Meet the owners! Elena, Pat, & Skyler Smith
Elena Smith President & Owner of the K9 Cabins & Dog Trails, Inc.
I was born and raised in the small town of Burgettstown (just outside of Pittsburgh, PA), with my three brothers Peter, David and Michael (who are all very successful in their careers). We’ve always been (and still are) a very tight knit family and are all dog lovers. My oldest brother Peter and his wife Leah have 3 dogs, a boxer an Australian Shepherd and an English Lab. My middle brother Dave and his wife and kids have a Boston Terrier. My baby brother Michael and his wife Char have a Frenchton.
In June 2014 we lost my mom to brain cancer. My Dad has finally retired and handed his business, “Blue’s Tree Service”, down to my middle brother Dave. My parents have always been dog lovers. In fact, I do not remember a time in my life as a child when we didn’t have a dog or two (or three) living in the house. We had all sorts of breeds, from Schnauzers, Yorkies, Boxers, two Boston Terriers, along with a mutt or two along the way…My favorite one being the mutt that I won at a campground festival raffle when I was ten years old, unbeknownst to my parents that I even entered in the raffle! Of course my folks were glad to take him home with us.
In my late teens I moved to California and got involved in the construction industry and only had time to take care of dogs in my spare time. I moved to Belmont Shore, CA (aka: Long Beach) on the peninsula and was not permitted to have a dog in my condo, so I virtually adopted all the dogs that lived on my beachfront condo. After putting in a full day at work, I’d come home and grab the neighbors’ dogs and walked them on the beach for hours or pet sat for folks that went out of town. Most of my neighbors called
me the “dog walker”. I then took a job working for PJHM Architects, and relocated to Dana Point, CA, where I took care of some dogs for some friends at the Dana Point Harbor. Tough life eh?
After living in California for 12 years, I moved to Mooresville, NC in February of 1999, after meeting my husband at a NASCAR race in Phoenix in October of 1998. Needless to say we had a dog within the first month of me moving to NC. The first dog we rescued was a lab/pitbull mix “Phoenix” …yes, named after the race track where my husband and I met. Later that year (Christmas of 1999), Pat surprised me with a Border Collie who we named “Bristol”, yes after my favorite race track. Phoenix and Bristol passed away in 2011, and within two days we rescued a sweet Shepherd mix named Tesla, who passed away in 2018. We currently have 4 dogs! Jazzy Lady (Pomeranian), Blazer (Pom mix) and Vinny Gambini (Pom mix) and Duffy (Papillon/Border Collie).
I was employed by the Mills Corporation in 1999 to oversee the construction of the Concord Mills, in Concord, NC, where I had the opportunity to work with the Development team in constructing the 1.4 million square foot shopping and entertainment destination, located about 10 miles north of Charlotte, NC. Once the mall was built I transferred to the Operating Centers division of The Mills Corporation, where I was the Tenant Coordinator, overseeing construction of new tenant up-fits and remodels, including managing the construction of the NASCAR Speed Park at the Concord Mills. I had worked for The Mills Corporation in California, in the past, being part of the development team who built the Ontario Mills, in Ontario, CA. So the Concord Mills was my 2nd Mills project with that awesome company.
Although I’ve always loved working in the construction industry… I always had a dream of taking care of dogs…..My husband knew of my dream to someday own and operate a really unique dog boarding facility and in five short years he has made my dream come true! I retired from the Concord Mills in June of 2003 to oversee one last construction project….our project….I really miss all my friends in Mall Management at the Concord Mills, but do keep in touch with them!
Slowly but surely our dog boarding facility was underway in June of 2003, after designing and redesigning our facility about 14 times on paper and deciding on wants and needs…mostly wants! I then hung up my construction hat and I’m now “living the dream…MY dream”.
Born in 1968 (holy crap Im gettin old)
Favorite food: Italian and seafood
Favorite things to watch on TV: Modern Family, HGTV, NASCAR, NFL (Pittsburgh Steelers), FOX news, American Idol.
Favorite Drink(s): Water, Coors Light & Margaritas
Hobbies: being a mom, quad riding, playing with dogs, playing on computer (i guess that’s a hobby), pool volleyball, shooting pool, working on our 12 acres as there’s always something to do, & updating this website haha….
Vehicle: Jeep Rubicon, Plymouth Valiant
Favorite place to vacation in the USA: Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas!
Favorite places that I traveled: Jamaica, Spain, Italy, Mexico and San Francisco, Myrtle Beach of course!
Pat Smith Co-Owner, V.P. & Secretary of the K9 Cabins & Dog Trails, Inc.
Pat comes from a town just outside of Denver, called Arvada, Colorado, where he is the youngest of four siblings: Roberta, Mike & Kelli all very successful in their careers as well! Pat moved from Colorado to Hickory NC in 1995 to pursue HIS dream of working for a NASCAR team. When I met Pat, in October 1998, he was working in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, working for race car driver Bill Elliott, as his shock specialist. Pat’s parents Jim and Jean are retired and his father Jim now builds late models as a hobby. They reside in Pueblo, Co. . They have a Shepherd mi (Daisy Mae).
Pat has been working on cars since he was 13 years old, starting with his dad’s Sprint car. He worked in car dealerships as a mechanic through his teenage years, then went on to work for Rick Carelli in the Winston West Series, Southwest Tour and the Craftsman Truck Series.
Pat worked for Cal Wells at PPI Motorsports since they opened their doors in 1999. He was the Car Chief for Ricky Craven and the #32 Tide Pontiac until the fall Bristol race in 2004. He parted ways with PPI after Craven got released. He then retired from racing for the remainder of 2004 to finish up a few construction items at the K9 Cabins and take a well deserved break from the racing world. (It was fun having him home!). Cal Wells and his family are still dear friends of ours! The first 2 years at PPI Pat was the Car Chief for PPI’s former driver, Anthony Lazzaro and the Crew Chief for Andy Houston, who drove the #96 McDonald’s Busch car.
January 2005, Pat took a job in the Busch Series as the Crew Chief for Team Rensi’s driver, Jason Keller, sponsored by, McDonalds (#35). The McDonalds team finished 9th in Drives points for 2005! Nice work guys! Pat resigned from Team Rensi and is took a couple months off.
2006: Pat decided to go back racing and took at job at RCR as the Crew Chief for Jeff Burton in the Busch Series, Holiday Inn #29 Car! They won in Dover!
2007 NASCAR: The Holiday Inn Car had a great season!! With Pat, my husband, as their crew chief, they won in Las Vegas, Atlanta, California & Charlotte ! Jeff Burton & Scott Wimmer shared the ride and clinched the Owners championship! What a great reward for an awesome season! You guys deserve it! We did get to sit at the big table at the banquet! That was fun!
2008: Again Pat is crew chief for the #29 Holiday Inn Car for RCR. Scott Wimmer and Jeff Burton are sharing the ride again. We have had a lot of close finishes this year and won in Nashville.
2009: Pat has decided to retire from NASCAR!! Skyler and I are so happy to have him home every day! You will be seeing a lot of the former Crew Chief for RCR’s #29 car here at the K9 Cabins! Our To-Do list is very long! His #29 Crew had a farewell present made for him. It was a Green and White Pooper Scooper displaying the #29 Holiday Inn Decals.
Born in 1965 (he’s older than me!)
Favorite food: anything cooked on the Big Green Egg
Favorite things to watch on TV: Modern Family, NASCAR races from the couch, Totally NASCAR, NFL (Denver Bronco fan), Discovery Channel, HGTV, Drunk History.
Hobbies: being a dad, quad riding, construction projects, remodeling,
Vehicle 1996 Chevy S-10 (don’t laugh..its paid for) -
Favorite Place to vacation in USA: Las Vegas & Myrtle Beach.
And Then There Were "US"
After dating for 3 years Pat asked me to marry him. Pat and I got married in beautiful Montego Bay, Jamaica, in December 2001. Upon our return from our wedding/honeymoon we finally closed on our new (old) house with 12 acres, in which we purchased with the full intent of someday opening a dog boarding facility. It took over a year and half to find a piece of property that was zoned Rural/Agriculture and conformed to the zoning restrictions of building a dog boarding facility without being in the middle of nowhere. Yes… Troutman is on the map (LOL). Our facility was built by Joe Mann Builders, out of Charlotte, NC. I retired from the Concord Mills in June of 2003, to oversee my very own construction project, “The K9 Cabins & Dog Trails, Inc.”
We certainly have been very fortunate in being able to live our dreams!
The Big News in 2005!
SEPTEMBER 19, 2005, 7:09AM: Our baby girl “Skyler Rae Smith” was born, 7lbs 6oz!
Skyler has grown up to be a wonderful, talented, beautiful girl. She is a dancer who loves tap, ballet, modern, and jazz. She goes to school 3 days a week and is home schooled two days a week. Skyler enjoys doing flips on the trampoline, stretching, being with friends, practicing dance and helping out at the K9 Cabins. She is very athletic and loves to swim and play pool volleyball.
And we are living happily ever after!