Pet lovers high-tailing it to High Tails | PostIndependent.com
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Pet lovers high-tailing it to High Tails

Post Independent Photo/Kelley CoxA rather unique pet shop has opened its doors in West Glenwood. On any given day of the week patrons will be greeted one or more of these smiling faces at High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters. Shown left to right, Tracey Yajko, Laurie Raymond holding Cha Cha, Beth Byerly, Kim Colbert and Sharon Haller.
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS The do-it-yourself dog wash at High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters is becoming a happening canine hang-out.Glenwood Springs newest pet store, High Tails, has been open just three weeks, but with mud season upon us, the doggie bathhouse is in full-throttle rub-a-dub mode.The response has been overwhelmingly positive, said co-owner Laurie Raymond. High Tails is a pet store, but its oh-so-much more. Besides offering a variety of products, from top-of-the-line dog food, toys, leashes, books and instructional videos, High Tails also offers doggie day care, an indoor dog park, a Saturday morning childrens story hour, an animal-inspired book club for adults, obedience classes and of course, the aforementioned dog wash.We have done the research, Raymond added, and were offering the very best products and services available.The store also offers microchipping identification for dogs and cats for $25, with all proceeds to go to CARE, and resource information about spaying and neutering. Theres even a little corner of the store for people and their animals to have an espresso (people only) and a homemade treat (dogs only) together. And the walls are starting to fill with pet portraits by local artists, who will paint personalized animal portraits. Raymond and co-owner Beth Byerly designed High Tails to serve as a conduit to local animal shelters, too. The store hosts adoptable dogs and cats from Colorado Animal Rescue twice a week. Valley Dog Rescue also brings pups to the store for customers to meet and perhaps adopt.We want High Tails to become a network center for people and animals, said Byerly. Team High TailsThe two Glenwood Springs-based women decided to start a animal-centered business after researching the success of other animal care outlets throughout the country.Doggie day cares are thriving, said Raymond. Dogs are at least as social as children, and people are discovering their pets need interaction throughout the day.Raymonds background in retail pet supplies, training, grooming and animal welfare was a natural fit for the venture. Byerly, a professor at Colorado Mountain College, has worked in the pet service industry as well. The pet business is generally recession-proof, said Raymond. When times are hard, you can still treat your pet well. Pets give people so much emotional support, and you can always afford a little something to thank them. Finding other participants to help with the store was easy, according to Sharon Haller, past president of Colorado Animal Rescue who joins Raymond and Byerly in their efforts. Haller met Byerly and Raymond at CARE, and worked at Aspen Ski Tours prior to joining the High Tails team. She said her expertise in vacation planning and travel, and her interest in dogs, contributed to the operation. Tourists coming through Glenwood with their dogs need a safe place for them, she said. Although local hotels and motels are pretty animal-friendly, we wanted to create a place people could safely leave their dogs during the day when theyre off doing things where dogs arent allowed. Rounding out the High Tails team is vet tech Kim Colbert of New Castle, and Tracey Yajko, who recently moved to Glenwood and is studying veterinary technology at Colorado Mountain College. Last but certainly not least, Cha Cha a wire fox terrier is High Tails resident pooch. Location, locationLocated in West Glenwood, High Tails sits next to Glenwoods Division of Wildlife office, and is clearly visible from Interstate 70. Thats a plus for drawing in tourist traffic, and the location is just a few blocks west of the Glenwood Mall for locals.Its a multi-use pet facility now, but back when they found the space, it was an abandoned warehouse.It took us two days to close the deal, and six months to remodel the space, said Raymond with a smile. Local contractor Ed Cortez went to work making the space work as an animal-friendly place, even down to lowering window heights to dog level, and installing elevated tubs in the dog wash area to ease back strain for dog-washing dog owners. Im hoping High Tails creates a bridge, said Raymond, of the stores overall impact. Were part of a wave of thought that is taking animals needs seriously. Teaching people how to care and treat animals is a little thing, but could that simple act change the world? Maybe, and maybe not, but I know it can soften the edges. High Tails is open seven days a week at 50633 Highway 6 & 24, Glenwood Springs, I-70, Exit 114, West Glenwood, west of Glenwood Mall. 947-0014. Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518cclick@postindependent.com


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