Last Updated: Jul 25th, 2014 - 13:55:00


Car wash going to the dogs
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Jul 24, 2014, 12:02

JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Flagstop Vice President Jamie Nester washes his dog, Ruger, in the pet wash station at their Chester location.
CHESTERFIELD— If you show up to the Flagstop Car Wash in Chester with a dirty dog in the backseat and want to get your car cleaned, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Now you will be able to clean your dog at the same time.

Flagstop has recently added a pet washing station at this location that lets owners get the grime off of their four-legged friends without getting that same grime all over their own bathroom when they shake off.

The dog wash was installed in May, according to promotions coordinator Sarah Ebling. It is in an air-conditioned room that had been used as a small waiting area.

It has steps so owners don’t have to lift larger dogs into the wash station. There are various treatments built directly into the water hose and a separate blow dryer hose.

“That way the animal can be dry when you come out, because we are open year-round … and also so you don’t have a wet dog in your car,” Ebling said.

Jamie Nester, vice president of the company, demonstrated the pet wash recently with one of his dogs, Ruger.

“We got him from the SPCA and he was all skin and bones except for those big front muscles. My daughter said ‘Look at the guns on him,’” Nester said. So they named him Ruger, after the gun manufacturer.

Ruger reluctantly sat through the wash, rinse, deodorizer and even the blow drying.

The cost is $10 for the first 10 minutes and you can add extra minutes for $1 each if this is not enough. The machine takes cash or credit cards.

“Our dogs typically takes about 12 minutes,” Nester said.

There’s a leash hook on the side of the room for bigger dogs or if you have more than one. There’s a drain in the floor of the small room for the water to run into.

“It’s still better than trying to do it in your bathroom at home,” Nester said.

The water is warm and the machine has buttons for each of the different options. There are two different types of shampoo, conditioner, flea and tick treatment and a deodorizer.

The dogs typically tolerate the water but some don’t like the blower, Nester said.

Nester said there are few other locations like this in the area. He said there is one on Irongate Road but it is not indoors, which means it isn’t used in the winter and some people would likely avoid it during the hottest days of the summer.

Flagstop Car Wash owner Bob Schrum stands inside the door where the pet wash is located. The room is air conditioned.
Nester said when he used to take his dogs to the big chain pet store to have them cleaned, it would cost $40 a piece and could take several hours before he could pick them up again.

It could also be more traumatic for the dog to be locked in a cage and handled by a stranger.

Nester said they had been talking about adding a pet wash for about 10 years and finally decided to go ahead with the plan since they already had a room that was ideal for it.

The added dog wash comes after the company also remodeled the car wash bays and added a new location on Iron Bridge Road.

The company, which was started in 1981, now has eight locations but this is the only one so far that has a pet wash. But that could change.

Flagstop owner Bob Schrum said that if this pet wash is a success, then he plans on adding them at his other locations.

“I could see us having one at every car wash. It kind of makes sense to have the two together. The equipment is the same. The process is the same,” he said.

Schrum said that he hopes the car wash and dog wash will compliment each other. The car wash will help bring in business for the dog wash and vice versa. Customers can get both done at the same time.

“It’s time efficient for the people,” he said.

Schrum said customers enjoy the convenience, and it is still affordable.

“It’s kind of like washing your car at home,” he said. By the time you pull out the water, the hose, the soap, the sponges, and then clean up, it can take a lot of time.

Flagstop Car Wash’s Chester location is located at 2500 W. Hundred Road and is open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. For more information, visit  www.flagstopcarwash.com or call 804-768-0090.

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