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"Rene Paine, Pooch Palace Queen, near Solon, Iowa" © Sandy Dyas

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Rene and I became friends many years ago when she was the director of our local public access channel in Iowa City. I was hired as the workshop instructor at PATV. We had a lot of fun shooting and editing videos, creating TV shows and working with the talented (and rather eccentric) community.

Rene talked passionately about her dream of someday opening a dog hotel. She and her boyfriend Adam (later husband) took numerous little trips around the country researching dog hotels. She was gathering ideas and vision for her dream. The Pooch Palace was launched on June 14th, 2004.

"A palace for dogs captivated my imagination for many years before it became a reality. Now my days are lived in the moment where the dogs reside. I only have to look as far as a wagging tail to know I've found my true calling." says Rene.

In this photo with Rene are Gus, Lilly and Bahva (the big guy). Rene is holding Gus.