BIG SKY SPA DAY
When Dee-O-Gee opened in
2008, just one groomer was on
staff. Today, four groomers and
a bather coif and pamper canine
Josh describes the atmosphere in the grooming salon as
“We’d had previous experi-
ence with taking our dog to a big-
box pet retailer for grooming,”
Josh said. “He would disappear
through a door for the day, and
we had no idea what happened,
but he’d come home shaking.”
The Allens decided to create
a space that provides a calming
atmosphere for pets and visibil-
ity for customers. Windows and
prominent salon placement en-
hance that intention.
“Customers walking in can
easily see the grooming check-in counter, and if they wish to
watch their dog being groomed,
they are able to do so,” Josh said.
Dogs waiting for a turn on the
table, or those finished with their
spa day, do not occupy kennels.
“We have an open room
where the dogs are hanging out
while others luxuriate in their
grooming session,” Josh said.
“It’s pretty mellow and works
Should a customer want to
run errands or drop their dog off
on the way to work, the adjacent
day camp stands at the ready for
Self-grooming is also offered
at both locations, with all grooming supplies provided.
OFF TO CAMP
Dee-O-Gee’s day camp for
dogs complements its retail and
grooming service offerings.
“We felt there was a gap in
our town; most of the dog day
care facilities are outside the city
limits or in an industrial area,”
Josh said. “So we plopped ours
down in a nice, convenient retail
Like in the grooming sa-
lon, two big windows in the
retail area offer a view into the
2,000-square-foot day camp.
To the delight of passersby,
playful pooches also are visible
from an outside sidewalk.
“It’s totally like the ‘doggie in
the window,’” Josh said. “
Parents with children love to watch.
On a normal day,
the number of day camp frolick-
ers hovers at 20, depending on
the size of dogs in attendance.
In addition, areas for small or
elderly pets can be sectioned off
Day camp employees are specifically assigned to the day care
facility and receive training in canine body language and proper
management by a
highly regarded local dog trainer. The
same trainer conducts four- to five-week-long puppy
camps, where pet
owners and their
new charges meet
mornings, Dee-O-Gee is the place to
be as pet owners
and dogs under
eight months old
gather in a safe and
for a puppy social.
The day camp
IT’S THE PEOPLE
space also hosts nutritional sem-
inars presented by manufactur-
er representatives or Dee-O-Gee
Key considerations in a new
hire include a love of animals
and that all-important neighborly spirit.
“Our employees are invest-
ed in the community,”
Holly said. “We love
the fact that, should
a staff member see
a customer out on
the trail, they can
call that person’s
dog by name.”
Manufacturer representatives often
conduct these get-togethers, but staffers also
carry out their own research and
present findings to the group.
These well-trained Dee-O-Gee emissaries also offer product demos to customers if manufacturer representatives are
“Our associates pass out
samples and are able to discuss
a product and its benefits, just
like a rep would,” Holly said.
In an effort to serve as a good
neighbor to surrounding retailers, Dee-O-Gee maintains dog-waste stations for the benefit of
pet owners as they arrive or exit
“It is our intent to encourage
our customers to clean up after
their pets,” Josh said. “We main-
tain those stations, and, once a
year, after the snow melts, we
pay to have a local dog poop
cleaning company come in
and scour the entire shopping
This consideration also in-
cludes the sponsorship of trail
maintenance. With myriad hik-
ing trails in and around Boze-
man, pet owners often partake
of the outdoors with their dogs,
and Dee-O-Gee partners with
other groups to raise funds
to keep the community trails
For example, joining with
other community organizations
on National Trails Day, Dee-O-Gee sponsors a communitywide
walk, donating pledge monies
toward trail maintenance. In
addition, Dee-O-Gee conducts
fundraisers throughout the year
in support of local trails.
Leash laws exist within the
city limits, where many trails
begin, and should a hiker head
Terry Cunningham appreciates innovative partnerships. As executive
director of Run Dog Run, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting responsible dog ownership and creating off-leash dog parks in
the Bozeman, Mont., area, Cunningham often relies on the advocacy
of Josh and Holly Allen, and Dee-O-Gee, in furthering that mission.
“The Allens have come up with some great concepts; they are
always approaching us with ideas to help promote interest in using
and donating to local dog parks,” Cunningham said. “And it’s not just
Run Dog Run, they also support the local animal shelter. The fact that
they are strong proponents of dog-centric issues in Gallatin County
is one of the many reasons to shop there.”
A favorite fundraising event for Cunningham is Dee-O-Gee’s
Paw-Casso painting classes, held at the store. Pet-loving, would-be
artists, armed with a photo of their four-legged companion, enjoy
the tutelage of an art instructor as they create a portrait of their
pet. All art supplies are provided, and a portion of the proceeds
benefits Run Dog Run.
“I can’t draw, but I walked out of there with a portrait of my
dog that is now framed,” he said. “This is one way that Dee-O-Gee
makes regular contributions toward dog parks in our community.”
In addition, when a new dog park in the creation stages needed
a name, the Allens lent a hand.
“We wanted a creative name, and Josh and Holly collaborated
on a contest,” he said. “We had a judging committee, and Josh
and Holly created and hosted [the] voting [process] on a website
dedicated to that effort.”
The park was christened Lewis and Bark, in honor of Bozeman’s
location on the Lewis and Clark trail.
Cunningham and his wife, Laura, have been frequenting
Dee-O-Gee since 2008 and currently own two dogs; a border collie
named Maeve and a springer spaniel named Seamus. The couple
appreciates the nutritional expertise imparted by staff members,
and utilizes grooming and day camp services on a regular basis.
“Josh and Holly are very personally engaging; it’s hard to
imagine either of them having a bad day,” Cunningham said. “That
attitude translates to their staff, customers and certainly to their
WHERE DOGS RUN FREE
Dee-O-Gee’s Paw-Casso painting classes
benefit the local nonprofit Run Dog Run.