Sonny’s Self Wash, an extension of Sequim dog grooming business Sonny’s Spaw, opened on Jan. 5 at 680 W. Washington St., Suite B-101.
“I put a lot of effort into creating a comfortable place for pet parents to wash their dogs,” owner Mary Kniskern said. “I believe in the whole dog approach, it’s about the well being of the animals for me.”
The facility features a bath with a ramp in each of three semi-private stalls with doors, so dogs can be leash-free and undistracted, as well as in a fourth room that has a backdoor entrance.
“It’s a safe place for antisocial dogs,” Kniskern said, explaining that owners can bring their dog in without the pet having contact with anyone else.
In the big dog stall there is a stainless steel electric bathtub that can fit dogs up to 200 pounds and lifts at the push of a button, the “Flying Pig 50” Professional Stainless Steel Grooming Bathtub.
Kniskern said the bathtub model is the “creme de la creme” and very useful for the humans involved, as they don’t have to lift or bend to wash their dogs.
All supplies are provided and “there is always someone to show you how,” Kniskern said. Nail trims are available. All staff are “fear-free certified and pet-tech CPR and first-aid certified,” she said. (For information about these certifications, visit pettech.net.)
Kniskern emphasized that the self-wash uses the same environmentally-safe products as at the full-service grooming facility at 440 W. Bell St., which is now booked out for three months.
“It’s definitely a needed service,” said Wilma Beckmann, who brought Fozzie, her 165-pound, 2-year-old St. Bernard to Sonny’s Self Wash to prepare him for the Western Washington Cluster Dog Show in Puyallup.
“It’s a nice, new, clean facility with plenty of parking,” Beckmann said.
Beckmann, owner of a mobile dog grooming business, said, “this town has been needing this for a long time.” Beckmann and Kniskern agreed that there is more need for pet care services in the area than there are providers.
Kniskern said she takes a wholistic approach to her businesses, considering the emotional life of the dog as well as their hair, skin and nails, and focuses on fostering community connections and offering educational opportunities. The site also hosts drop-off boxes for pet food donations for the Sequim Food Bank.
“It’s very important that we as pet owners know how to stabilize our pets in a medical emergency — not having a 24 hour emergency clinic,” said Kniskern, referring to pet-saving classes run by Mary Oqundo.
Sonny Spaw used capitol from the American Rescue Plan to lease the unit, fix it up and open it. Kniskern said she was able to create two new well-paying jobs and sees it as her way to put the money back into the community.
“I keep everything updated in real time,” said Kniskern, about Sonny’s web presence.
Information about services and events can be found at sonnysspaw.com/self-wash.