Losing a Best Friend

Neil and Zoe 1

This past Friday we lost a friend. We lost a true companion that has been by our side for ten amazing years. Zoe was our baby, but there is no denying she’s been a daddy’s girl from day one.

From the moment Neil picked her up in Cottageville and brought her chunky little butt home, she’s been a loyal friend by his side. She was always up for an adventure when times were good. And she was always there to provide unconditional love when times were bad. To say they had a special bond is an understatement. Although they couldn’t speak the same language, they shared this innate ability to understand one another on a deeper level. One that negates the need for words. As much as I love and cherish Zoe, our relationship never came close to the one she shared with Neil. They were the very best of friends.

We know that only time with heal this pain. We have lost a great friend and the reality that we can never pet her sweet face again still stings with rawness. We know in time, we will rejoice in her memory and be grateful for the joy she gave us. But until then, it’s okay for us to be sad. It’s okay for us to cry. We’ll find comfort in hugging each other and our big furry boys. And this week for Neil’s birthday, we decided we’ll spend the day going through the countless photos we have of that pretty girl and put together a memory book. We can’t think of a better way to remember all the good times we shared with her.

A few final words… Don’t forget to hug your dog today. And take some time, if only for 10-15 minutes, to play with your furry friends today. You mean the world to them. I know we live such busy and often stressful lives these days, but I promise that nothing will bring you joy like a simple game of fetch with your best friend.

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”



Keeping Cool during the Dog Days of Summer

Enzo and Wilson Beach Bums (square)The summers here in Charleston, SC can be brutally warm with feel-like temperatures easily reaching 100+ degrees. The only way to truly escape the heat is to retreat indoors, but most of us would agree that summer is all about enjoying some outdoor fun in the sun. Our furry friends would agree, too! They certainly don’t want to be cooped up inside all day, but this heat is even more taxing on them than us, so here’s a list of our favorite tips and suggestions for having fun while keeping cool during these remaining dog days of summer.

Visit the Beach – There is no shortage of beach and ocean to enjoy here in the lowcountry. Many dogs love to swim in the waves while others might only get their feet wet. But hey, even a little splash of water will help keep you and your pup a little cooler and it will certainly protect your feet from the hot sand. But the best practice, in my opinion, is to avoid the beach altogether during the hottest hours of the day. If you do visit the beach remember to always carry plenty of fresh cool water for your dog to drink and bring an umbrella to provide shady breaks when out of the water.

Zoe SunsetSunrise and Sunset Walks – I personally think the ideal time to enjoy the beach with your canine companion is during the sunrise and sunset hours. For one thing, it’s always such a beautiful way to start or end the day. But more importantly, it’s much cooler and easier to enjoy. The sand has cooled off and you don’t need to worry about providing shade. Plus you don’t have the normal beach crowd to weave through. You can just let your dogs run or swim at leisure. Most dog-friendly beaches have off-leash areas and/or hours (usually early mornings and late evenings), but remember to check first. Nothing will ruin your sunset game of fetch like a hefty fine from beach patrol.

Zoe PoolPlaytime in the Pool – The best $20 Neil and I spent this summer was on a little kiddy pool from Lowes for Zoe. Our old girl still loves to play fetch every day. We usually reserve playtime for early mornings and late evenings when the temps are cooler, but it takes only a few minutes to fill her pool up for some midday play. Many people also let their dogs swim in their regular in-ground pools. In fact, there’s even a dog-friendly pool (Wag n Splash) that you and your pup can visit together in Charleston. Just remember to always supervise dogs when swimming in any body of water.

Shady Trails and Parks – I am a big fan of nature trails so my go-to option for beating the heat whether I’m running solo or when we’re walking the dogs is to find a shady trail to explore. Both Kiawah and Seabrook have a few nice nature trails of their own. James Island County Park also has a few miles of nature trails/paths, plus they have an off-leash dog park with access to fresh swimming water. Or if you’re up for a day trip, you can venture out to explore the many miles of dog-friendly trails in the Francis Marion National Forest. Just remember the bug spray! And as always, plenty of fresh drinking water.

Wilson Bryson City 2015Take a Weekend Getaway – As much as we love the beautiful beaches here in Charleston, we also love to get away to the cool shady retreat of the NC mountains. And so do our dogs! We have always found it relatively easy to find a dog-friendly cabin to rent for a couple nights. Our dogs love being able to go on the longer hikes with us since it’s always shady and we can easily stop for breaks by the fresh water creeks and streams.

Exercise Caution and Be Prepared – The very best way to stay safe and keep cool during the hot summer months is to exercise caution and be prepared. Always have plenty of cool fresh water to prevent dehydration. And a simple rule of thumb to follow: if you think it’s too hot outside then your dog will, too… probably more so!

Is is too hot for you to go for a run or exercise outside? Is the deck, pavement, or sand too hot for your bare feet? Then it is also too hot for your dog! Unfortunately our furry pals can’t tell us when they are overheating so it’s important to know and recognize the signs of heat exhaustion which can very quickly escalate to heat stroke. Signs and symptoms include rapid panting, difficulty breathing, redness around the eyes, and showing signs of weakness such as irritability, confusion, or collapse.

And this should go without saying, but never ever leave your dog alone in a parked car on a warm or hot day. Not even for just a few minutes, because it only takes just a few minutes for a parked car to reach deadly temperatures.

Hot Dog Infographic

Why Free Cookie Friday?

Neil with cookiesGood morning folks and happy Friday. If you’re passing by the marina and have a sweet tooth craving then drop in the The Beached Dog to say hi and grab a delicious melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookie. These aren’t store bought cookies. Oh no! These are homemade from scratch and freshly baked every Friday morning from your very favorite dog groomer, Neil {smile}.

You might be asking yourself… why would Neil wake up every Friday morning at 5am to bake several dozen homemade cookies to giveaway for free?

The answer is simple. He truly loves to bake homemade cookies and it’s the perfect way to show our love and appreciation for our wonderful clients, friends and neighbors. Plus, we couldn’t think of a better way to end a busy work week and kick-off the weekend than by putting smiles (and maybe a little chocolate, too) on lots of local faces.

Just remember these cookies go fast. The early bird gets the worm… I mean cookie.

Wishing you all a very merry Friday and a happy weekend.

free cookie friday

February Teeth Brushing Special


Look at Boghart’s pearly whites!

Did you know that February is National Pet Dental Month?

According to research, approximately 85% of all dogs show signs of periodontal disease by the age of three. Bad breath, tooth loss, and discomfort when chewing may be signs your dog has periodontal disease. As with many health issues, prevention is key. A professional dental cleaning at your veterinary office is required to remove plaque and tarter build-up as well as treat gum disease. Like humans, however, regular teeth brushing can significantly help with preventive dental care and keep your pet’s mouth healthy in between check-ups at the vet.

The Beached Dog is here to help you stay on top of regular dental care. We offer teeth brushing as an add-on grooming service for $10. But for the month of February, we’re offering this service for only $5! Just let us know when you call to book your dog’s appointment this month if you’d like to take advantage our teeth brushing special.

Want to learn more about pet dental care? Check out these great online resources…

Love the Locals: Indigo Health

Grooming dogs can be a back-breaking job at times… I’m always kindly reminding Neil to lift dogs with his legs! Unlike myself, he has the upper body strength to sometimes forget this important rule. I keep telling him I’m going to require him to wear a back brace as a constant reminder. Lol. I’m just giving him a hard time. Joking aside, we do make a lot of efforts to help keep us safe and comfortable while grooming. For example, Neil uses an electric grooming table that lowers to ground level for both his and the dog’s safety. We also use anti-fatigue mats for additional support and comfort. Despite our many efforts, there are still those days his back takes a toll.

That’s why it’s very beneficial for us to have a reliable chiropractor close-by and we couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that our friends, Robert and Audrey, have just recently opened a new health clinic right outside the entrance to Seabrook Island. In fact, Neil is there now getting an adjustment as I type this.


Robert Gerken & Dr. Audrey Myers

Indigo Health offers chiropractic care as well as stretch therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture. They hope to also offer yoga classes soon which I am personally quite excited about. My mastiffs and I practice our downward dogs all the time on my back porch, but I would certainly benefit from some yoga practice with a small group of humans every so often.

If you’re looking for a great chiropractor or in need of some amazing stretch therapy, we encourage you to stop by to meet Dr. Audrey Myers (doctor of chiropractic) and Robert Gerken (certified stretch therapist). Their new office is located upstairs in the Lowcountry Executive Center. You can learn more by visiting their website at http://www.indigohealthgroup.com or just give them a call at 843.303.9335. They’d love to hear from you!

Neil just walked back in from his appointment and exclaims he “feels like a million bucks!”

As small business owners, Neil and I light up with joy and gratitude every single time we learn that a new client was referred to us by a friend or neighbor. Nothing beats a personal referral, and like many of you, we love supporting and promoting local businesses. This blog post is part of our new Love the Locals series where we’ll highlight our favorite local businesses every week or so. Thanks for reading.

It’s a Happy New Year for The Beached Dog!

Neil and I decided several weeks ago that we were ready for a little business make-over. And boy could we not be happier with our decision to mix things up to create a more fun and creative business model. If you’ve been in to visit us since the New Year, you’ve already seen the renovations to the lobby. What better way to start a new year than to give yourself a fresh new look. Not only did we spruce the place up a bit, but we’ve also made some BIG changes to how we operate and so far our clients seem positively responsive! We sure hope so because these changes are all about providing the absolute best customer service and grooming experience for our clients and their beloved pets.

So what’s new at The Beached Dog?

New Grooming Schedule

  • We are proud to now offer our clients the quality and convenience of start-to-finish grooming appointments Monday – Friday.
  • Neil will book his appointments much like a regular hairstylist. When you call to book your appointment, we’ll schedule your dog for a specific drop-off time as well as provide you with an estimated pick-up time based on the service requested.
  • Because Neil now works on dogs one at a time from start-to-finish, we are able to greatly minimize the amount of time your dog is required to stay at the salon. Not only is this typically more convenient for our client’s schedule, but this also provides the dogs, especially anxious dogs, with a more relaxing grooming experience.
  • Furthermore, this new grooming schedule creates a more calm and quiet grooming salon that is more enjoyable for our clients and the dogs… and for Neil, too!

Book Early and Save

  • We all live busy lives and it’s easy to let Fido get a bit too stinky or shaggy before remembering to book his next grooming visit. Now you can book early at check-out and know Fido will stay looking sharp! We’ll even send you home with an appointment card to post to the fridge as well as send you automated email reminders.
  • Not only will you save time and keep your furry friend on a regular grooming schedule, but you’ll receive a $5 early booking discount as well! Just our way to say thank you and reward our loyal clients.

Homemade Dog Treats for Sale

  • Baked fresh every Sunday in small batches.
  • Made with lots of LOVE from our kitchen to yours.
  • We use 100% all-natural ingredients that are both nutritious & delicious! We use such simple wholesome ingredients that even our human friends can eat them. In fact, Neil and I taste every batch ourselves. And of course our own furry children are more than happy to assist us with regular sampling. {Smile.}
  • No added preservatives! Our treats are meant to be enjoyed by your dog right away! The treats do have about a one month shelf life, but come on… You know your dog deserves fresh delightful treats every week!
    • Peanut Butter Drizzles – If your dog loves peanut butter, well then these are the treats of their dreams! Crunchy peanut butter treats lightly drizzled with a peanut butter glaze. These treats are sure to keep their tails wagging!
    • Sweet Potato Chips – Perfect for dogs with a sensitive stomach or in need of extra fiber in their diets. Only one ingredient… dehydrated sweet potatoes!
  • Visit our Bakery & Boutique page for more info and check back often to learn about our current treat specials.

New Website and Blog

  • We even updated our website and will also be posting regular blog articles and announcements to keep all of you dog-lovers in the know of what’s trendy in the dog-world and what fun events are happening in the area. We’ll also share useful information such as grooming and pet care tips.
  • We’d love for you to subscribe to our blog and email list so you can always stay updated on new posts we share and any new specials we’re offering.
  • You can also follow us on your favorite social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We love connecting and engaging with the amazing pet community here in Charleston!


Wow, that was a lot of exciting new things to tell you about. Thanks so much for taking the time to read about our updates. We hope you all are as happy about these updates as we are!

With love and gratitude,

Heather & Neil