OCEAN PARK — An all-inclusive dog grooming, boarding and obedience-training facility has opened in Ocean Park.
A soft opening was held on Feb. 13 for The Grooming Garage and Pet Emporium, located at 21810 Pacific Way.
“We’re going to do everything here,” said owner Dawnya Davis.
From basement to standalone store
Davis, 43, who has more than 20 years dedicated to the pet and livestock field, previously operated a dog grooming business from her home basement over the past nine years, building a broad and devout customer base.
Over time, Davis said she outgrew her home location and had been searching for a bigger space to plant her burgeoning business.
“I was working seven days a week to get everyone done,” said Davis, who juggled grooming more than 200 dogs on a regular basis.
In the fall, Davis added apprentice Avary Murray, which will allow the business to add more customers, Davis said.
“She’s awesome, has a great work ethic and loves animals,” Davis said. “With Avary being on board now with bathing, we’ll be able to take on a lot more dogs.”
The grooming services will also be bolstered by the addition of former Doggie in the Window owner Dodie Otoupalik, an Ocean Park groomer who played an important role in Davis’s career early on.
“She’s the one who taught me how to groom,” Davis said. “She’s closing her shop and will be working out of here. We’ll have three groomers on staff.”
Boarding and day care
There will be standard and suite-style boarding in kennels or living room style suites monitored 24-hours.
“There’s an apartment on site and someone will be here 24/7,” Davis said. “The dogs will also have baby monitors inside their kennel.”
The suites are modeled like a miniature living room.
“They will have a rug, toddler bed, chair, pictures on the wall etc.,” Davis said. “It’s more for our senior dogs.”
Day care services will also be overseen by Ryan Ring, with dogs separated into designated groups.
“For the day care we’re going to have interviews. They have to have a dog interview and show proof of vaccination, and temperament tested to show they’re not aggressive. To minimize accidents, they’ll all be separated by age and need. They will go on a rotation where seniors will get their time out and then puppies,” Davis said.
Davis is also coordinating with local hotels to accept dogs who may need temporary accommodations while visiting the peninsula.
“A lot of times people can’t leave their dogs in their hotels by themselves,” Davis said. “They will have a system that will link to our reservation system, where if they want to go to dinner or somewhere the dog can’t go, they’ll be able to bring the dog here from the hotel.”
Dog obedience training will be offered by master instructor Pam Adams. Adams brings more than 50 years of K9 training experience, including multiple American Kennel Club obedience championships.
“She’ll have a class to train them to sit, down, stay, come, heel and follow hand signals,” Davis said.
Another trainer is anticipated to offer outdoor agility classes in the summer.
“They will have apparatuses that they have to jump on,” Davis said.
From auto parts to K9 care
The COVID-19 shutdown was bittersweet for Davis, who lost out on months of income but watched her new location come into fruition.
“It’s a ton more space,” Davis said.
The building, owned by Ron and Daralee Moulds, formerly served as an auto parts store and was home to a construction business before undergoing an extensive remodel over the past year to better accommodate Davis’s vision.
“They (the Moulds) did everything I wanted structurally and paint wise. Everything in the building is brand new down to the wiring and plumbing,” Davis said.
“They basically ripped everything out from the floors to the walls. They were on their hands and knees degreasing the floors so that the dogs were safe. They have faith in me and have done everything in their power to make sure I’m successful.”