Concept of a self-serve car wash goes to the dogs


March 16, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A QUICK GLANCE at our car, or a whiff inside, and it is obvious that any time the Breslin family shows up to a car wash, it is for the entertainment value.

We don't go very often, and success is determined not by how clean the car is, but by how much fun we have.

Whether it's self-serve, full-serve or watch-the-action- from-the-car-window wash, we have found car washes big fun for years.

Last week, we found something even better -- a self-serve dog wash. Many other families have made the same discovery.

When Westminster residents Kim and Mark MacLean-Blevins heard about this dog wash, they jokingly envisioned leading their two huge Swiss mountain dogs, Emma and Heidi, through a water and soap spraying tunnel.

Then, they figured they'd have to loop back around for the dry cycle.

Last week Emma, Heidi and Cheyenne, a border collie/collie mix owned by Bill and Debbie Finch, met at Airpark Animal Hospital to give the self-serve dog baths a whirl. No tunnels, no tension, just good family fun.

"It's a novel idea. I had never heard of something like that %J before," said Mark MacLean-Blevins. "We all had great fun."

The family includes five children -- Ian, Rebekah, Abigail, Jacob and Katie -- whose ages range from 18 months to 12. Number six is on the way, so Kim appreciated the fact that the tubs are raised off the floor.

"The dogs were the calmest they have ever been in the bath there," said Ian, a sixth-grader at North Carroll Middle School. "It was a fun experience."

Conor Finch said he liked watching Cheyenne climb up "the slide thing," a ramp to get into the tub.

Some dogs need a little coaxing, according to Cathy Warfield, veterinarian technician and kennel manager for Airpark Animal Hospital. "Most of them get comfortable pretty quickly though," she said.

There is a place to hook a leash inside the tub to keep pets still.

Everything your dog could need for a luxurious bath is provided for $10 -- shampoos, towels, brushes, even cologne for a final spritz. The towels are a lot like the highly absorbent chamois towels used at a car wash. Aprons are available for pet owners who want to stay dry.

Two rooms approximately 8 1/2 by 6 feet house the dog wash. A garden hose is attached to each tub with a hand-held sprayer that has adjustable speeds -- light, for a gentle massaging bath, medium or a heavy spray. The water temperature is also adjustable.

There are racks at the bottom of each tub so pets are not standing in soapy water during the rinse cycle. The racks also help pets grip better and slip less.

And just as at the car wash, where people pick up a few extras -- air freshener, fuzzy dice -- many customers get veterinarian technicians to trim nails, clean ears and brush teeth on their pets.

Country gospel music

Since 1979, Bethesda and Zion United Methodist churches have brought great country gospel music to Carroll County. It's time to mark your calendars for this year's concert. The 20th annual Gospel Music Show will be held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. March 22.

Both shows will feature the Lewis Family, the Florida Boys, and the Dixie Echoes from Nashville, Tenn. Last year's performances attracted about 2,000 people. An 80-plus-page program highlights Carroll County businesses.

Advance tickets are $9 for the main floor and $5 for the balcony. Tickets are $1 more at the door.

Advance purchases may be made at Bullock's Country Meats, Bullock's Airport Inn, Bibles Plus in Westminster, McDougall's in Eldersburg, Zinn's Service Center in Taneytown and Menchey Music in Hanover, Pa.

Information: 410-833-6295 or 410-848-7981.

Consignment sale

Christian Preschool and Kindergarten will sponsor the annual Kids Consignment Sale from 7 a.m. until noon March 28. School clothes, dress clothes, snowsuits, boots, toys and baby equipment will be sold. Parking is available off Washington Road and Bennett Avenue in Westminster.

The sale is open to the public. Proceeds will go toward playground equipment for the preschool.

Information: 410-239-3069.

Lisa Breslin's Central Carroll neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 3/16/98

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