Business

Canine cleaning business makes Bay Street debut

"Casey Leach, a Seattle transplant with a love for English culture, saw the first glimmer of his dream job when, one day, his drain plugged.A giant hairball and about $100 later, Leach decided he wanted to open a dog-washing business - a place for dog owners to scrub their canine pets without the risk of dog hair in the drain or the hassle of keeping them in the tub.Today, Casey's K-9 Cleaners, located in downtown Port Orchard at 837 Bay Street, is a dogwasher's dream.There are tubs of various sizes to accommodate all styles of dog, from petite to Great Dane. Casey's K-9 Cleaners is running a grand opening special of $10 to wash any-sized dog through September. On Oct. 1, $10 will clean a small dog, $12 a medium, $14 a large and $16 a jumbo dog.Customers wash their dogs on a first come, first served basis.After securing the dog with a choker leash, he or she is led up a 45-degree ramp that attaches to the edge of the tub. The wood-slatted bed of the tub is raised from the steel base to give the dog some grip and to allow soap and hair to wash away.Leach provides an all-natural, citrus-based flea soap to scrub the coat and a tearless shampoo for washing the face. A conditioner shines and detangles the coat for easier grooming. Leach designed the atmosphere of the business to be comfortable. The shop is a non-septic environment, he said, making families and dogs more at ease. Wood cut-outs of animals on the walls and wood accents lend a homey feel and smell to the business. In keeping with the English theme, wallpaper trim depicting huntsmen in red coats riding horses through a wood borders the shop. Dogs who visit don't get excited like they do at the vet, Leach said.The water temperature, set between 88 and 90 degrees, is meant to soothe the dogs. The dryers are quiet and low-toned. With their sensitive ears, dogs don't like loud, high-frequency noises.Plenty of towels are provided and Leach has safe nail clippers and brushes.He doesn't impose a time limit on his customers, though he does ask that people keep moving. Washing, drying and grooming takes about an hour.All manner of dogs have been washed since Leach's opening day Sept. 9. He's seen several labradors, some golden retrievers, wolfhounds, shi-tzus and pomeranians, and German and Australian shepherds.Leach said he has always loved dogs. His 13-year-old Spitz, Huey, died last year. I miss my dog a lot, he said. (He) was the best I ever had. This place is sort of a dedication to him. "

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