There are dog people and there are cat people. Anthony Mason, the owner of the recently opened Moab Dog Adventures, though an admitted enthusiast of all animals, would undoubtedly put himself in the dog lover camp.
“Dogs are like people in a lot of ways. They are so unique and they all have such personalities,” he said. “I rarely see a dog having a bad day.”
Though Mason’s idea of creating a service to provide pets visiting Moab with adventures similar to those available to their owners has been wildly successful, it was not what he thought he would be doing when he came to Moab 20 years ago.
Mason went on a several year road trip around the American West after finishing a degree in economics from the University of Utah.
Gallivanting between surfing and windsurfing spots in the summer, and skiing in the winter, he eventually made up his mind to come back to the deserts of Utah.
“Moab has always been dear to my heart. I used to come here as a kid,” Mason said.
Upon arriving in Moab he partnered with a friend who owned the Slickrock Building and together they opened the Slickrock Café.
“This was right when the mountain biking thing was going on big time,” Mason said. “And we had one heck of a run.”
By 2004 Mason was starting a young family and no longer was interested in the hectic hours that came with running a restaurant. So he decided to become a realtor.
And though Mason continues to practice real estate at Arches Realty to this day, in March of this year he decided to start a new side project and created Moab Dog Adventures.
“It all emanated from going to the parks and seeing people coming into town with the dogs and not being able to take them into parks, or on river trips, and seeing dogs stuck in cars,” he said.
Mason took his two dogs to Sand Flats Recreation Area, got some photos and on March 5 launched the website.
“It’s evolving way more than I ever thought it would,” Mason said. “I launched the website and I got a call literally that same day.”
And it has only grown from there.
Mason has had to hire three part time employees and now has the capacity to entertain 15 pets at a time.
Not only does Mason enjoy the work, but he is a great fit for it, said his long-time friend Brett Sutteer, the owner of Moab Cliffs and Canyons.
“Tony is a dog dude,” Sutteer said. “He is one of the most considerate and compassionate guys I know and that is the kind of guy you want taking care of your dog.”
Mason believes that those visitors who are forced to leave their dogs in the car at national parks want an alternative, one where their dogs can have a good time. And that’s where Mason’s Moab Dog Adventures comes in.
“The service is totally designed to be an adventure for your pet,” he said.
Whether your dog loves swimming, running, hiking, or just laying in the shade, Mason says that he tailors each day to the interests of the animal.
Moab Dog Adventures will also come to campgrounds or hotels to pick up and drop off pets.
And it is not only for dogs. Mason will take care of almost any kind of pet. He has even sat a hedgehog.
“We’d love to broaden our horizons to other animals as well,” he said.
Along with taking pets on escapades around the Moab area, Moab Dog Adventures also offers shampooing service, vet runs, and will administer any medicine or work around any dietary needs a pet may have.