Digging their Doggie’s Day Out

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Ava Pratt and Jack Schaben win contest

Story and photos by Samantha Pogue

Meet Ava Pratt and Jack Schaben.

Ava is a 4 1/2-month-old labradoodle, who loves to play tug-a-war with her big brother Ozzie, being chased with a ball in her mouth and going for walks. Lisa Pratt said she is growing very fast, recently outgrowing her collar and harness. She also plays with every toy given to her and loves all treats.

Jack is a 14-month-old miniature schnauzer. Sarah Schaben and her husband wanted to get a smaller dog after their beloved boxer passed away. A misunderstanding led the Schabens to think they were getting a 4-month-old puppy, when in fact they got a 4 pound, full-grown mini schnauzer. It didn’t matter. They instantly fell in love with the pup, who loves the wind in his face while cruising on the family boat and snuggling up to just about anyone he meets.

Ava and Jack were randomly chosen from more than 90 entries into HER Magazine and the News Tribune’s inaugural Doggie’s Day Out contest, each receiving prizes from co-sponsoring businesses and making new friends along the way.

The Dirty Dog Grooming Salon & Doggie Daycare

 Jack had never had a professional haircut since the Schabens got him in March. Sarah was ecstatic to chat with Leslie Vieth, owner of co-sponsor Dirty Dog Grooming Salon & Doggie Daycare, about the grooming package she won.

“Grooming includes bath, haircut, nail trim, ears cleaned and anal glands expressed,” Leslie said. “We also offer teeth brushing, deshedding treatments, bath and brush, flea and tick baths and toe nail polishing.”

Living about a half-hour away in Meta and working in Jefferson City, Sarah was also interested in the business’s doggie day care. Leslie said she wanted to offer a service for socialization for dogs, as well as if a dog needs medications after surgery, their owner is out running errands or just needs a place to stay for a short time.

“We don’t have activities for the dogs or outdoor runs, just a relaxed atmosphere where they can hang out,” she said.

Leslie understands that socialization, love and care is important for all pets and their owners, always having dogs and cats growing up. That love of animals was inherited from her mom and dad, who frequently rescued canines. As an adult, Leslie has adopted that same passion for rescue and shelter animals, owning three – a dachshund mix called Tucker, a pug named Minnie and a white Persian cat named Lucy.

“I’m a big believer in finding the animals a forever home,” she said, noting she is planning a customer appreciation day/fundraiser for the Jefferson City Animal Shelter later this summer. “I’m thinking of a dog self-wash (station) or free nail trimming, and refreshments served with donations to the shelter. Our shelter does a great job and I’d like to be able to give back something to them. That’s where I got Tucker.”

Leslie started dog grooming right out of high school, learning from the original owner of Canine Clippers. However, she worked in the medical field for several years, grooming part-time for family, friends and acquaintances. After her mother, Judy, had a car accident, she decided she didn’t want to be 45 minutes away anymore. She found a great, vacant location to get back into grooming full-time and opened Dirty Dog Grooming Salon & Doggie Daycare.

 “My vision is to have a successful business where I can offer a quality service at a reasonable price,” she said. “It’s a great job; I get to play with dogs all day! I opened March 2015. It’s hard to believe I’m in my fourth summer.”

Dirty Dog Grooming Salon & Doggie Daycare is located at 2422 C Hyde Park Road. For more information and details on the upcoming fundraiser, call 573-634-DOGS (3647) or visit them on Facebook @jcdirtydog.


 With high heat in mid-June, both Jack and Ava were in need of cooling off with a sweet, cold treat. Thanks to co-sponsoring business Culver’s in Jefferson City, each enjoyed a free pup cup at the restaurant’s pet-friendly patio.

Allen Walz, who co-owns and operates the Jefferson City Culver’s with wife Gretchen and daughter Kendall, said he and his family are huge pet lovers, joking they have “too many dogs to count.” To share their love of pets, they offer a free pup cup – Culver’s signature cold-pressed vanilla custard in a cup with a doggie bone – to a family’s furry friends. They will also serve up a special vanilla custard treat for feline relatives, too.

The national chain is known for its delicious premium ice cream, which uses the finest dairy from Wisconsin, cold-pressed vanilla and Dutch-blend chocolate, and is made fresh in each Culver’s restaurant throughout the day.

“We run the custard through a machine that whips it, blends it and makes the light, perfected taste that you enjoy every day at Culver’s,” said Allen Walz, who opened a Culver’s franchise with Gretchen, in 2009 and recently expanded their family owned and operated business with Kendall running a second Culver’s franchise in O’Fallon, Missouri.

Culver’s uses its decadent custard in an array of desserts, including cones, dishes, concrete mixers, shakes and sundaes. Culver’s serves up a flavor of the day and makes 15 to 20 pints of that flavor every day for patrons to purchase and take home. Walz said their food and dessert menu are equally popular, with its variety of signature ButterBurgers, sandwiches, onion rings and cheese curds being some of the best sellers.

Culver’s of Jefferson City is located at 1920 Jefferson St. For more information, call 573-415-1897 or visit Culvers.com/restaurants/jeffersoncity or on Facebook @CulversJeffersonCity.

Premium Pets

Grooming and a snack out was also paired with goodies both Jack and Ava could enjoy at home.

Prior to their visits to co-sponsor Premium Pets, owner Brittany Schlup got to know both pups and selected food, treats and toys that would match their stature, age and likes. Before they left, Ava and Jack also liked getting to know Brittany’s own pride and joy, a Shih Tzu mix named Rolle. He is one of the main reasons why the California, Missouri, native decided to open up Premium Pets with a grand opening last October.

Shortly after Brittany married Brad, who works for the Sheet Metal Workers union, in 2011, the couple got Rolle. Despite a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Brittany worked at her alma mater in college access, retention and higher education from 2011-2017. In finding more healthy food options free of fillers and additives for Rolle, Brittany began researching and shopping at locally owned Lizzi and Rocco’s Natural Pet Market in Columbia.

Brittany’s passion for high-quality, affordable pet food and products rose to the top of her list of ideas in starting her own business, a goal she had for some time. Through the help and guidance of the Women’s Business Center in Columbia, the MU Extension Office and the SCORE mentor program, she discovered there was a need to fill for pet owners in Jefferson City and opened up Premium Pets.

Natural food from top brands like Diamond Pet Company’s Naturals, Prey and Taste of the Wild lines, gourmet treats (most of which are made in Missouri), accessories, toys (many of which have a one-time product replacement guarantee), leashes, pet related items and more specifically for dogs and cats make up Premium Pets popular inventory.

Pet owners also love using Premium Pets’ self-wash station, which is do-it-yourself for a small fee but has shampoo, towels, dryers and other amenities all provided. With these products and services, as well as Brittany’s special fundraising events for important local animal-related organizations and partnerships with fellow locally-owned businesses, she has seen positive feedback and increasing success with Premium Pets.

“The feedback has been very encouraging and uplifting. We have got really good support from people and they love seeing this business on the east end of town. It is a great location, has high traffic and in an area that is trying to revitalize itself,” she said. “We love being here and opening up a business has been very positive and successful.”

Premium Pets is located at 700 E. McCarty St. For more information, call 573-896-1092 or visit PremiumPetsjc.com or on Facebook @premiumpetsjc.

Shed, Bath and Beyond Pet Grooming

 Lisa Pratt was ecstatic to find out Ava won a free grooming package from co-sponsor Shed, Bath and Beyond Grooming, where she already takes Ava and Ozzie for their haircuts and other pet care needs.

The business’s busy owner and lead groomer, Jennifer Collings, didn’t hesitate to greet Ava and Ozzie, chatting with Lisa and discussing their Doggies Day Out prize. The standard groom includes a full massage bath, nail trim, ear cleaning, anal gland expression, sanitary clip, hairstyle of the client’s choice and bandana and fragrance. Jennifer also included pet shampoo and conditioner.

Having pursued vocal music performance and obtained a degree from a St. Louis university in the trade, Jennifer changed career paths in 2005 when she came back to the Columbia area and started a pre-vet curriculum. She soon got a side job at a kennel in Columbia and its owner, a master groomer, offered Jennifer a pet grooming apprenticeship.

 Moving to the Jefferson City area after working a couple years at the kennel, Jennifer then groomed out of a veterinary clinic’s basement for three years until she established Shed, Bath and Beyond in 2009. In 2012, she moved her business from its original location to its current residence at 815 E. High.

Additional services include the FURminator de-shed treatment, medicated baths for fleas, dry skin and allergies, blueberry facial to moisturize and help remove tear stains, “pawdicures” that help moisturize dry, cracked pads and more. They also use organic, top-of-the-line shampoos that have no soaps or oils that will irritate or strip skin, as well as no-heat dryers and have climate-control in all the rooms.

“It is super comfortable and very safe for them. It is their spa,” Jennifer said.

Jennifer also hopes to expand her services once Shed, Bath and Beyond moves into a newly constructed facility, which is tentatively set to open in October.

For more information about Shed, Bath and Beyond, call 573-632-4DOG (4364) or visit ShedBathAndBeyond.com or on their Facebook page.

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Madeleine Leroux

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