When Fido starts to look a little shaggy or just needs a really good bath, a new pet salon in Tecumseh can make sure he looks his best again.
Dog Gone Dirty, owned by Kevin and Stephanie Packard, opened in late September at 607 N. Maumee St., Tecumseh, in a building that was once a barbershop, then sat vacant for a while. The Packards have completely renovated the building, giving it a bright new color scheme and an airy, open feel.
“I wanted it to be warm, friendly and inviting and to make everyone feel comfortable,” Stephanie Packard said.
Even the name of the salon appears in this folk atmosphere. When the Packards were deciding what to call their new business, this particular phrase entered Stephanie’s head like a play on the idea of ”all the way, my dog is dirty.”
“I thought that name was cute and it stuck in my head,” she said.
Dog Gone Dirty offers a full range of services to keep dogs looking sleek, including hand shampooing and drying — doing it by hand is best for drying the undercoat, Stephanie said — any cut for the specific breed and nail clipping. The salon uses EZ-Groom shampoo, which is made in Michigan and comes in several different scents, as well as unscented. And, pets might even walk away from their trip to the salon sporting a new bandana or bow made by the store’s other groomer, Jackie LaVoy.
Stephanie Packard worked at another grooming business in the area for about five years before deciding to open her own pet salon. For LaVoy, groomer for three years now, it was an opportunity to work with her friend on this new adventure. “We had talked for a long time about doing this together,” LaVoy said.
What are the most unusual breeds the two groomers have worked on in their careers?
For LaVoy, it was a Bedlington terrier, while Stephanie Packard names a breed roughly at the opposite end of the size spectrum. “Irish wolfhounds are pretty cool,” she said. “They’re just big, and they’re babies!”
Becoming a canine groomer was actually a second career for Stephanie Packard. After working as a licensed nail technician, then running her own business and working for a salon, she was a stay-at-home mom for about 10 years. Once the couple’s two children got old enough, she said she decided she wanted to learn how to be a dog groomer.
It turned out to be a perfect fit for her, something her husband sees in action every day. “One thing I know about Stephanie is how much she cares about dogs and wants people to feel comfortable leaving their dogs here,” Kevin Packard said. “It amazes me how she relates to these dogs and can adjust her personality to work best with each one. She and Jackie are like that.
Dog Gone Dirty’s services, which are by appointment only, range from $37, depending on factors such as the size of the dog, the type of cut requested and the condition of the animal’s coat. Customers can book an appointment by stopping by the salon or by calling 301-4789.
Salon hours are 8 a.m. until the last dog is done, Tuesday through Saturday.