Clip 'N Dip Pet Spa: Photo by James Coreas

Clip ‘N Dip Pet Spa: Photo by James Coreas

Clip ‘N Dip Pet Spa on Midway Road is like a neighborhood petting zoo. Upon entering, customers are greeted by any number of friendly animals — Daisy, the imperial shih tzu, who posts up on the front counter; Halo, the Bichon mix rescued from a puppy mill; one of four guinea pigs, seen from the guinea pig “mansion”; and, you might catch a glimpse of Popeye, the resident pot-bellied pig.

With just three employees, the pet vastly outnumber the humans at this mom-and-pop grooming and boarding facility — the winner of our reader’s choice contest for best pet service in the neighborhood.

“We like that small kind of feel,” says owner Rebecca Shelton of Preston Hollow. “I know every dog and every personality that walks through the door.”

The shop has operated in Midway Village, across from the Episcopal School of Dallas, since 1985, and originally was owned by Iris Kendall. Clip ‘N Dip almost had to close, until Shelton took over after the second owner in February of last year.

“We’re actually bringing it back from the dead,” she says.

Clip ‘N Dip offers grooming, daycare and boarding. They use biodegradable products, mostly made locally in Texas.  The staff’s philosophy is centered on “humanity over vanity,” and they treat every dog or cat like they would their own.

Because the groomers take time to get to know every animal, they often know when something’s wrong. They felt a lump on the throat of one client’s dog, and it turned out to be cancer. The early detection may have saved the dog’s life.

The shop regularly supports local rescue groups. It recently collected donations for Santa Paws and A Different Breed. Next month, the $15 cost of teeth-brushing will do toward providing the same service for pets in need.

Runner up: Animalhouse

Third place: Hollywood Feed

Go here to see a recap of the other Best Of winners for 2014

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