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Lacombians certainly love their pets

Lacombe residents certainly love their pets, as is reflected in the Lacombe Express A List Readers’ Choice Awards.
Val Dawson, the owner of The Spaw, prepares Stitch for a bath and a grooming. The Spaw won the top award in the ‘Best Pet Boarding/Grooming/Daycare’ category, plus ‘Best New Business’ in the Lacombe Express A-List Awards. (Mark Weber/Lacombe Express)

Lacombe residents certainly love their pets, as is reflected in the Lacombe Express A List Readers’ Choice Awards.

There was a very strong showing in the pet categories, including Best Pet Boarding/Grooming/Daycare which saw the top spot go to The Spaw followed by The Grooming Shop.

Pet Valu was first in the Best Pet Store category followed by Wag’s Holistic Pet Nutrition.

“I appreciate the support our community gives us, not only with helping to raise donations and with our local rescues but also for the love they give our staff,” said Pet Valu store manager Kammie Huff.

Store employee and ace sales associate Kayla Dayday agreed.

“Pet Valu is one of the most family-oriented establishments that I’ve had the joy of working for,” she said. “Our team is genuinely a family, and this extends to our regulars.

“I love having customers come in with their pets and being able to help them navigate raising their fur babies. It’s even better when they bring them in and they recognize you - even if that is from bribing them with treats!”

Wag’s Holistic Pet Nutrition owner Lindsay Wagner said Lacombe has a very unique industry in terms of pets.

“We have a very unique pet culture here,” she said. “We have such an abundance of facilities, people, stores, trainers, vets - just so much! So the culture here is super supportive. I think that central Alberta itself is very pet-friendly.

“The reason I moved out to Lacombe to start the store was because I knew so many dedicated pet owners. I love this place and I just want to be part of the community. The people here are so genuine and kind, and they love their animals.”

Landing this recognition is very meaningful.

“It’s so cool to see the love reciprocated.”

Meanwhile, The Spaw - which opened one year ago - also landed Best New Business.

“It’s great! I’ve been open a year and it’s been smooth going. It’s so nice that the community recognizes that. I appreciate it,” said owner Val Dawson upon hearing the news.

“I treat every fur baby the same as I would treat my own. I love them and I take care of them when they are here - I try to keep them calm.

“I’m also holistic in the sense I take into consideration the environment that they are in, the products that I use - everything is plant-based,” she said. “I just try to keep it as calm the best I can.”

Dawson noted that Lacombians indeed do love their pets.

“Pets bring happiness, joy, comfort, and companionship,” she said.

“(Locally), we have so many grooming shops, and we are all jam-packed,” she said. “We are all busy. People love their pets!”

Taryn Merkl, owner of The Grooming Shop, said her business was launched seven years ago.

She added that it’s pretty clear in the community that people really do love their animals.

She noted that during the pandemic, in particular, many folks opted to take in a pet.

“So it really shows in Lacombe - how many people do love their animals,” she said.

“We also have one of the best clientele, and we work really closely with Wag’s as well. They are amazing.

“We love doing all of our charity nail trims so that we can support the community as well. It’s been really nice to work in such a giving community.

“We do this because we love it.”

Mark Weber

About the Author: Mark Weber

I've been a part of the Black Press Media family for about a dozen years now, with stints at the Red Deer Express, the Stettler Independent, and now the Lacombe Express.
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