for a home in the Muscatine area. Gilles requested the realtor look for a place with a lot of land because she knew she wanted to start a dog boarding business one day. When the realtor called and told her Cantaloupe Kennels was up for sale, she knew she had to jump at the chance. “It was like it was meant to be!” she exclaimed.
Cantaloupe Kennels opened more than 20 years ago in 1997. Since taking over, Giles has worked hard to maintain all of its current services and to gain the trust of longtime clients. She explained, “we decided to keep the name because people like it and have a history of coming here for 20 plus years.” Along with dog and cat boarding, Cantaloupe Kennels offers one on one doggy day care and basic grooming services (washing, brushing, and drying).
In the future Gilles wants to add even more options to Cantaloupe Kennels’ repertoire. She would like to provide full-service grooming, complete with fur trims, and group doggy daycare. As someone whose dog loved group daycare and socialization in the past, she knows how much local pets will enjoy it too.
Though Gilles has only just started her time at Cantaloupe Kennels’ she already knows she has found the best job ever. She loves spending each day caring for and playing with the dogs staying at the kennel and couldn’t imagine wanting to do anything else. “Dogs are my passion,” she emphasized.
Whether you plan to travel for business or just for fun, or even if you just have a dirty doggo in need of some TLC, Cantaloupe Kennels will be happy to help you out. To book an appointment, you can visit their website or give them a ring at 563-263-4070.
If you need a little of what Gilles calls dog therapy, you can have a look at some of Cantaloupe Kennels’ current guests having fun and see what’s new at the kennel by following them on Facebook or Instagram.