New Owner Kristine Rosen Has Found Her Calling
RIDGWAY – Kristine Rosen’s dog, Midnight Blue, came over and sat on my lap. He didn’t jump up into my lap; he sidled up and rested his black-and-white Great Dane haunches on my thigh.
Rosen laughed from the grooming table at the center of her cozy space at the Soggy Dog, the dog and cat grooming business in Ridgway’s Trail Town that she bought and reopened last fall. “Danes do that,” she said.
Then she told me the derivation of Midnight Blue’s name. “He’s a rescue dog. I was working intake at the Dumb Friends League in Denver when he came in at midnight, and he had a sad look on his face.” He still has the sad-eyed look, but now it’s a brown-eyed, soulful, well-loved look.
“You’re doing so good!” she told the bichon-schnauzer named Sadie who was getting an overall trim on the table. “Are you ready for your face? Yeah, you’re OK,” she said as the creature trembled slightly, “you’re all matted!” Sadie’s mom, Cider, was watching intently from a nearby kennel. She’d had her bath and would be next up for a haircut.
Rosen’s voice, and touch, are soothing, sure. She’s a real-life Dr. Doolittle: She speaks to the animals directly and, as she says, “knows how they feel.”
This is a person who has found her calling. “I do love what I do,” she said. “I’m in my forties. I wish I’d learned this in my twenties, but ….” she trailed off in characteristic good humor.
Rosen was born in Los Angeles, but moved soon to Colorado’s Front Range, for her father’s job with Martin Marietta Aerospace. She studied fine art in school – “oils and clay.” But, she said, “You have to be dead to sell your art! This is art to me,” she said, trimming the long hairs from between Sadie’s toes.
Rosen and her husband, Matt, who is a salesman and still based in Centennial, came over to the Western Slope thanks to friends in Telluride, Bo Bedford and Josh Geetter. “I think they knew each other through jam-band circles, Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon,” she said. “It was Joshua who told us this business was for sale.”
Rosen’s experience at the Dumb Friends League included grooming, “And I loved it! So I started doing more pet grooming.” She went to grooming school at Central Bark Pet Grooming Academy, in Denver. And now here she is, practicing her art.
“Come on, sweetie. I’ve got to get this piece behind your ear.”
“I’d like this to be a kind of mini Petco,” she said, thinking out loud about the future. “I’d like to sell dog food here. All the dog treats we have in here are ‘Colorado Proud,’ like the Zuke’s (Power Bones and Mini Naturals) from Durango. I’d like to have doggy socializing, here too. We did a couple of events so far, since we opened. We did a ‘Yappy Hour’ with treats for people and dogs. And we hosted a ‘Howliday Party’ over Christmas.
“Every dog I do gets its picture on our Facebook page, and we have a dog of the month award.”
Rosen finished up trimming Sadie’s ears and chin, then tied a bandana around her neck before putting her in the kennel and bringing out Cider. “Every dog goes home with a homemade bandana,that I make myself. I like to make their lives special.”
Soggy Dog offers full grooming services, from $20 up to $75 “for a Newfoundland,” Rosen said, laughing again. “People don’t usually groom cats, but I do!” A bath and brush ranges from $15-$60. And she has a self-wash option. “For $10, you can come in, I’ll show you how to do it, and you can wash your own dog. You supply the dog, I supply the rest. And do the cleanup!”
Midnight Blue was reluctant to leave his three-legged perch on my knee. “Go lie down,” Rosen said. “Go to your bed. Go lie down, and I’ll give you a treat.”
Without unweighting his hips, he turned his face to mine. I didn’t want to remove my hand from his silky, black flank.
The Soggy Dog is located at 248 Palomino Trail in Ridgway and can be reached at (970)318-1330 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.