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Maui Mutt Hut

A “paws-itively” perfect place to pamper your pooch.

December 1, 2011
Sarah Ruppenthal , The Maui Weekly

With the holidays right around the corner, it's likely you are making your list and checking it twice. If you live in South Maui and your furry, four-legged friend happens to be on that list, why not pamper your pooch-or someone else's-with a gift certificate for a day of grooming and quality play time with their best friends at the Maui Mutt Hut? It's the perfect holiday gift for dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds-and best of all, "We serve a cost-conscious clientele," said Mutt Hut owner Randy Hess. "Our services are not a la carte, so everything is included."

That's an impressive offer, considering that each all-inclusive, breed-specific service has more than 20 steps, including an initial pet coat consultation, nail filing, hypo facial cleaning, teeth brushing, ear cleaning lathering massage and a custom-styled haircut. And with each service, Hess includes four hours of free, supervised "playcare," so the clientele can debut their "paws-itively" perfect new look.

Now that's a dog's life.

Article Photos

Randy Hess and his “aloha dog,” Harley, will be the first to greet you at the Mutt Hut, a professional grooming and “playcare” service in South Maui.

While Fido is indulging in a day of luxury, humans don't have to wait around-the Mutt Hut features a drop-off "playcare" service for its furry clientele during operating hours. It's not uncommon to find a "pack" of well-groomed pups at the Mutt Hut chasing a tennis ball, wrestling with a squeaky toy or cuddled up taking a "dog nap." It is a clean, fun and nurturing atmosphere.

"It's a great way to socialize your dog," said Hess, "instead of leaving them at home all day while you're at work."

It's a labor of love for Hess, who said he-coincidentally-was born in the "Year of the Dog."

"I'm passionate for pets," he said. "My philosophy is really about animal advocacy with the services we offer here, we better the lives of animals."

And that's exactly what he has done throughout his 18 years as a professional groomer-and the same goes for his fellow groomer at Mutt Hut, Sue Reyes, who has more than 37 years of experience.

Hess also owns and operates the "Bubble Machine," a mobile pet salon. "The Mutt Hut is an expansion of the Bubble Machine," he said. "We opened it [in April 2011] to provide more services to our clientele."

In addition to pampering pets at the Mutt Hut, Hess and Reyes "clean up" new arrivals at the Maui Humane Society, so that they can improve their chances of being adopted. Mutt Hut also provides each new adoptee with a free initial grooming service. His own dog, Harley, is one of these "aloha dogs."

Just in time for the holiday season, Hess will now offer a new "Stay 'n' Play" dog sitting service. South Maui residents heading out of town-or just planning a trip to Hana for the weekend-can drop off their four-legged friends with Hess, or he can pick them up.

"It's 'playcare' by day, 'staycare' by night," he said, with a smile. "It's kind of like a puppy slumber party."

As the only professional grooming and "playcare" service in South Maui with a steadily growing clientele of dogs and humans, Mutt Hut is still accepting new clients. Don't "furrr-get" to pick up a gift certificate or schedule an appointment for your best friend this holiday season.

Maui Mutt Hut, open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., is located at 1295 South Kihei Road in Kihei, behind Jack in the Box. For more information or to schedule a consultation for your pet, call (808) 879-3800, visit or "like" Maui Mutt Hut on Facebook. To learn more about the Bubble Machine Mobile Pet Salon service, call (808) 344-3715 or visit



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