When it comes to caring for pooches of all shapes and sizes, Furry Friends is hardly dogging it.
The Danbury doggy day care at 298 White St., owned and operated by the Harvey family since 2007, has added A Muddy Paw Grooming Salon to its premises. The full-service salon, owned by Brookfield resident Shannon Powell, offers everything from a shampoo and paw wax treatment to bandannas and the all-important spritz of cologne.
“We’d had groomers in the past,” said Jasmin Cruz, COO of both Furry Friends and Unleashed in New Milford. “They usually were people just starting out, or longtime groomers who were looking for work and would then move on to somewhere else.
“Muddy Paw is a local business run by another young woman entrepreneur,” Cruz continued. “She really stood out to me, and her staff care for the dogs as if they’re their own. This will bring a new level of service to what we offer.”
“What an opportunity to be teaming up with a business professional who is equally passionate about animals and their well-being,” added Powell, who will employ two groomers at each of Cruz’s locations. “I love animals and so does Jasmin, so expanding our mutually successful businesses to care for them and provide services for their owners is a dream come true.”
Although Dave Harvey owns both shops, which were started by his parents Bob and Jo, Cruz became his business partner a few years ago. “Dave’s dad always said I was like a daughter to them,” she said. “And I’ve always loved the place as if it was my own.”
Cruz said she started with the Harveys as a kennel tech, “and rose my way up, falling in love with the business. Months turned into years, and even though I left for a while to try other things — I had my own dog-walking and pet-sitting service — when Dave reached out to me to come back on, I jumped at the chance.”
Full-time, cage-free doggy day care (minimum four hours) in Danbury ranges from $32 per day to $540 for a 20-day pass and consists of two separate playing areas that total 3,600 square feet. Dog boarding costs $46 per night, or $58 per night for VIP treatment, wherein canine clients eat and sleep in their own personal room and are allowed to bring their own toys.
Basic spa service — which includes bath, nail trimming, a quick brush-out and a “to-go” goodie bag — runs $38, while the deluxe package, which adds a nail-grinding service, teeth brushing, perfume, complete brush-out and paw wax treatment, goes for $58.
The charge for the full-service grooming offered by Muddy Paw, which includes bath and haircut, varies depending on such factors as breed size, condition of coat, amount of fur, temperament, time required, age and health issues. Powell said prices range from $55 to $90 for most dogs.
Cruz pointed out that they also offer boarding for cats and other small animals — including, on one memorable occasion, a Flemish Giant Rabbit, which as its name indicates stands nearly four feet high when the mood strikes it.
“We take time with everyone,” she said. “Newbies especially can take time to get to know. It’s like when a kid goes to the doctor’s office for the first time — you have to take it at their own pace.
“The difference,” she laughed, “is that the animals can’t tell you what they’re thinking, so there’s a lot of reading of body language that goes on.”