Annie Hall had just had her bath and was heading for the blow-drying room at Lincoln’s only DIY dog wash.
Sue Hall heard about The Canine Scrub from a friend, she said Sunday, towel-drying her clean corgi.
Annie's owner -- and Annie, apparently -- love it.
“It’s so convenient and reasonable.”
The “big, fluffy towels” are a plus, too. And so are the brushes and scrubbing mitts, the shampoos and vinyl aprons.
“It’s a wonderful new place,” agreed Jessica Poeschl, walking out the door with her boyfriend, Jordan Stange, and Rocco, their border collie-Australian shepherd mix.
This fall, Rocco has been lathered and rinsed five times at 2774 South St., after every muddy romp at the dog park.
The couple doesn’t have to deal with a messy tub -- or a dog drying himself on the carpet -- and, as a bonus, Rocco gets a biscuit and his photo posted on the Scrub’s Facebook page.
Mike Wensel and Lezlie Ferguson opened their self-service dog wash in April with limited hours. They expanded the hours a few weeks ago and are considering adding a fourth tub for smaller dogs.
“We’re just absolutely floored,” Wensel said. “People are loving it.”
Wensel lived in Eugene, Ore., until 2010 -- when he reconnected with Ferguson at their 30-year Lincoln High School class reunion and moved back to Lincoln.
Eugene had a self-service wash, and Wensel wondered where Ferguson took her dogs for a shampoo.
The shower, she answered.
Wensel was surprised.
“I had a little money squirreled away, and I thought, ‘Let’s see what we can do with this.’”
His brother-in-law helped him design the custom tubs, and a friend who owns Lefty’s Records next door alerted them when the tattoo parlor closed shop.
It’s gone to the dogs from there.
The couple papered the town’s dog-friendly places — veterinarian offices, dog runs — with fliers.
They charge by the pound: $10 for dogs 20 pounds and lighter; $12 for medium-sized mutts; and $14 for the big guys more than 70 pounds.
Ferguson is responsible for the doggy-themed decor and the rubber ducky accents.
“Lezlie is a genius with that,” Wensel said. “I’m just the plumber and the electrician.”
At first, she thought it was crazy, said Ferguson, who staffs the counter during the week while Wensel is at his day job.
“The first few months were a little scary.”
But on Sunday, fur was flying.
Annie Hall, Rocco and Millie the boxer, being bathed by Jessica Durfee and her new boyfriend.
Ferguson handing out doggie compliments at the front desk.
“It just makes me happy to have a dog, and when people come in here with their dogs, they’re happy.”
The Canine Scrub sees country dogs and city dogs and dog couples who don’t have kids, so their dog is like their kid.
They’ve had a family of five with five dirty dogs invade the place.
And thus far, they have had two phone calls wondering about cats.
“I don’t know how serious they were because I never heard back from them,” Wensel said, “but why not?”
As long as they call ahead, he said, and give the dogs a heads-up.
Reach Cindy Lange-Kubick at 402-473-7218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.