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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
208.726.8060 Voice
208.726.2329 Fax

Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of Oct 30 - Nov 5, 2002


Pet pamperingís 
a valley ritual

Maintaining a dogís life takes dedication

Express Staff Writer

Dogs, dogs and more dogs. Canines in the valley are a fact of life, but they are not maintenance-freeóno matter what every retriever owner will tell you.

They may be our best friends, but like human friends, they still need our attention. Dogs also need vet appointments and baths.

Frank Alloway and his son Matt give a bath to their Lab at the Dirty Beagle Dog Wash in Hailey. Express photo by Dana DuGan

Picture this: The mutt just stinks to high heaven. He rolled in some mud, got sprayed by a skunk or went for a walk about in a swamp. Peeyu. Wash the brute you must.

So, you manhandle Fido into the bathroom, making sure to shut the door so that when he leaps out of the tub he canít run around the house trailing muddy water and soap bubbles. You outfit yourself in head-to-toe foul weather gear, and have plenty of nasty old towels available for a quick drying session before he rolls on the oriental rug over and over again. The house smells of wet dog and globs of dog hair are clogging the drains.

Or, in desperation, you make an appointment for the princely pooch to be groomed by a stylist that costs nearly as much as getting your own hair done. But at least your house smells good, and youíve avoided the muss and fuss. And for one full day you get back a dogówhich barely resembles your own loveable scampówith fluffy locks and a bow to boot.

Here in the valley, dogs are first class citizens, at least to their proud owners, so itís all worth it. There are many options for dog owners to consider. For instance, at the small and intimate Four Paws in Hailey, one can get a fresh smelling pooch back for about $40 depending on size and amount of work needed.

Dogs play in a pool at the Doggie Day Care in Ketchum, run by the Sun Valley Animal Center. Courtesy photo

Likewise, at Dog Grooming by Debbie at Sun Valley Animal Center, a $40 bath and brush includes toenail clipping, ear cleaning and anal gland cleaning. Owner Debbie Henly and her associate Leeann Keele said many owners have standing appointments once a month. Regular seasonal clients are good business as well, Keele said.

In Hailey, The Dirty Beagle Dog Wash is offering a new twist to the conundrum. Itís touted as the valleyís only do-it-yourself dog wash. Indeed, it has several nicely tiled raised tubs with brushes, shampoos, conditioners, 82 F water, and a built in blow drying hose for every station. Clean towels are provided, as are in-tub leashes to keep the wary pooch ensconced. The blow dryers are not human dryers, instead they blow the water off with a low heat. Use of these facilities costs $11 for a small dog, $15 for a medium-size dog and $18 for a large dog. Frank and Dustin Alloway, a father and son team, manage the shop, though Frank, who raised yellow Labs in Boise, is primarily an electrical contractor.

Among the stylish features at The Dirty Beagle are grooming stations, high quality shampoos and conditioners for sale, and Pooch Scents, with such fragrances as Puppy Love and Stud Muffin.

There are other ways to pamper your dogs in the valley. There isóif you canít stand to leave Rover at home aloneóa Pet Lodge & Spa run by the Sun Valley Animal Center. This doggie day care has two locations: their Highway 75 site, south of Ketchum, and on Warm Springs Road in Ketchum. They are open Monday through Saturday.

Betsy Kauder, who is a certified kennel operator, manages both kennels. For $18 a day in Ketchum or $16 at the Animal Center, your dog can be walked and taken on hikes while youíre out at work, shopping, or on the ski hill. There are half-day half-price rates, and the tenth day is free, Kauder said.

Kauder has many regular clients, and handles between 20 to 30 dogs a day.

The only difficulty when it comes to owning a pooch these days is other people who donít understand them, orógaspódonít like them.

Getting them out of the valley by plane isnít very convenient either. The small planes that fly in and out of the valley wonít carry Chubby after Nov. 1 or before May, due to the cold temperatures in the planesí holds. Other than that, letís face it, itís a dogs life, after all.



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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.