For more than five years Mindy Fras, owner of Nassau Boulevard's Woofer Wash, has been offering Garden Cityites a unique opportunity - wash your dog ... leave the mess.
The self-serve dog washing facility opened Nov. 20, 2004 and was originally located in West Hempstead until October 2009, when Fras moved to a new and more spacious location at 259 Nassau Boulevard South.
The facility supplies customers with aprons, shampoo, conditioner, towels and brushes. In addition, Fras offers professional grooming and nail clipping services.
"We sell unique pet supplies that are not sold in your regular pet store," says Fras. Fromm Four Star Nutritional, California Natural and Crunch Woofs are just a few of the items sold at the store, which also offers a dog pick up and drop off service for customers.
The idea of opening a self-serve dog washing business came about when Fras' daughter had to do a project on Vermont. When they decided to visit the state and take pictures of landmarks, Fras' dog, who went along for the ride, rolled around in his own "mess" and had to immediately be washed.
Fras said that after finding a place to clean the dog, her husband came up with the idea. At first, Fras and others did not believe it would be so successful. Five years later, though, Woofer Wash has become a place that dogs and their owners have come to love.
Even the local Girl Scouts visit to learn how to properly care for their pets.
"We are able to accommodate all dogs; we have smaller tubs for the little dogs and larger tubs for the big dogs," Fras said. Fras' smallest customer probably weighs about two lbs. while her biggest, an English Bull Mastiff, weighs in at nearly 240 lbs.
Show dogs that have competed in the Westminster Dog Show have put their best paws forward only after a good scrub in the tub at Woofer Wash.
"There are really no bad dogs. The dogs behave well for their owners and they are much more comfortable," said Fras.
Customers can enjoy an episode of "Animal Planet" while getting bathed and Fras keeps treats on hand for the well-behaved. Woofer Wash also helps promote local companies that benefit dogs, including Crunch Woofs.
Fras was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago and was about to close Woofer Wash. Her family, however, continued to keep it open during her surgeries and chemotherapy rounds.
Knowing that she was again healthy, Fras said moving to the new location was her "big comeback" and she wanted to return "bigger and better." She hopes her story is an inspiration for people that have breast cancer because staying strong is what it takes to make a comeback, she said.
Self-serve tubs run $17 for the first half hour and $10 for each additional half hour. Fees are "per dog" and include brushing and drying times. Professional grooming fees are based on breed, size, cut, coat, services and temperament. The groomer must first meet your pet in order to provide a price. All phone quotes are the industry standard and will be adjusted up or down upon introduction.
Before entering Woofer Wash, be sure to say hello to the famous Winston, who greets travelers on Nassau Boulevard as well as Fras' customers at the door. For more information, visit www.wooferwash.com or call 516-538-3440.
(Editor's Note: Print this article and bring it to Woofer Wash for a one time discount: get $2 off a self-serve dog wash or $5 off a professional grooming service. It expires March 31.)