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When Fido needs a do, do it at the self-serve

By Andrea Perkins

IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN. Mimi, the little longhaired light of your life, has been rolling in compost heaps and God only knows what else all summer long. It's time for scissors and soap--and a nasty and messy battle of wills. Never fear. Seventeen years ago, Anne Singer had a dream that--thank goodness--she turned into a reality. Her idea was a car wash for pets, a notion that has since been picked up by a few other grooming establishments hereabouts (see below).

But the original self-service bathing stations are at Shampoo-Chez on Soquel Avenue. Rubber-coated ramps lead up to deep bathing tubs, at which one can stand rather than awkwardly kneel. They are equipped with easy-to-wield hoses that allow access to all those hard-to-get-to spots. And with every station, Shampoo-Chez provides its own line of all-natural shampoo products, the most popular of which is the hypoallergenic flea control blend made with cactus.

For something fancier, try one of the certified pros. Rhoda Mitchell has been Shampoo-Chez' resident groomer for more than 10 years. "Fuzzy butts don't work," she says as she brushes a grumpy-looking Himalayan with a fine-tooth comb. She enjoys an almost magical rapport with animals and is one of the few groomers "who will touch chows" (one chow comes all the way from Fresno for her services). Mitchell never uses sedatives or restraints, of course. "You don't need them as long as you love animals. They know if you like them or not, and if you're calm, they're calm."

Pampering is not the only activity that goes on at Shampoo-Chez. Seminars in T-touch (pet massage), pet grieving, and other related topics are offered on Saturdays. There is also a very low- cost vaccination clinic the first Sunday of every month from 1 to 3pm. "We were also the first ones to start that," Singer boasts.

(Reporter Andrea Perkins is owned by a springer spaniel.)

Aptos Dog and Cat Grooming
255 Center Ave., Aptos, 662.0758

Bowzer Baths
13156 Highway 9, Boulder Creek, 338.0717

1380 Soquel Ave, Santa Cruz, 427.2284

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From the September 13-20, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

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