Leading the Pack owner Caitlyn Schleifer is an unabashed animal lover and spent years working in other people’s grooming studios. When she decided it was time to start her own business, she was delighted to find a space in Oakland’s bustling Temescal neighborhood that fit her requirements.

Ground-floor retail in a new residential building with plenty of foot traffic

A huge open space that had yet to be divided into individual shops, we began with framing and insulating the interior walls between the wet room, where theWARose Construction creating durable, waterproof space for Leading the Pack animals would be bathed, and the grooming area, where they would be dried and trimmed.

We installed several vent fans, added sheetrock to the new walls and painted them. Our subcontractors installed plumbing for the wet room, and the electrical team completely wired the new facility.

Leading the Pack’s unique needs included tiling the entire wet area

To accommodate the challenges of bathing and grooming dogs, we installed tile on the floor and eight feet high on the walls; we also tiled the grooming area up to the bottom of the windows. Anyone who’s ever bathed a dog knows it can be a messy affair, so this area needed to be durable, able to tolerate a constant flow of water.

Final steps included the installation of appliances, wash tubs and custom shelving for retail products. Caitlyn will be able to open her doors to her furry new neighbors in December.