A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

A dog’s paradise! From 9-year-old’s idea, Allie’s Walkabout honored by Erlanger on 10th anniversary

By David Kubota
NKyTribune reporter

Allie’s Walkabout, a local dog-boarding facility, celebrated its 10-year anniversary recently.

Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes read a proclamation, honoring the event and naming Allie’s Walkabout Day in Erlanger.

Allie (center) and her sister, Audrey (left), watch as Erlanger Mayor Tyson Hermes reads the proclamation celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Allie’s Walkabout. Hermes declared June 30 as Allie’s Walkabout Day. (Photo by David Kubota)

In 2008, Allie Clegg — then just 9 years old — started the business dog sitting for her neighbors. Since then, the business has boomed with more than 80 dogs, 25 staff, and 3,000 customers.

As a 9-year-old, Allie asked her father for spending money. Instead of simply handing over the cash, her father taught her how to earn money. Allie started to visit neighbors and offer to walk their dogs for a small fee.

Allie created a brochure for her neighbors, informing them of her prices and services. The business began to gain traction, primarily through word of mouth. Allie’s Walkabout operated in the family’s home for several years until they purchased a 12,000-square foot facility near Crescent Springs.

Operating the business is largely a family affair, with most of the Clegg family taking part.

Allie’s Walkabout is much more than a dog-boarding facility; it offers a multitude of services for customers.

The business offers the traditional dog-boarding facilities, a doggy daycare so dogs can play and socialize, grooming services, and work with pet photographers to provide photos of your best furry friend.

Different than their competitors, Allie’s operates on an “off-leash” policy, in which dogs are free to run around in five large areas in their facility. Mary Clegg, Allie’s mother, spoke about how they differentiate themselves from other dog-boarding facilities.

“Most dog-care places don’t train their staff,” Mary Clegg said. “Our staff goes through a month of training before we allow them to handle the play area themselves.”

Allie Clegg displays the proclamation that honors Allie’s Walkabout Day in Erlanger. (Photo by David Kubota)

The groomers at Allie’s are also well-trained workers, having all been to grooming school. Overnight there is always someone at the facility to ensure that the dogs are always well cared for.

The socialization provided by an “off-leash” policy can lead to happier dogs, and Mary Clegg shared a story about one memorable pup.

“We had a dog, Benny, who was terrified of other dogs and humans when he started coming here.” she said. “But in a couple months, changes can be made and now he’s just like every other dog.”

Reflecting on her staff, Allie Clegg spoke about the sort of people she hires and how they have to adapt to different situations.

“Our staff has to be willing to grow and change,” she said. “There isn’t just one type of person we hire.”

For the past three weeks, Allie’s Walkabout has been sold out, so business couldn’t be better. With the past 10 years being such a success, Allie Clegg and her family hope to expand the business to more locations in Northern Kentucky.

Hermes is hopeful that Allie Clegg’s success will act as inspiration for other citizens to venture out and begin their own businesses.

For more about Allies Walkabout and to see Mayor Hermes read the proclamation, click here.

David Kubota is a Scripps Howard Foundation intern at the NKyTribune this summer. He is a student at the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media.

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One Comment

  1. Lois ille says:

    So awesome and so well-DESERVED. Great, hard-working family that shares the love with other people’s pets.

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