Spotlight on Business


Suds ‘Em Yourself of Eugene celebrates 17 years in business this month, and Spot congratulates owners Dan and Trish Cole for making it a community favorite (3rd Place winner in Spot’s 2011 Top Dog Awards for Dog Wash, and #1 Reader’s Choice for two years in the Register Guard). 

Not only a community hub, Suds ‘Em is a family affair.  A customer myself, when I told Trish her manager was fantastic, she said, “That’s my dad!”  He replied, “I’ve been promoted to manager?”  Dan’s 92-year-old grandmother also enjoys helping out by cutting scarves and folding towels.  Of their fur babies, the Coles have seven dogs, four cats, a goat, chickens and a pot bellied pig, Gus.  Their youngest daughter says of their newest doggie addition, “I think he’s going to be a dinosaur when he’s grows up.”   

The family business is doing well and Trish is excited about being a Top Dog, saying it feels like their hard work is being acknowledged.  She wants the store to have a “Les Schwab mentality” that lets customers know they care, and that right when they walk in the door someone is eager to help!

Their approach is working; the dog wash/grooming facility has a strong, loyal customer base (including this writer’s ever-revolving foster dogs!).  A recent foster, Jerry, a small and once neglected black Lab went in last month for a bath — probably his first in many months as a longtime shelter resident.  Suds ‘Em staff always asks about the fosters and engage like a friend. 

Helping dogs in need is routine at Suds ‘Em.  Trish Cole is very involved with SPOT (Stop Pet Overpopulation Today), for which Suds ‘Em hosts a huge garage sale every September.  This month in Spot they’ve also sponsored an ad for Spay/Neuter. 

Trish Cole says her business life is rewarding, which is not surprising given her dedication to helping clients.  “It’s so rewarding to find a tumor on a dog someone didn’t know about,” she says.  On two occasions clients have returned to say she’s saved their dog’s life because she caught something early.  Trish also loves the sociable environment at Suds ‘Em, where clients often make play date arrangements over bath tub chats.  When asked where she thought Eugene was headed, she said, “Eugene has changed so much.  I went to the U of O back when you registered for your classes in the pit at tables.  I think Eugene is going in the right direction.”

This writer, and the people who frequent the shop, think Suds ‘Em is too. 

Suds ‘Em Yourself • 192 West 11th Ave. Eugene • 541-484-2239 •

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Megan Mahan lives with visiting foster animals, quite a few fish, and her boyfriend in Eugene, Oregon.  She is excited to now be with Spot full time, and devotes much of her free time to fostering pets and creative writing.  From her high school gig as Dog Bather to her more recent years working at the Santa Cruz SPCA where she was contributing editor of the newsletter, Megan has always lived, loved and worked with animals.