Monday, April 23, 2007

Globe and Mail Article - April 21, 2007



The bow-wow set now has a day spa where pooches can be pampered to within an inch of their wagging tails.

Tucked into the basement of Timmie Doggie Outfitters on Queen Street West, kitty-corner to the dog-walking mecca of Trinity Bellwoods Park, the spa offers pet colouring (for special occasions) and a Dead Sea mud scrub for those finicky frisky types. There's also ear cleaning and plucking and a pedicure that includes a "pawlish" of Fido's choice. Prices range from $10 for a mere nail trimming to $40 for a de-matting.

The spa opened Thursday night with a shaggy chic party featuring cupcakes for the dogs. To start, it will be open Fridays and Saturdays by appointment only.

"Our customers were demanding it," co-owner Georges Khayat says. "There isn't a groomer in the area right now and people who were already coming in asked us to do it because it would be convenient for them."

The clientele, which includes eTalk's Tanya Kim and Allen Chan, one of the current Designer Guys, hails from the neighbourhood.

Since June, Mr. Khayat and his business partner, Paul Ryu, have been operating the upstairs portion as an emporium selling doggie treats and accessories -- complete with imitation Chanel dog dresses (we kid you not) that cost $140. Mr. Ryu is the owner of the canine whose name graces their 1,000-square-foot shop.

The doggie spa is more than just a kennel with a comb. A stainless-steel, state-of-the-art dog-washing tub -- worth $5,000 -- takes centre stage alongside a pair of reclining "spa" tables in a contemporary design that wouldn't be out of place in the Museum of Modern Art.

This is where the deep-tissue massages and dog facials take place, services that even Mr. Khayat says seem a tad de trop.

"It is extreme," he allows. "But these are people who think of their pets as kids and they want to lavish on them all kinds of gifts and treats. They want their pets to look as stylish as them."

867 Queen St. W., 416-203-6789.

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