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At Scenthound South Boulder, Dogs Come First

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Here in Colorado, we love our pets fiercely. You’ll see us with our dogs on the hiking trail, at the brewery and basically anywhere they’re allowed.

 

But, just like humans, all pups require a little care and maintenance from time to time. There’s a new business in town that wants to help dogs (and their humans) live their best lives: Scenthound. Now open at 4800 Baseline Road, Suite C105, Scenthound South Boulder offers dog hygiene and wellness care services, like ear cleaning, teeth brushing, nail trimming, bathing and more.

 

Courtesy of Scenthound South Boulder

 

We chatted with owner Eric Wood to learn more about this new dog-friendly spot in town. Here’s what he had to say.

 

TB: Can you share your background? Where are you from, how long have you been in Colorado, what brought you here?

 

EW: After bouncing around between Southern California, New York and Europe, my parents finally settled in the San Francisco Bay area. That’s where I grew up with my mom, father, two brothers and grandmother. I also met my soulmate, Linda, got married and made a beautiful life and home together that included raising our wonderful son, David. After my wife sadly passed in October 2019, I decided to downsize and move to the green yet cloudy environs of Portland, Oregon, to be with my son David, daughter-in-law Ara and baby grandson Linden. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided to relocate to sunny, seasonally chilly, yet gorgeous Boulder County at the base of the spectacular Rocky Mountains. At first, we rented a house near Waneka Lake. I eventually took the plunge and placed an offer on a beautiful home in Old Town Lafayette which we share as a three-generation family.

 

TB: How do pets factor into your life? More broadly, what do you think pets mean to their human owners in Colorado?

 

EW: Our family has had many pets over the years. Recently, we had to say farewell to a cherished bunny rabbit named Roman that had been a family treasure for 14-plus years. In the past two years, we have added to our family precious Biscuit—a Great Pyrenees, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie (and then some) mix—and a hamster that my grandson named Mrs. Sam. What I have come to learn is that pets are an integral part of the family. At Scenthound, we form partnerships with our dog parents who genuinely care about the health and welfare of their beloved canine companions and aspire to provide the best life for them.

 

Courtesy of Scenthound South Boulder

 

TB: What motivated you to open a Scenthound location?

 

EW: Wow, great question! Do you have a couple of hours? After graduating from UC Berkeley with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science and then, later, an MBA from Golden Gate University, I had a successful career developing software and managing project teams in the telecommunications, consumer electronics, entertainment, e-commerce and fintech (financial technology) sectors. Despite these professional achievements, I yearned to be an entrepreneur and start up my own business. I came to the realization that I did not necessarily have to go a technical route. I began to explore the world of franchising because it provided a launchpad for an exciting, proven business model. To make a long story less long, serendipity led me to Scenthound. A franchise consultant proposed this business to me (among others) while I was on a phone call with him as I was looking out my bedroom window at the continuous traffic of people walking their dogs along an open space trail in Lafayette, Colorado… WTF (what the fog)?!… I was in dog country!

 

What ultimately drew me personally to Scenthound as a prospective franchisee was the commitment to the values that everyone from top to bottom embraces. First of all, there is our North Star (every business should have one!). We enrich the connection between people and their dogs. Sounds simple, yes? But there’s more! (1) We value that dogs come first i.e. we advocate for the health and well-being of every dog in our care. (2) We are one “pack” i.e. we are one company, one team, with one mission—we trust, respect and support one another. This is something I’ve always held close to heart. In my experiences, many workplaces give lip-service to the importance of “company culture” but throughout my career, I’ve always wholeheartedly embraced this concept. Without this cohesiveness, you have no team and thus you are doomed to fail. (3) We bring love—this is a simple ideal that I’ll touch upon later. (4) We seek growth and aspire to learn and expand our individual opportunities in this groundbreaking business. (5) We work with purpose and are driven by a desire to make a positive impact and make a difference. I truly believe we do and will continue to do.

 

TB: Why Boulder? What is it about this community?

 

EW: Boulder and its surrounding communities absolutely love, love, love their pets. It seems that every household has at least one dog. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that kind of devotion anywhere else. Boulder County and all of Colorado are truly “dog country” and “dog friendly.” People bring their dogs everywhere —stores, banks, parks, workplaces, you name it. Furthermore, Boulder County is a highly active community that enjoys the outdoors with their families. I myself have been delighted in bringing our family dog Biscuit into the Scenthound fold and also getting to know our new dog friends and dog parents. There couldn’t be a better location for establishing the Scenthound way.

 

Courtesy of Scenthound South Boulder

 

TB: What can first-time visitors expect at Scenthound? What will the experience be like? What should they know?

 

EW: Borrowing a line from the classic film “Casablanca,” where Humphrey Bogart says to Claude Rains, “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” the staff and I at Scenthound South Boulder strongly believe that a first-time visit is the beginning of a long-lasting relationship with dog parents and their dogs, where each subsequent visit will foster more familiarity, trust and acclimation with us and the services we provide.

 

For example, many dogs don’t like strangers (and even their parents) messing with their feet, ears and teeth. However, with each visit after visit, we have found that our dogs gradually (and often very quickly) get to know our team and are excited to see us again (as we are to see them!), and that this greatly reduces their fear and anxiety. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to witness this progress!

 

Getting back to the first-time experience: We go over the services that we will be providing i.e. bathing with high-quality, veterinarian-grade shampoo, clipping nails, cleaning ears, brushing teeth and performing a six-point health check where we evaluate the condition of the dog’s skin, coat, ears, nails, teeth and anal glands, giving each area a score ranging from 1-5 (with 5 being perfect and 1 requiring vet intervention). We then ask them to set aside a few minutes at the time of pickup so we can report on how well their dog did, the scores they received and any recommendations we have to maintain or increase those scores with future appointments and our routine “care club” maintenance plans. Our goal is that, by the time they pick up their clean, healthy, happy dog and walk out our door, they will have the information they need to conclude that routine hygiene and wellness care for their dog is essential and that they have scheduled their next appointment with us thus continuing our “beautiful friendship.”

 

Courtesy of Scenthound South Boulder

 

TB: What do typically dog grooming businesses get wrong? What gap does Scenthound help fill?

 

A: This is an aspect that got me even more excited about this franchise. The story goes back about 20 years when Tim and Jessica Vogel owned a mobile dog grooming business. Most of their customers wanted breed-specific haircuts which is time-consuming and extremely limiting. The plain fact is: Only a small percentage of dogs actually need a haircut. Even breeds that require routine haircuts don’t need specialty haircuts to support good health. The Vogels asked the question, “What does every dog need and how can we make that care accessible and affordable for every dog?” They found their answer in the notion that every dog needs routine hygiene care and preventative health maintenance. My team and I love to tell our dog parents and prospective clients that we “bridge the gap between traditional groomers and veterinarians.” I love that we are participating in the creation of an innovative space in dog wellness right here in Colorado.

 

TB: What do you wish more pet parents knew about grooming and hygiene? What are some of the biggest misconceptions you hear?

 

EW: Since diving headfirst into this business, I have learned that people have certain preconceptions about the word “grooming.” It seems to be a catch-all phrase that generally involves some combination of bathing, nail clipping, coat brushing, hair cutting, etc. When a new client asks about grooming services, I always ask them to tell me more about their dog(s) and their specific needs before discussing the services that will be the best fit for their pup. We want them to understand that we are not a groomer, we are not a spa, we are an essential, trusted provider of hygiene and wellness care for their dog and that is essentially our passion.

 

TB: What are your tips and advice for the parents of nervous pups?

 

EW: Here is the undeniable truth: most dogs have anxiety about being in an unfamiliar place and then being separated from their parents with unfamiliar people. Some dog parents tell us that their dogs are anxious because they think they are at the vet’s office! Other dog parents have told us horrendous stories of previous experiences with groomers. To be perfectly honest, many dog parents feel similar anxiety about handing their precious dog-children off to unfamiliar people with the knowledge that their dogs have hated baths, having their nails clipped, blow dryers, etc. There are remedies for this i.e. veterinarian-prescribed medication. Our natural hemp calming chewable has also proven to be effective. Generally, the best antidote for this is routine, routine, routine. Dogs need their humans to remain calm, they love routine, and they love love. This might sound corny, but everyone on our staff absolutely and genuinely brings positive energy to every dog in our care with loving intentions.

 

Courtesy of Scenthound South Boulder

TB: What else do you want people to know?

 

EW: I’m passionate about standing up a successful, sustainable business that makes a difference not only with dogs’ health and well-being, but also their parents’ health and well-being by removing any obstacles so they can love and connect with their dogs every day and love life.

 

I’d also like to give a shout-out to my dear, amazing pack, our A-team, who bring loving intention to their work every day: Kyla, Olivia, Bailey, Heather, Kelvin, Emily and Lexie. I’d be a sad, lost island without them. I’d also like to recognize the incredible support we get from our Scenthound franchise business coach Brian, my fellow franchise partners Christy & Jim Boswell, our superstar founders Tim & Jessica Vogel, and the incredible team at Scenthound Scentral that Tim & Jessica have assembled.

 

 

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