Pampered Pups: Norway business knows how to treat dogs
NORWAY — Corrie Maule of Vulcan turned her love of dogs into a business.
Maule, along with her husband, Jeff, opened Pampered Pups on Main in Norway six years ago this month.
After grooming her own dogs at home, as well as working at another local pet salon, she got the itch to go out on her own.
“I finally decided I was going to go to school to get my license,” Maule said. She also had plenty of dogs to practice on at home: two bloodhounds, a half-bloodhound, a Yorkshire terrier, a “shorkie” — a shih tzu-Yorkshire terrier cross — and a mixed breed.
Maule’s four-legged clients run in size, from 3 pounds to more than 200 pounds.
“I like the big ones — the bigger, the better for me,” she said with a laugh.
She offers all basic services for canines, including full grooming, basic baths, deshedding and nails.
“I even polish nails for some of my girls,” she added.
Maule will do any haircuts, from short to long, requested by the owner.
Pampered Pups on Main uses all natural and safe products. “I stick to a lavender and oatmeal, which are not harsh on their skin,” she said.
Prices vary, depending on the dog’s size and services requested. “I do make it affordable for everyone,” she said.
Scheduled groomings benefits the dog’s overall health and well-being, Maule said.
Regular bathing can help with allergies as well as keeping their hair manageable, she said, while regular nail and ear maintenance is necessary.
And there are other advantages to having pets professionally groomed. “My hands and eyes are all over the dogs during their grooming, looking for things that most people wouldn’t notice,” Maule said.
Many dogs don’t always behave for their owners to do such work, she added. “It’s like a kid going to school — so well behaved when mom and dad aren’t there,” she noted.
Maule enjoys the challenge of gaining the trust of her four-legged friends and working through the issues some may have with being groomed. In turn, the owners come to trust her with their pets, which she called one of the most rewarding part of the job.
The toughest part has been losing her four-legged friends over the years. “I wasn’t prepared for that part of the job — I didn’t even think about it until I lost my first dog,” Maule said. “I’m even sad when they move away.”
Since being shut down in April and May last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, she
has seen a rapid increase in business.
In March, she officially got her license to expand her business to sell homemade dog treats.
Her daughter, Ollie (Camryn) Champeau of Farmington, Minn., had encouraged her to sell baked items, as she already frequently made treats at home for her own dogs.
“She said they have a fresh dog bakeries everywhere there and are popular,” she said. “I thought maybe it would go over here.”
Maule said it took more than six months to complete the process. She had to send a sample of everything she planned to sell to a lab for analyzing.
“Which was a good thing — making sure everything is clean ingredients, no junk or fillers,” she said.
She did a lot of experimenting with different ingredients and researching items as she was coming up with her own recipes.
“My bloodhounds got to do a lot the sampling,” she said.
Pampered Pups Bakery currently offers three different flavors of treats — peanut butter-pumpkin, strawberry and blueberry. She chose the berry flavors because they are great for dogs; the pumpkin, too, has many health benefits.
“I had to do the peanut butter because dogs love it,” she added.
She also has peanut butter and banana flavored pupcakes.
Bags of the three varieties treats sell for $4.95 or $7.95 for a jar, which are refillable for $4.95. An 8-ounce pupcake is $4.95; six 4-ounce pupcakes are $9.95; and a dozen 4-ounce pupcakes are $19.95.
Dogs celebrating a birthday can get a special birthday bash basket that includes all three flavors of treats and a pupcake for $15.95. But Maule asks that anyone interested in the pupcakes or birthday basket call a couple days ahead.
“I don’t keep cupcakes on hand,” she explained. “I make them fresh and only keep for a few days in the refrigerator because of the high moisture in them.”
No preservatives are used in the treats and cakes, she stressed.
Maule has been busy keeping up with the orders.
“Evan (her 16-year-old son) use to get excited when he saw the mixer come out, thinking he was getting a treat. Not anymore — he knows it’s just dog treats,” she said with a laugh.
Maule is looking to offer some summertime items such as ice cream and other frozen treats.
“That’s my next step, to get those samples sent out to the lab,” she said. “With all the walkers that go by the shop with the dogs, I thought it would be cute to have them stop by for ice cream.”
Pampered Pups always accepts new clients and is open seven days a week.
“I know it’s hard for owners to get their pets to a groomer during the week,” she said “So I plan to continue with Saturdays and Sundays.”
Maule enjoys spending time with dogs. “It’s not like work to me,” she said.
To make a grooming appointment at Pampered Pups on Main, 716 Main St. in Norway, or to place a special treat order call Maule at 906-221-0077.