In 2005 Grateful Dogs opened its doors to the residents of Thurston County. Owner Jason Grant dreamed of a grooming experience free of anxiety, full of compassion and marked with individual creativity.

olympia furniture“It’s common, especially in corporate run businesses, for dogs to see many different groomers during their visit, each one specializing in one piece of the process,” explained Jason. “I wanted the experience to be more personal, one groomer and one dog from start to finish.”

Twelve years later that dream is still alive. In 2012 Jason’s wife, Lysa Grant, left her steady, predictable state job of 15 years to join the Grateful Dogs team. With Lysa on board full time, they saw a chance to expand their services and took it, opening a new doggy day camp and moving full time to their current location in Lacey.

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Jason and Lysa Grant, proud owners of Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp, are pictured outside their indoor dog park. Photo credit: Jessie Dunnam.

While Jason can be found most days with his team of groomers, Lysa spends a lot of her time engaging with the day campers and making sure the business is running smoothly.

“My wife is very talented,” Jason bragged. “Sharing the responsibilities has made my job much easier because we work so great as team.”

During my visit to Grateful Dogs, I got to meet a few of the day campers and their counselor, Austin Peterson, who has worked at the shop since 2014.

“Most rewarding for me is learning their personalities and using that to build connections with each one,” shared Austin.

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Pack members enjoy another fun day at camp hanging out with friends at the castle. Photo credit: Lysa Grant.

When I first walked in the indoor dog park, I was astounded to see over 20 dogs. I immediately noted all the different breeds, different sizes and different ages but with one thing in common: each dog was at ease. Austin stood in the middle of the pack, a calm and nurturing leader. Some of the dogs played, while others napped, but all were happy. No panic or even panting was evident. As any dog owner knows, creating this climate with even a few dogs can be a challenge. Grateful Dogs makes it a priority.

“When the day camp first opened, we would have maybe eight to ten dogs a day. Now, five years later, we have grown to host over 30 dogs on a busy day,” Lysa said.

I wondered what it was like managing so many dogs.

Lysa just smiled, “We are learning. We have tricks now.”

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Friendships of all shapes and sizes are made at Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp. Photo credit: Lysa Grant.

One of those is an easy to use double-fence system, allowing for a safe and seamless transition in and out of the day care. Another is the rigorous interview process all future pack members must go through before being admitted. Although it takes a time commitment up front from everyone, it promotes the best experience possible for your pet.

“The idea is to ensure your dogs are as healthy and safe as possible during their stay,” Lysa explained.

Both Lysa and Jason admitted that drop off and pick up can be exciting and sometimes the most challenging parts of the day.

“When 5:00 p.m. hits, the dogs just seem to know: It’s time. Their parents are coming,” laughed Jason.

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Cooper, a guest at Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp, takes a peek through the fence. Photo courtesy: Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp.

Meanwhile, across from the day care, Jason’s team of groomers were hard at work. In addition to offering quick drop-in services, like nail clipping and ear cleaning, Grateful Dogs also provides professional, high quality, by-appointment grooming.

With over 100 years of experience between them and the shared desire to keep growing through participation in high-caliber dog shows and friendly competition amongst themselves, the groomers at Grateful Dogs are nothing short of extraordinary.

“I feel I have put together a team even better than myself,” Jason shared with pride.

Groomer Anna Lumsden, who has worked at Grateful Dogs for six years now, says, “No day is ever the same, and I like the chance to build relationships with every dog I groom.”

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Duchess shows her smile at Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp. Photo courtesy: Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp.

Jason encourages his team to stray from the norm. He sets a bar of exceptionality, insisting on a personal level of care and commitment between every groomer and canine customer.

What makes this dynamic business work? Simple. “It’s family here,” Jason said. “All hands on deck, all the time,” added Lysa.

While Jason and Lysa do find a few free moments in their busy schedules every now and then to enjoy a bit of family time or a road trip adventure or even some creative cosplay, Grateful Dogs is where their heart is, and it is evident the moment you walk in the door.

So, next time you make your way through Lacey, pay careful attention to the seemingly unassuming building at the round-a-bout on Pacific Avenue and Homann Drive. Look for the pawprints painted on the windows. Listen for the happy barks of dogs at play. No matter your need, Jason and Lysa Grant and their outstanding team will be waiting with a smile to find out how they can help.

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The Grateful Dogs dog pack stays happy during day camp. Photo courtesy: Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp.

Grateful Dogs Grooming and Daycamp
1010 Homann Dr. SE
Lacey, WA 98503
For Dog Grooming Call: 360-438-BATH
For Dog Day Care Call: 360-438-PLAY

Follow Grateful Dogs on Facebook to see even more pictures of cheerful dogs.

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