The Spaw





Welcome to The Spaw, a therapeutic and holistic dog grooming oasis. Located in a serene downtown sanctuary, we focus on your dog's experience with amenities like dog-formulated music, aromatherapy, dim lighting, and relaxing zen rooms. Our unique services include bubble baths, hot oil treatments, medicated options, hair stenciling, and nail polishing. With a one-on-one approach, we ensure trust and comfort for every pup, making The Spaw the ultimate destination for a tranquil and enjoyable grooming experience.

Brick & Mortar Salon


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About the Owners

Kellie Owens, Owner, the Spaw started working in the animal care industry in 2001. She first realized she had a passion and understanding for animals as a child, when she rescued her kitty CeCe from a perilous situation. They became inseparable. CeCe seemed forever grateful, and their deep relationship – rooted in nonverbal communication – intrigued and inspired her. Kellie’s first professional position in the animal care industry was as Programs Coordinator for the non-profit Canine Assistants, Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. Canine Assistants is the nation’s largest service dog training organization. She was partnered to work with a Golden Retriever named Wettie who remained part of her family until 2015. Her work with this organization awakened an interest and commitment to the understanding, nurturing, and development of the human-animal bond and the healing power animals have on their human companions. Pets have been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, stress and anxiety as well as increase socialization and emotional wellbeing in their human companions. Simply stated, they increase our capacity to love. Kellie moved to Oxford, MS with her husband in 2005 and genuinely missed working with animals. She found herself seeking opportunities to engage with other people’s pets. Needless to say, she did lots of pet sitting for friends and family! In the spring of 2006, Kellie was offered a position with a newly opened animal hospital. She was hired to conceptualize, plan, and ultimately oversee the opening of a “resort” style boarding facility offering daycare, grooming and a private dog park. Her driving passion, love, and respect for animals pushed her to create a service that would be a fit for the most special pets she could think of, her own. While very proud of her accomplishments in the completion of this project, she found that most pets were extremely stressed in the kennel environment and unfortunately, this included her own. She found each time she and her husband traveled, she would drive her pets to Atlanta, and leave them with her parents. Kellie realized she was not the only pet parent who was going to such extreme measures for the emotional comfort and safety of their pets. While boarding may be suitable for some pets, most would rather be in the coziness of their own home. And so began the concept for what was to come next: Homeward Bound, Inc. began operating 9/9/09. Her clients quickly began to request grooming services which she offered in their homes. In 2013 she purchased a wag'n tails van and mobile grooming became a hit. This concept was right in line with the pet nanny service. Keeping pups at ease at home, relaxed and actually enjoying the process. There were no mobile groomers in Oxford (and still aren’t). But, by 2016, she was only reaching 5-6 clients per day and the waiting list grew in excess of 300 clients. Kellie took the concept of the mobile environment and supercharged it in a storefront location. “On September 9, 2009, I made what many thought was a crazy decision to start a “pet nanny” service in Oxford, MS. My best friend Wettie, a Golden Retriever, was the inspiration for the concept, and she shaped every decision I made. I moved forward with the confidence and knowledge that there were many people, just like me, who were in-love with and had a passion for their fur babies, and felt “kenneling” was not an option of care for their special family members. There was no service like it in Oxford and with Wettie in mind every step of the way, we dove in together! In 2013 with increased demand for grooming services in Oxford, we started a mobile grooming service for our clients. The demand quickly grew to a waiting list of 200 people interested. The Spaw was created as an answer to this demand with the thought that we would create an environment modeled after the mobile "truck" and develop individual rooms in a stand alone location to mimic the mobile environment. In 2023 we completed our 4th expansion to meet the needs of our growing clientele. While Wettie is no longer with us, she is here every day in spirit. Each moment spent with our clients loved ones, has been designed with her in mind; knowing the care I would want for her is exactly how we care for our client’s pets. It is with these thoughts in mind that I ask you to keep my promise to her, and always strive to provide the best, most professional pet care possible. This is what we are charged to do. That's how Wettie would want it.” Both Homeward Bound and the Spaw flipped the pet industry norms upside down. The Spaw is an experience for pups. No cages, running water fountains in every zen room, music formulated for dogs, aromatherapy, pheromones, a garden space for potty breaks are a few of the amenities. In June of 2023, after 15 years, she announced the closure of Homeward Bound (pet nanny service). One of the many small businesses who fell victim to the Covid-19 pandemic, in the aftermath she wasn’t able to rebuild the service as she watched the pet nanny service shrink to levels not seen since her first year in operation. The Spaw survived and even grew as her community, forced to stay home, turned their focus to their pups. During the pandemic Kellie received special dispensation from the Mayor’s office which allowed the Spaw to remain open, while most other business in town shut down. She took measures weeks in advance to go “curbside” and her staff donned PPE before any mandates. With a small team of 8 employees (including herself) ranging in tenor from 3 years to 12 years, she was driven to keep the Spaw alive and her Staff whole. She moved the remaining team members from Homeward Bound to the Spaw and sent several to the newly launched on-line grooming school from Paragon (Melissa Verplank). Kellie continues to develop her team with online training forums, webinars and national trade shows as CE is scarce in Mississippi. Coming out of the pandemic allowed for expansion of the facility and she continues to look for opportunities to grow the unique concept and services she has created in the Spaw.

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