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Paw spa rises from ashes

A business that was destroyed in a fire, only a few months ago, has officially reopened in Keremeos.

The Paw Spa is now up and running at its new location on Keremeos Bypass Road, thanks to the efforts of the business owner and people in the community.

"I don't even know how to put it into words," said owner Jennifer Montgomery, as she bathed and de-shedded a Pomeranian named Tika, Monday morning. "It's just amazing what everyone in this town did for us."

Montgomery opened the pet grooming business on Dec. 1 on Main Street in Keremeos. Everything was going well, until an early morning fire in February destroyed the building the spa was housed in.

She was devastated at the time, but even on the morning of the fire she was determined to get back on her feet.

The community came through with donations of cash and grooming equipment. A woman with space in her home, once used as a hair salon, offered the location to Montgomery.

Since then, she said, her husband has been hard at work building the new shop.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to my husband for building me two shops in the last few months," she said. "He's given up a lot of time for this."

The new shop includes a bathing room, with a grooming tub with blue paw prints on it and a big dryer. The other room is a finishing area, used for haircuts, nails and other basic grooming.

She has mostly left the trauma caused by the fire, which was deemed to be accidental, behind her.

"I love it here," she said. "I have a great view and I get to be with animals again."

People who stop by The Paw Spa at 646 Keremeos Bypass Road in the next few weeks are also invited to enter a draw for prizes.

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