Gone to the dogs
Geneva shops show love of furry friends
GENEVA - Growing up, Amy Radez was the kid who always rescued a random squirrel or saved a stray cat or dog. Today, she’s still caring for furry friends as the owner of Le Doggie Divine Spa and Boutique on State Street in downtown Geneva, a town full of pet lovers.
Since opening 11 years ago and in her current location, at 309 W. State St., Geneva, since 2008, Radez and her staff have groomed thousands of dogs for clients who truly consider their pets to be part of the family.
“Their dogs sleep with them, they get special meals, they get new outfits to wear, they get groomed every four weeks," said Radez. "Basically, they’re children with fur.”
Jessica Shockey, along with son Nolan, stopped by the dog salon to pick up her own freshly groomed furry child, Reesie, a 10-year-old Yorkie. Shockey said Geneva is the perfect place to have a dog.
“It’s such a friendly town, where you can take your dog almost anywhere, shopping, or for walks along the river,” said Shockey. “It helps that Reesie is very patient with her younger (human) brother,” she added.
Local residents also can pamper their pooches at Wet Nose, 1510 Commons Drive, in the Geneva Commons shopping center. Animal lovers Sheila and Joe Spitza have owned the shop for 10 years.
“We specialize in raw diets, all natural foods, treats and supplements,” said Sheila Spitza. “We also offer higher end things in our boutique like Swarovski crystal collars, beds and durable, unique toys,” she said.
EvenFlow, at 302 W. State Street, is Geneva’s newest nightclub and restaurant recently organized a fundraiser that went, literally, “to the dogs.” The club donated half the proceeds from the evening’s signature cocktail, and accepted donations at the door to raise funds for Anderson Animal Shelter. Free “Wiggle Waggles” homemade dog biscuits also were given to dog owners to take home for their furry friends.
Another local haunt for the city's dogs is Geneva Jake’s at 407 S. Third S., Geneva. Employees of the store are known for putting out a big water bowl for thirsty dogs pulling their owners along the street on warm days.
“We do carry leashes, toys and water bowls,” said Erin Marski, whose family owns the shop. “We’re also very pet friendly… you can bring your dogs in and we’ll give ‘em a treat,” she added.
At Le Doggie Divine, a full dog groom includes a bath, blow-out, nail trimming, ear cleaning and whatever breed specific haircut the client wants. The shop also offers a mini-groom “bath & tidy,” and baths only. Special add-ons include aromatherapy and even dog nail painting for the fanciest of canines. The shop’s festively decorated boutique features extras like toys, outfits, harnesses and treats.
Radez calls herself a “crazy dog lady,” with six pugs of her own, ading she has scooped plenty of poop and swallowed her share of dog hair. She wanted to open a place where people would feel comfortable dropping off their beloved four-legged friends.
“It’s not a glamorous job, but it is a rewarding one,” said Radez. “When clients drop off a messy dog and pick up a dog that’s well-groomed and fresh-smelling and say, ‘Oh I love it’… it makes me feel like wagging my tail,” she smiled.