Hayden’s newest business offers dog owners another choice

Gwendolyn Bryant, owner of Mountain Mutts Grooming in Hayden, poses with her German shepherd Emma Sky in the styling room of her new salon.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Pet groomer Gwendolyn Bryant has spent the past 25 years at her craft, which she hopes will have the four-legged clients leaving her new Hayden business wagging their tails.

Bryant’s new shop, Mountain Mutts Grooming, opened Monday, and she believes it will fulfill demand for a pet groomer in Hayden.

“I live here in Hayden, and so a lot of my clients would come up to Steamboat when I worked at (a grooming salon in Steamboat), and so they wanted to know when I was going to open a shop in Hayden,” Bryant said. “I knew there was a demand, so I decided to bite the bullet and open my own shop.”

Located at 115 W. Jefferson Ave., Mountain Mutts will offer dog owners in Hayden and Craig another choice, one that will let them stay in Hayden instead of traveling out of town for services.

The store is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome, but Bryant recommends that customers call ahead at 970-761-3180.

“It’s a perfect location. When we first moved here, I looked at it, and I was like, I need that spot,” Bryant said.

Bryant and her husband have spent the past several months renovating and preparing the 600-square-foot space to provide a professional grooming experience for customers. The salon offers full-service grooming where the canines are dropped off, bathed and styled to the owners’ specifications.

There are a number of available packages, including one called Mountain Adventures, which includes citrus or Neem shampoo, a coat blowout, super tight contour trim or full haircut, teeth brushing, nails, paw creme and a bandana. There is also The 4 Seasons, which is designed to provide undercoat relief with deshedding shampoo and conditioner, furminating (a process to reduce shedding), a coat blowout, a coat raking, nail trim, paw shave and contour trimming. There is also the Mountain Trials, a basic spa package that includes shampoo and conditioner, a haircut and nail trim. Prices vary depending on the package and size of the dog.

Mountain Mutts opened its doors Monday in Hayden.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Mountain Mutts also offers à la carte services, including nail trimming and teeth brushing, and will provide special request trims and haircuts.

Bryant, who previously worked for a dog groomer in Colorado Springs, was also a groomer for 10 years and traveled with handlers and dog owners who wanted to show their dogs. She moved to Hayden with her husband, Stephen, three years ago, and has been working for Powder Hounds Grooming Salon in Steamboat Springs.

“I didn’t want to be a dog groomer,” Bryant said. “It was one of those careers that kind of chose me.”

Bryant was working as a technician at a dog day care and veterinary hospital when a dog groomer who owned a salon next door asked for help.

“I went over there, helped her with some baths, and next thing you know, she’s like, ‘You need to be a groomer,'” Bryant said. “She said, ‘You have a natural talent, and I see it, and I want to train you to be a groomer.'”

Bryant spent the next three years working with the woman who became her mentor and went on to get her license.

While she may not have planned to be a dog groomer, as she stood inside her space surrounded by her German shepherd Emma Sky and Labrador retriever Timber Shade, it was easy to see her love for animals.

If things go well in the next few months, Bryant is hoping to rent the space next door and feature a self-serve dog wash, specialty foods, toys, jackets and other items that mountain dogs need. For now, she will focus on grooming.

“There is a huge demand all over this area,” Bryant said. “Everybody’s overwhelmed. So the need for another dog grower is quite high, and you know we are Dog County USA after all, and you know everybody owns one.”

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