How Much is That Doggy In the Window?
By Bob Tagert
The headline for this column is also a popular song from 1953 that was recorded by Patti Page.
How much is that doggy in the window?
The one with the waggily tail…
How much is that doggy in the window?
I do hope that doggy’s for sale.
In this case, the doggy in the window at 315 South Washington Street, is not for sale. That doggy is waiting for their human to come pick them up after a relaxing day at the new Paw Spa in Old Town Alexandria. You might even spot two or three dogs waiting to go home, but they don’t seem to be in any hurry to leave until, of course, their human is seen approaching the window.
Gabriella (Gabby) Brown was working full time as an accountant for a construction company and with her husband had established a good life in Alexandria. As can happen sometimes, in the corporate world you begin to lose sight of what really makes you tick, so Gabby began to take stock of her situation. Her three dogs at home – Georgia, Mason and Marble – were at the top of the list of things that made her tick. With no real hobbies, she started to work part-time as a dog groomer. As time passed she realized how much she loved the working with all the dogs and eventually decided to start her own business.
Gabriella quit her corporate job and enrolled in a reputable dog grooming school in Northern VA. After graduating, she looked for a place to lease in Alexandria, which has a huge dog population. We were lucky enough to have her find a space right next door to our office.
The Paw Spa concept revolves around “luxury”….for your four-legged friend. It is a luxury grooming salon for fur families in the NOVA, D.C. and Maryland areas. The Paw Spa philosophy is:
There are more than enough animals to go around. Our skill level and attention to detail is far above the competition. The echelon of our spa, our educational background, and professional expertise is unmatched. Our goal is to provide a curated and elegant experience that allows your fur baby the chance to indulge in pampering and love designed solely for their needs.
Brown has worked for two of the highest-rated pet spas in the area and boasts extensive Vet Tech knowledge as well as CPR skills, caring for special needs animals, exotic grooming, and more. Gabby has been an animal lover all of her life. From raising horses to having tons of other pets to love on. She truly enjoys watching how happy fur babies get when they are well-taken care of and encourages pet parents to love their fur babies like family!
Unfortunately, she opened her business when the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak. However, since our four-legged friends cannot catch the virus, it was just a case of working around the human factor. The Spa had their official grand opening on July first of this year and have been busy ever since.
In the short time that I have known Gabby, I have come to find out how much I really never knew about dog grooming and maintenance. While I was in her shop and she was grooming the hair on the bottom of the foot of a Bernese Mountain Dog (BIG puppy), she explained to me that as the hair gets long it will cover the pad and the dog can slip while walking. I never thought of that.
This is where we got in the conversation of how each dog is different and a consultation is an effective tool to achieve an understanding of the dog’s needs. “We have to remember,” she tells me, “Just like people, dogs need some sort of routine maintenance.” As an example…when was the last time your dog had a bath? At Paw Spa a bath is part of the routine.
Just by observation I have watched this business grow considerably in three months. Gabby feels pretty good too! “I couldn’t be happier,” she says, “People come in and say we were walking by or a friend told us about you!”
Note: Grooming is by appointment only so they can allow the right amount of time for each dog. There is walk-in for a nail trim. They also groom cats as well as almost any animal that can get in the door.
Three things to know about Gabby:
Gabby’s favorite animal is the horse.
Her very first pet was Ginger Ale, a Maine Coon cat.
She loves shopping Etsy for handmade pet items and accessories.
The Paw Spa
315 South Washington Street
Old Town Alexandria