Inspiration comes in the most interesting of ways. For Blythe Penna, her career journey took a major turn when Roma Bella Principessa came into her life nine and a half years ago. Roma is a Vizsla with an incredible personality and reminds Blythe of what is truly important in life every day. When Roma was a puppy, she had boundless energy and only off leash running and playing would suffice. “Roma coming into my life was a deal changer. I don’t know that I have ever loved so deeply… I certainly was going to figure out how I could be with her every day,” Blythe says.
A New Adventure
Originally from the Southeast, Blythe graduated from Clemson University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology in 1991. She built a successful 14-year career in the medical devices industry, working her way to a Director of Women’s Health position for a company that focused on cutting edge treatments. Everything changed when Roma came along. Traveling weekly for her job, Blythe found it challenging to give Roma the attention and exercise she deserved. And that’s when she decided to go into business with her dog walker and came up with the concept for Ruffin' Wranglers™. “I wanted to deliver an incredible service for people like me that adored their animals and wanted the best for them,” she says. She envisioned a wide-open space where dogs could run free and off leash, not only to get exercise but also to socialize. “I wanted it to be a real adventure for dogs,” she explains.
She took the leap in the last quarter of 2007 leaving her established career to create a unique – and fun! – business. As a dog owner, Blythe knew that her doggie excursion company had to be a premium service offering dogs and their people something far more exhilarating than a leash walk. “We aimed to take care of everything, from pick-up to drop-off and the blast they have in-between…packaged in the most dependable, professional service company our clients had ever experienced.” she says.
The adventure starts when a Ruffin’ Wranglers™ Honda Element truck pulls up to your house. A Wrangler picks up your dog and whisks them away to the beautiful Ruffin’ Wranglers™ Doggie Ranch in Rehoboth. The 15-acre private and wooded space is an ideal spot where dogs are in their element and can just be dogs. The pack gets the opportunity to run and play freely for over an hour in the country, gaining much needed physical activity and mental stimulation. “The quality of their lives is incredible,” Blythe says. “They have a better social life and exercise routine than most humans,” says with a laugh.
A Wild Business
What started as a dream nine years ago has become one of the most successful dog companies in Rhode Island. In 2014, The Rhode Island Small Business Journal recognized Blythe and her incredible business journey by naming her one of the seven Entrepreneurial Women to Watch in Rhode Island. “I am extremely proud of the company that my Wranglers™ and I have built,” Blythe says. “We deliver canine nirvana on a daily basis, which in turn gives us immense satisfaction.”
Blythe is also grateful for her ever-growing and loyal customer base. Referring to her clients as the Ruffin' Wrangler™ Family, she points out that she would have never accomplished what she has in nine years without the support of her human and canine clients. With 90% of new business coming from referrals, it’s clear that Ruffin’ Wranglers™ is a wild success. She’s looking forward to adding another truck to her growing fleet this year, as well as expanding the service areas. Ruffin’ Wranglers™ currently covers the East Side, West Side and downtown areas of Providence, along with Rumford, Seekonk, Barrington and Pawtucket’s Oak Hill.
To have a career in which you provide and receive joy may very well be the definition of dream job. “Seeing just how excited the dogs are when the Ruffin' Wrangler™ Element pulls up to their homes is pretty amazing. There is nothing like connecting with an animal's spirit. They are pure love and they teach us lessons in love every day.”
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