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Finally, It’s Easy to ‘Wash My Dog’

by Stacy Conroy

There’s a much-needed new dog-grooming place on the East Side, and it’s special because it takes a fresh approach to the pet hygiene industry. Wash My Dog, at 2232 North Oakland Avenue, is in the Wash Tub Laundromat building in an attractively designed, open area. You can go in and wash your dog yourself at a huge savings compared to professional grooming rates. Owner Keaven Fivestar designed the facility to allow customers to have full view of their dog’s bathing and grooming. If you’ve ever taken your dog to a groomer to have him/her whisked away behind closed doors, only to be brought out fresh and clean, you may have wondered what exactly your dog is going through during the grooming process. At Wash My Dog you can watch the entire process from a window looking over the facility, or you can participate in doing your dog’s “do.” If you take your dog to a groomer to avoid having to do the task yourself, you may wonder why the “self serve” dog wash is even a choice. However, many people have dogs that don’t require clipping or trimming but just need a periodic bath and brushing. Doing this at home can be a terrible mess, and if you’re like me, you don’t want to clean up water and hair dripping from the walls of your bathroom after a dog shakes in the bath tub. At Wash My Dog, it’s easy. You go in with nothing more than $15 (plus tax) and your dog. The tub is at waist height so there’s no bending, and a lead holds your dog steady for hands-free scrubbing. You can choose hypoallergenic or regular soap, and all the warm water, brushes, and dryer time you need to get your dog looking its best. The best part is you walk out with a clean dog and someone else cleans up all the hair! Don’t be fooled by people who tell you dogs don’t need baths. Just like humans, dogs have oils in their skin, dead skin cells that build up in their fur, and dust/dirt that collects all over their bodies, making them itch and causing body odor. Dogs deserve a bath at least a couple times a year, and it does wonders for their quality of life. The double-coated breeds especially need to have their dead undercoats brushed out in the Spring and Fall as they shed. These dogs should also be brushed at home on a weekly basis. Double-coated breeds include: Collie, Husky, Akita, Golden Retriever, Labrador, German Shepherd, Samoyed, Chow Chow, Pomeranian, American Eskimo, Boarder Collie, Australian Shepherd, Malamute, and Sheltie Professional pet stylist Helena Radke, who manages the Wash My Dog, says she strives to educate the public about how important it is to a dog’s emotional and physical health to be bathed and brushed regularly. “Often people will tell me they don’t have time to brush or they don’t think their dog needs a bath but when you see their dog you feel sorry for it,” says Radke. Dogs with long coats become matted without regular brushing and grooming. Owners eventually see the coat can no longer be brushed because of heavy mats so knotted that the only cure is to shave the dog’s coat completely and start new growth. “People need to recognize they’ve made a commitment by adopting a dog and take proper care with regular brushing, bathing and grooming, whether it be on their own or professional services,” says Radke. “A dog can’t tell you how he feels,” says Fivestar. “I wanted a place where a person could just say to themselves ‘my dog could use a bath today’ and come in and do it themselves without the clean up in their own homes.” He continues, “I want affordable grooming to be more accessible to people, especially on the East Side and Riverwest where there is a high concentration of dogs and people who care enough to treat their dogs to a necessary part of proper pet care.” I took my German Shepherd, Jade, last week for a “do-it-myself” bath. It was so easy, and I couldn’t believe how great she looked when I finished. Helena helped show me each step of the process, and Jade came away looking and feeling like a clean fluffy dog with so much more spunk in her step! I would highly recommend that every dog owner give Helena a call for an appointment to use the facility and/or her professional services. Let’s help this new neighborhood business thrive and take our dogs to Wash My Dog, so they can enjoy the summer feeling clean and cared for. Wash My Dog 2232 North Oakland Ave. (414) 271-WASH (9274) www.washmydog.com Hours: Tuesday- Saturday, 8am to 6pm by appointment and Sunday (self serve only), 11am to 5pm. Self Service: includes use of shampoo, apron, towel, bath tub/water, lead, toothbrush, dryer and canine beauty kit. $15. Grooming Services: includes shampoo/blow dry, comb out, nail trim, ear cleaning and breed specifi c hair cut. Starts at $35. Additional Services: include dog massage, anal glands, ear cleanings, etc. Riverwest Currents – Volume 1 – Issue 6 – July 2002
by Stacy Conroy