Susan Young just loves dogs.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m part dog,” says Young, the owner and founder of The Dog Wash. “I’ve always had a special bond with dogs.”
This might explain the popularity of her Ellicott City dog-grooming business, which this year, after several years of winning honorable mention, was voted best pet groomer.
Fueled by her love of canines, Young does all she can to pamper her customers. Unlike some other dog-grooming businesses, for example, The Dog Wash schedules specific appointment times for its four-legged clients, calls the owners when the work is done and even allows owners to stay if they think their pet will be more comfortable.
“The dogs are not hanging out here all day by themselves, just waiting to be groomed,” Young says. “We’ll do whatever we can for them.”
Also, her staff of groomers is experienced; the longest-tenured has worked there 11 years, the shortest about a year.
Besides grooming, The Dog Wash offers a self-service wash in a specially designed stall — say goodbye to fur clogs in your home shower drain — and sells all-natural pet foods and supplies.
Young, who opened the business 17 years ago, credits her love of dogs with the fact that her family always had at least two dogs while she was growing up. She has two now as well: a lab-pit bull mix and a pointer-blue tick coonhound mix. Both were rescue dogs.
“The dog is our first focus here,” Young says of her shop. “We try to make sure that, above everything else, the dog leaves happy.”