Pampered pets: Spa offers retreat for animals |

Pampered pets: Spa offers retreat for animals

When Lexi, a bichon frise, walks out of The Pet Spa, she holds her head high and is proud of the way she looks. At least that’s what her owner Yvette Puhl sees.

“You can tell. Lexi, when she comes out of there, she feels pretty,” Puhl said. “She comes out exactly the way she’s supposed to look.”

She had taken the dog to other groomers but never was happy with the results. She found Wilma Flies, The Pet Spa’s groomer, three years ago and hasn’t gone to anyone else since.

“She’s got so much more room in there, and it’s so neat, and she takes such good care of (the animals),” Puhl said.

Flies has operated the business out of the Craig Veterinary Hospital for three years and got her own section of the building in September.

“She was getting so busy that we didn’t have room for the grooming and the hospital stuff,” veterinarian and hospital owner Wayne Davis said.

So Davis built an additional room in the existing building, covering the walls with decorative tiles and segmenting the space with wrought-iron gates. Flies even plays classical music in the background in an attempt to keep the animals — and herself — calm.

“She’s the kind of person who makes it as stress-free as possible for the dogs,” Davis said.

Flies said this is all part of the six-month training she received at the Nevada Dog Grooming School in Las Vegas.

“When I was a little kid, my best friend’s mom was a dog groomer and I was fascinated with it,” she said.

She has been grooming since 1991 and makes it a point to bathe dogs twice, or more if necessary.

She dries and clips dogs, and uses a shedding blade to remove excess fur. She’ll even paint their toenails and put bows or bandanas on them if their owners would like. She’s looking into pet massage schools to pamper them even more.

But not all dogs are thrilled to go to The Pet Spa.

“Some can’t wait to get in the door,” Flies said.

“Most are like, ‘Oh boy. That’s the lady that’s going to give me a bath.'”

She gets bitten on a fairly regular basis and knows bites are part of her job description.

Flies sees as many as 11 pets a day, so many that the spa is looking for an assistant to help her meet the community’s demands.

The spa charges $25 and up for grooming, depending on the size of the dog and how much owners want done.

Flies also takes care of cats, and even has groomed a rabbit in the past.

Both Flies and Davis predicted the spa’s success and neither is surprised with its popularity.

“I think people in Craig take good care of their animals,” Flies said.

“I really do.”

For more information on The Pet Spa, call 824-9629.

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or

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