Pee Dee Paws Boarding and Grooming: two businesses, one location

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

Two new pet businesses opened last week in a location familiar to many Darlington residents- and word travelled so quickly that both owners had customers lined up and ready for the first official day of Pee Dee Paws Boarding and Pee Dee Paws Grooming.

“We really are two separate businesses sharing the same building,” said Charles Miles, who also owns Pee Dee Pet Cremation.

Sophie, the beloved Corgi of former editor of the News and Press, the late Anne Boyd Thomas, is receiving her “summer cut” from Courtney Osmundson.		         Photo by Jana E. Pye

Sophie, the beloved Corgi of former editor of the News and Press, the late Anne Boyd Thomas, is receiving her “summer cut” from Courtney Osmundson. Photo by Jana E. Pye

The businesses moved into the former Carolina Paws location owned by Bobbie Cox on Cashua Ferry Road.

“We share expenses, the sign, we even have both businesses on the two-sided business card. The two naturally complement eachother.”

Courtney Osmundson, professional pet groomer, owns Pee Dee Pet Grooming.

When asked how the business owners met, Miles said, “Fate!”

Kathy Byrd, office manager for the Pee Dee Pet Cremation business knew Courtney, and that the young woman yearned to open her own pet grooming business.
Osmundson had also groomed with Bobbie Cox in the same location.

Miles and Osmundson are both from Darlington, making this a true hometown business endeavor – times two.

“When I heard Bobbie was interested in selling, I knew there was a need. Kathy led me to Courtney, and it all just came together,” said Miles. “People helped me when I was young and wanted to start a business, and it was just a good fit for both of us.”

The front two rooms of the small attractive building are for the grooming and the bathing, and the rear rooms for the pets that are being boarded.

The businesses are handy for pet owners, allowing for the pet to have a bath before they return home- called an “exit bath” which is especially attractive to pet owners.

Pee Dee Pet Grooming

“I never thought I’d be a dog groomer. I had originally planned to go into law enforcement, but my heart wasn’t in it,” said Osmundson. “I grew up on a farm, with lots of animals, horses, cows, and dogs, and I really always loved dogs. This doesn’t even feel like work to me, I just love the dogs so much!”

She has been approached to do horse grooming, and cat grooming, and she will consider adding that to her repertoire in the future.

She owns a horse, two ponies, a blue heeler- Australian cattle dog called Cabela and will be getting a red heeler soon.

Osmundson went to school in Columbia to be trained in dog grooming, and is still learning new cuts all the time. She worked in Florence grooming dogs for the past two years.

“I just started doing Asian-fusion cuts, and they are really cute cuts,” she said. “It’s really fun to do them.”

She said her most challenging dogs to cut are Bichon Frise and poodles. She recommends that pet owners keep their pets trimmed for what is best for the dogs, not necessarily a set schedule like humans do.

“It depends on the breed of the dog,” she said. “And their hair. Sometimes it’s five weeks, if some have a heavy coat and get shaved, it can be much longer in between time.”

Nails are usually filed down after the first time groomed, if they are regular customers. Appointments are requested for haircuts, but Osmundson will accept walk ins for baths or nail trims as time permits.

Her mother, Amy Smith, helps her daughter on Saturdays – a big difference from her weekly job at the Darlington County Courthouse.

To contact Pee Dee Paws Pet Grooming, call: 843-858-4303 or email: or visit them on Facebook.

Pee Dee Paws Pet Boarding

Miles said that the dog boarding business has been a need he has heard from many people in Darlington.

He has room for 10 animals at this time, and is already planning on adding more kennels inside and more fencing out side to board more pets.

“Honestly, there was clearly such a need for this,” said Miles. “When word got out, people came in and we didn’t have place to put them. We’ve been scrambling to get done quickly. After only being open a week, she already has a dozen dogs on the grooming side and we are boarding six. We are now open and functioning and ready for the public.

As he continues to renovate the building, Miles is already brainstorming on putting in a DIY pet bathing area at the location.

“There is a dog wash in Florence near a car wash,” he said. “It’s awesome. One thing that is so great about it is the hair- you don’t want that in your house. They can just jump in it.”

He’d love to have one like the one in Florence, which has several settings for rinse, etcetera- the door opens and the dog can jump in. It has warm water, a dryer, and can take cash or credit cards. But, it may not be feasible in a small area like this. It may be better to do it inside. We are still trying to figure out how to make it work just exploring the idea for now.”

We have situations where boarding customers become grooming, and grooming customers become boarding customers. So, now we offer day care for our customers that have a grooming appointment and need us to keep the dog either before or after the grooming appointment.”

The rate for this service is starting out for $2 an hour. The fee is $20 a night. Pet owners are required to provide their pets food, and the pet’s shot records.
To contact Pee Dee Paws Boarding, call: 843-858-4705 or email or visit their Facebook page.

Author: Duane Childers

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