PETS • BY TEIGHLER DOAK
DC resident Ethel Taylor saw an empty space in the local market for dog owners and filled it with suds.
The Doggie Washerette provides a fast, easy and affordable way for owners to bathe their dogs without having to clog up their own bathtubs with fur or strain their backs while trying to keep Pugsly from escaping. Taylor’s self-serve dog wash on Georgia Avenue in Northwest, DC (near the Silver Spring line), provides the essentials of a top-notch grooming salon, including two dog washing machines, four grooming tables and a variety of other amenities: apron, towels, toothbrush, ear wipes, cologne and nail polish.
“The K9000 is the Cadillac of dog washing machines,” said store owner Ethel Taylor, describing the washing apparatus. “It is also soap and detergent free so it doesn’t counteract the dogs’ flea and tick treatment.”
“It’s great,” said Takoma Park resident Jennifer Vincent, “It’s much harder to groom Patches (a seven-year-old Australian Cattle Dog) at home. I also like how the machine prevents Patches from escaping, and I can be right here with her.”
Taylor’s passion for dogs dates back well into her childhood when her family dog, a Collie-German Shepherd mix named Trixie, heroically followed her infant brother down the street after he wandered away from the family home. “When the family finally found him, Trixie was still by his side keeping him safe,” said Taylor.
“My sister gave me the idea [for the Doggie Washerette] six or seven years ago,” said Taylor. “She took me to a place in Virginia where she washed her two Rottweilers, [in] bathtubs built on platforms attached to a pet store. At that point I didn’t think of starting a business, but I kept a mental note and thought, that’s pretty cool.”
In 2010, Taylor realized the community needed a place for dog owners to care for the hygiene of their pets — especially medium and large ones who don’t need specific grooming (such as breed cuts).
“Outside of the frustrating, stressful process of washing in the family bathroom or the cold water of the backyard hose, what are the cleaning options for bigger dogs?” asks Taylor, “A groomer who sometimes will charges $60 dollars or more, based on a dog’s breed and size?”
As well as being the owner of the Doggie Washerette, Taylor and her husband, Joseph, are pastors and missionaries.
“Since 2002 we’ve been back and forth to Liberia where we have started a churches and a school. Our ministry, Faith Fellowship Ministries International, supports the school. The ministry also has fellowship with churches in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Chile, South America and the United States.
“Due to the recession, I know it’s a tough time for some people right now,” said Taylor, “and I’ve been sensitive to that reality in setting prices. Nevertheless, customer service remains my priority.”
The Doggie Washerette is located at 7714 Georgia Ave NW (At the DC/Silver Spring line) and is open seven days a week.