Crossroads Campus: A Day in a Dog’s Life

My dog is living her best life. According to @lulu_fox123 on Instagram, a terrier’s life is equal parts snuggling and cuddling, with frequent interruptions to be adored and spoiled. Today, she emerged from under the duvet for just long enough to get a manicure.

@lulu_fox123 is not much for getting her nails clipped, because she associates the experience with going to the vet. But today was different. Today, we went to Crossroads Campus in Germantown.

Founded in 2013 and located in a historic house at the intersection of Taylor and Rosa Parks, the nonprofit Crossroads Campus houses a retail pet shop, grooming facilities, and pet adoption on the ground floor, and residential quarters upstairs for young people on the verge of homelessness. It’s a social enterprise founded on the belief that human-animal bonds nurture everyone involved, whether they have four legs or two.

Many Crossroads residents, ages 17-24, are referred by partnering agencies, including Monroe Harding, Oasis, Youth Can, and the Martha O’Bryan Center. Residents and non-residential participants follow an employment-readiness curriculum, in which they learn to operate the retail pet shop and train in humane care and grooming practice.

The shelves of the cheerful pet shop are stocked with all manner of pet equipment, toys and food, including guitar-shaped dog snacks manufactured by Crossroads, in partnership with Mod Squad Mutt. The culinary social enterprise, hosted in a kitchen at Woodmont Christian Church, extends Crossroads’s employment opportunities to young people who might not want to work hand-in-paw with animals, but who want on-the-job training in an emotionally supportive community.

After two years of successful operation in Germantown, the residential program is poised to expand to North Nashville, where a second site will house an additional 25 beds and more social enterprise job-training.

As for the grooming services, it took just five minutes and $15 to get Lulu’s nails trimmed and filed, and from what I can tell, she was extremely impressed by the expert care she received. I would ask her for her assessment, but she’s already back asleep. Maybe she’ll post something later.

For more information about Crossroads Campus, visit crossroadscampus.org.

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