Going to the Dogs
Spiffy pets was recently in the news. We are so proud of our business and our clients.
By Kimberly Watley
Rockford Register Star
Posted Jul. 25, 2015 at 8:00 AM
MACHESNEY PARK — Pet parents are all too familiar with that sad puppy dog look they see peering back at them when they leave the house without their pets.
They sadly sit and watch as their people drive away — fogging up the window with their snouts.
That look is partly why sisters Rhonda Borcherts-Surratt and Peggy Borcherts opened Spiffy Pets Grooming & Daycare two years ago.
Previously, for two decades, both worked as child day care providers, and agree a pet gains as many benefits from interaction as children.
For most of their adult lives, they’ve also volunteered with animal rescue groups, frequently providing grooming services for the lost or mistreated.
"We just kind of thought, maybe this is where we need to be as we get older," Borcherts-Surrattt said.
The practice of not caging, drugging or keeping an animal any longer than necessary came from an unpleasant experience Borcherts-Surratt had with a groomer.
“As a Mother’s Day gift my dog was taken to a groomer,” she said. “When we picked her up four hours later, she was still groggy from being drugged. From that day forward I decided we would groom all of our own, our rescues and transports. Before you know it everyone wanted us to do theirs.”
They offer grooming services — head to tail, for most animals. They have even performed a pedicure on a guinea pig. Each animal is bathed, dried, brushed, trimmed or shaved, as needed, and given an official Spiffy Pets bandana to wear.
“We don’t use cage dryers either, because animals can overheat. We just try to make it an all-around pleasant experience for them," Borcherts-Surratt said.
Although the animal attraction was natural, Borcherts said she and her sister had to study all dog breeds to master the numerous cuts and styles. They occasionally get requests for a an out-of-the-ordinary cut, however.
“You can try to talk people out of shaving a dog that just needs a trim, or tell them their cat really isn’t going to look like a lion — ever. But, we give the customers what they want. I think they appreciate that we really listen and try to incorporate their ideas into our business," Borcherts-Surratt said.
They use social media to show before-and-after photos, as well as videos of animals in their care. They have a large fenced playground for socializing and exercising, and more toys than you can shake a stick at.
Roxy’s owner, Julia Green, immediately became a client after adopting the cockapoo. At a year-and-a-half old, she had never been to a groomer. Matted and shaggy, the pooch came out looking like a brand new pup.
The signature lime green sign is what drew Green’s attention, but it was the special treatment her dog received that keeps her coming back, she said.
“They saw her right away when I got her, and even the time she got into the firepit and was covered in soot,” said Green with a laugh. “They treat my dog like I treat my dog, like a family member. You can tell they are in the business because they love the animals.”
When Green was in school, Roxy went to doggy day care a couple of times a week. Seeing videos of her playing made the time away from her dog much easier, she said.
“It is a fun environment and great to see her playing all day through videos they post on social media,” she said. “I love that they are local and that they promote other local businesses. I just love them.”
About Spiffy Pets Grooming & Daycare Address: 9820 N. Second St., Machesney Park Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to noon Saturday Phone: 815-877-6331 Online:facebook.com/spiffypetsgrooming