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Haven for hounds opens in LIC

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It’s a dog’s life in Long Island City.

Just ask Lidia Lozovsky, who just opened up a new doggie day care and gym, Dog Island City at 529 50th Ave.

Lozovsky moved to Long Island City from Astoria in April.

“When I moved here, this neighborhood was crawling with dogs,” she said, noting she hopes to fill a need created by the increasing numbers of young professionals moving to Long Island City and commuting to Manhattan each morning.

A native of the Ukraine, she immigrated to Queens 16 years ago. This year’s move also signalled a break from her previous job working for an international investment company.

“Now it’s time to have something more pleasurable,” she said, noting that during her childhood her family had run kennels for various animals.

The main “gym” area of Dog Island City features a treadmill specially designed for dogs, a nylon dog “tunnel” and a swaybacked wooden platform for the dogs to climb.

Lozovsky said Dog Island City does not use cages, which she said differentiates it from other doggie day care facilities in the neighborhood.

“You don’t bring your dog to sit in a cage all day long,” she said. “Here you can see us [playing] from the windows.”

Sleepy pets can nap in colorful private dog houses in the back room, she said.

The store also offers pet toys, vitamins, fancy dog foods, specialty training for dogs and puppies in group packages by local trainer Ryan Stewart and dog parties.

“People really are interested in parties and training,” she said, noting her first breed party — all dachshunds — is coming up soon, followed by a pit bull party.

The low-slung, German breed is Lozovsky’s favorite.

“They’re very stubborn,” she said, holding up her own dog, Joseph, “but extremely loyal and they understand the master beyond belief.”

The storefront was previously a dog-grooming salon, a past life she said is good for the pooches that can still smell the older business.

“Sixty percent of their brain is their nose,” she said.

But the space was not the easiest to work with, she said, noting it took two months to replace the floors with bright orange plastic tile, paint the walls, install a protective gate and replace the air conditioning unit.

“When I walked into the place, it was a total disaster,” she said. “Everything was destroyed.”

For more information on Dog Island City, call 718-433-4545.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jewalsh@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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