Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Buttercup's in the paper today!

When Buttercup was getting her bath on Saturday at the Metro Dog Wash there was a photographer there from the Chronicle Herald who took a couple pictures of her and the article was in the paper today. She is beautiful wet and dry!

Self-serve goes canine at dog wash

Metro dog owners can now roll up their sleeves and suds up their puppy without worrying about cleaning up afterwards.

Metro’s largest strictly self-serve dog wash opened its doors May 13.

Terri Henson, owner of Metro Dog Wash, has a background in geology and computer sciences and worked in the IT industry for years before starting her new business. She said her dramatic career change has been a good decision so far.

"I have not regretted one day of leaving my desk job."

Ms. Henson points out that a self-serve dog wash is not a new concept — there are even dog groomers in Nova Scotia that already provide similar services on a smaller scale.

Elaine’s Poodle Parlour in Cole Harbour has one tub dedicated to self-serve dog washing, and The House of Dogs in Halifax devotes one day a week to a similar service. But Metro Dog Wash is a larger facility and is solely self-serve.

"I think the difference here is that because I have six tubs you can come anytime, no appointment necessary."

Ms. Henson also says the service is appealing because, aside from the convenience of not having to clean up, some dogs are only comfortable having their owners handle them.

Each station is equipped with a cold-air blow-dryer, comb, brush, and professional grooming products. There are also buzzers at each tub, so customers can call staff if they need help, and each tub has restraints that clip to the dogs’ collars to keep them from jumping out. The fixtures also only produce warm or cold water to prevent owners from accidentally scalding their dogs.

So far, Ms. Henson says the dog wash has received a good response.

"It’s pretty handy being next to the Commons — I’ve already got some dirty dogs who found a puddle on their way home and need to get clean."

Renovations on the Cunard Street shop began in March, and took almost two months to complete. But Ms. Henson says despite the "long, dirty days" and money involved in the work, she is happy with the end result.

She is still building up the retail section of business, which offers dog toys and accessories, and has recently reached an arrangement with a local baker of organic dog treats.

Since opening, Ms. Henson has increased the prices a bit but only because she underestimated the cost and time involved in cleaning the tubs between dogs.

"Cleaning a tub can get pretty dirty. . . . There are some dirty dogs in Halifax."

To lather up at Metro Dog Wash, owners fork over $19 for most dogs, $16 for short-haired toy dogs, or $26 for dogs with thick coats. Discounts are offered to service dogs and recently adopted dogs.

Though they are open seven days a week, Ms. Henson says the weekend is the busiest time.

She has already hired one part-time person and another employee who will start grooming dogs by appointment next month.

While Ms. Henson is not a dog owner, she loves being around the animals and says she finds her new job very satisfying.

"It’s rewarding to have created something that is pleasing so many people."

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:43 AM

    Hey Joan,
    I saw you in the paper today!! just wanted to say very neat!