Providing special care

Elicia Lanier of 4 Mutts Pet Spa grooms collie Sherman Alexander, King of Hearts.

4 Mutts Pet Spa, located at 214 W. Cottage Grove Road, opened for business Nov. 1.

Owner Elicia Lanier has worked as a groomer on the west side of Madison for the last 10 years and was looking to open her own location.

Although she was originally looking at space elsewhere, she ended up being shown the location on Cottage Grove Road. Although it had been vacant for years, she said it has everything she needs for her business.

“This is perfect for what I need,” Lanier said.

Lanier grooms dogs of all sizes, as well as cats, although she did say that if a cat has not been bathed previously, she won’t bathe them, either.

She charges by the hour, with small dogs starting at $45, and large dogs costing between $66 and $90, depending on how long it takes.

Lanier said most dogs should be groomed every six to eight weeks, although their toenails should be clipped every three or four weeks. Lanier stressed the importance of caring for dogs’ toenails, explaining it can cause a lot of pain and even warp the bone if they get too long.

Lanier said she learned grooming mainly from her aunt and grandma, who owned a grooming salon.

“I’ve been doing it pretty much my whole life,” she said.

Now, Lanier travels, doing grooming competitions through the National Dog Groomer’s Association of America. A certified groomer already, Lanier is currently working toward being a master certified groomer, at which point she will be only one of three with that certification in the Madison area.

One of the areas she competes in is “hand stripping” – a grooming technique used especially for terriers where the groomer plucks the dead hairs on the dog rather than cutting it.

“That’s a lost art,” she said.

Lanier is open Monday through Saturday by appointment, including evenings; call 839-6161 to schedule.

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