In 1998, Dakota joined Janice (founder of Spa Paws Hotel) as a member of the family. The inspiration for Spa Paws Hotel, Dakota was a silver Chinchilla Persian with gorgeous turquoise eyes. At just four years old, Dakota fell ill and was rushed to the Veterinary Referral Hospital in Dallas under the great care of Dr. Ducote, a neurologist. Dr. Ducote had seen Dakota’s condition, a rare and inoperable tumor at the center of the brain, in two dogs and never in a cat at that time. Devastated, Janice was determined to do whatever possible to give Dakota the best quality of life while continuing to search for treatment. Unfortunately, Dakota passed away ten months later.
Although there was no miracle in Dakota’s diagnosis or treatment, Janice was inspired by Dakota’s life. She set out to start a pet-centric hotel and pet wellness center with a philosophy that embraces Eastern medicine. Western medicine, of course, is very important, but we believe the Eastern philosophy of medicine can contribute greatly to the lives of our pets.
During Dakota’s illness, it was discovered that he had trace amounts of mercury in his body. Janice was tested and likewise was found to have larger amounts of mercury in her body. The cause of the mercury poisoning is still unknown, but Janice feels she owes Dakota her life because of the timely diagnosis. Janice has since recovered and founded Spa Paws Hotel – a luxury hotel, wellness center and spa, with pet wellness at the heart of it all.