Thursday, Apr 24 2014 10:26 AM

Canine Creek celebrates 10 years of service

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A life-size mural greets pets as they approach the main counter in the shop. Owner Susie Atherton waits on customers and spoils their pets as much as possible, ever seeking new ways to improve their health and well being. Photo by Linda Lovendahl / Tehachapi News

Count Susie Atherton is one of those people whose difficult situation inspired not only an ingenious solution, but a successful business. She happily celebrates the 10th anniversary this month with her employees at Canine Creek Pet Wash & Boutique.

The task of washing her six pet dogs is what encouraged her to find a better way for the necessary chore. She had experienced every hardship associated with the ritual and decided to take action because she certainly wasn't going to give up her pets.

In April 2004 she introduced the concept of a commercial "dog wash" to the public which solved all her woes. "It took a while for me to educate the public on how this works but once it caught on, it caught on for good," said Atherton.

For the past 10 years customers have bypassed too hot or too cold water, pets jumping out the tub while all wet racing through the house, scheduling and keeping appointments (wash tubs are on a walk-in availability), stress trying to relax the pet and themselves, and frustration of chasing down a wet-haired pet rolling in the dirt afterwards (a $12 wash includes high-speed hair dryers). Best of all, pets receive treats before they leave and consequently, enjoy coming back. No more struggle dragging a pet to the ole wash tub.

The next challenge Atherton faced came in 2008 with the economic downturn. She listened to her customers and learned what they wanted: specialty toys and treats. They wanted value and quality beyond what big box competitors offered. "That's when I incorporated USA made toys, treats, and training aids" said Atherton. "They are cost effective when you consider they are made to last. Most come with guarantees too."

Quick to follow were high quality foods. These come in all forms -- frozen, freeze dried, raw, dry and wet; and for all ages and most medical conditions. Also on the list of added services was the enlistment of a veterinarian once a month from AngelDogs in Santa Clarita. This is a nonprofit organization that provides implanting of micro-chips, nail trimming and vaccinations, as well as low-cost spay and neutering. All of these changes lead to the full naming of the shop now located at 798 Tucker Road, Suite #5: Canine Creek Pet Wash & Boutique. The motto is "Where dogs would shop if they could drive!"

"Today Canine Creek offers a complete one stop shop," summarized Atherton. "I lease out a wash bin to Shannon of All Washed Up who offers the alternative of a full service wash. I also coordinate with Caitlin who offers full service grooming next door at The Grooming Spot.

"I do all this because I love our pets and want to see them happy and healthy for another 10 years!"

Canine Creek is located at 798 Tucker Road, Suite #5. The motto is "Where dogs would shop if they could drive!" It is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. The last wash of the day starts at 5 pm. Phone 822-0307,

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