BY ALEXANDRA ANTONOPOULOS
Eryka Snodgrass, owner of the self-service dog-grooming boutique Bubbles & Bones, believes that washing pets means more than having a clean animal — it’s an opportunity to build trust and develop a closer relationship.
“It’s not just about washing your dog. It’s about setting that time aside to bond,” Snodgrass said. “If you have a dog that’s afraid of getting washed, or is nervous, they are going to want to be with you, not for you to dump them off at a groomer’s and say, ‘OK, I’ll pick you up in an hour.’”
Originally from Oregon, Snodgrass’ love of animals began with horses and continued to the great Danes she kept as pets. Now, Bubbles & Bones gives her the opportunity to help foster great relationships between her customers and their dogs.
The idea behind Bubbles & Bones began when Snodgrass was in college, managing a similar self-service grooming boutique. When she moved to Wellington, she decided to take the plunge, opening Bubbles & Bones on her own in her ideal location: the Kobosko’s Crossing shopping plaza on Forest Hill Blvd.
“I waited and waited, and finally this spot opened up, so I jumped on it,” she said. “I’d saved up all my money and just decided to go for it, and built this place.”
Snodgrass explained that her typical customers are families with children, who love to make a big mess washing their furry friend. “We really encourage them to blow out the [dog’s] hair all over the place and get into it and have fun,” she said. “We get a lot of kids.”
If that sounds messy, it’s no problem at Bubbles & Bones.
“For hairy dogs, it’s a really great way to do it without having to worry about cleaning up afterward,” Snodgrass said. “You can trash your whole bathroom when you wash a big, hairy dog.”
Because Bubbles & Bones is a niche business, Snodgrass and her employees spend a lot of time talking with their customers about different services. “When people come in, we really focus on educating them and showing them how to do it,” she said. “We like to help everybody out. Until you come in, a self-service dog wash can be hard to imagine.”
When she isn’t at the shop, Snodgrass shows long-haired Chihuahuas. There is at least one Chihuahua frolicking around the store on any given day. “I built the little pens in the windows so they could run around,” she said.
Those window pens serve another purpose, since Snodgrass has reached out to Big Dog Ranch Rescue and other pet adoption organizations in hopes of teaming up to put adoptable dogs in those windows.
“I’m trying to get [pet adoption organizations] to do a Saturday and stay all day. Hopefully, we can place some dogs that way,” Snodgrass said, adding that Bubbles & Bones recently donated 25 gallons of shampoo and conditioner to Big Dog Ranch Rescue through a fundraiser.
The pet boutique is not strictly do-it-yourself, although most customers prefer it that way. Traditional grooming services are available, but Snodgrass stressed that the time spent with family and dog is the point of her shop.
Bubbles & Bones also offers homemade, raw treats, with flavors like peanut butter cup and apple cinnamon. “We really promote feeding raw food, and we try to teach people about how it can keep their animal healthy,” Snodgrass said.
Bubbles & Bones is located at 9176 Forest Hill Blvd., in Kobosko’s Crossing. For more info., call (561) 360-2666 or visit www.bubblesandbonesflorida.com.
ABOVE: Eryka Snodgrass, owner of Bubbles & Bones, with Blizzard, her long-haired Chihuahua.