By Jordan Puckett
The Soggy Dawg Pet Salon had its grand opening May 1 in New Richmond.
Owner Ollie Darnell previously owned Paws Pet Grooming in Amelia. The store was open for 13 years before Darnell closed to move to New Richmond. She lived in New Richmond for more than five years before deciding to open her new pet salon.
“I was going to open a restaurant,” Darnell said. She changed her mind after former customers continued to ask if she could treat their dogs. Many asked if she would open a new shop in New Richmond. Darnell said that after she decided to do it, the shop was open within a month.
“I really enjoy pets,” she said. “I decided to share my joy with everybody.” Darnell said she missed the pet business and wanted back in while there was still demand.
Darnell said the shop would be like a second home to her, so she wanted it to feel like a home. The shop has two small sitting areas off to the sides. Each sitting area has two chairs and a small table. The rest of the shop is decorated in dog figurines, paw-prints on the walls, and brightly colored flowers. The floor is mostly carpeted, with the exception of the dog grooming area.
Hidden from the front by a low wall, the grooming area is open on the sides for customers to view their pets.
“A lot of pet shops do the grooming in the back, where customers can’t see anything,” Darnell said. “They don’t know what’s happening with their pets. I think people should be able to see what’s going on.”
After owning a grooming shop for 13 years, Darnell feels she is more prepared this time. One change she has made is to stop grooming cats.
“In thirteen years, I got bit five times by cats and never once by a dog,” she said. An owner of four cats herself, Darnell says she loves them, but won’t work with cats other than her own.
Her new shop, a dog-only salon, offers a full line of grooming for all breeds. Appointments may be made by phone, but walk-ins are also welcome.
“This has been a really good location,” Darnell said of her new shop in New Richmond. She said she had a great opening week, with more than 30 pet owners bringing their dogs. Most of these were walk-ins she said. “People see my shop and want to check it out.”
The duration of the grooming is entirely dependent on the type of dog, but Darnell said most take around 2 to 3 hours. In addition to nail clipping, hair trimming, and washing, Darnell also treats skin conditions.
The Soggy Dawg Pet Salon is open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. The shop is closed Sunday and Monday. The shop is located at 322 Sycamore Street in New Richmond and can be reached at (513) 553-3294.