Friday, January 29, 2021

Local dog groomer relates story of kindness on Kelly Clarkson Show

Lavish Dog Day Spa owner Caitlyn Brundage, left, appeared
with Kelly Perry and her son, Carter, on the Jan. 21 edition of
the Kelly Clarkson Show on television and was interviewed by
host Kelly Clarkson about an act of kindness that the dog
grooming business performed for Carter last summer. An
employee of Lavish Dog Day Spa found Carter's lost 'Stuffy
Puppy' named 'Cheese Puff' and gave him a bath and comb-out
before contacting the family to return it to them.
By Ed Pierce

A genuine act of kindness has garnered national attention for the owner of Lavish Dog Day Spa in Standish and Raymond and led to her appearance on the Kelly Clarkson television program last week.

Caitlyn Brundage was contacted by a producer of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” back in October about a lost stuffed puppy that a member of her staff, Bri Long, found last summer outside the business in Standish. They gave the lost stuffed animal a spa treatment before it was returned to its owner, a 7-year-old named Carter.

Carter's grandmother, Karin Hopkins Dickson, had posted a message on Facebook in the Standish Maine Community Page pleading for members to be on the lookout for Carter’s lost “Stuffy Puppy” he calls “Cheese Puff” that was last seen near a local restaurant and a barbershop in Standish.

“Cheese Puff” is a small brown stuffed dog with green and blue droopy ears, a blue nose and a prominent green eye. As it turned out, the restaurant and area where “Cheese Puff” was lost is adjacent to the Lavish Dog Day Spa and was where Long discovered Carter’s stuffed animal.

Once rescued by Lavish Dog Day Spa, the “Stuffy Puppy” was pampered by staff members as if it were a real canine complete with a bubble bath, a luxurious combing and then had a light blue bow tied around his neck. Brundage notified Carter’s mother, Kelly Perry, that “Cheese Puff” had been found and was ready to be reunited with Carter.

Once word of the act of kindness shown to “Cheese Puff” and Carter’s family by Lavish Dog Day Spa got out, members of the media thought it was a great story to tell their audiences. The story was filmed for different television segments that aired on News Center Maine, CBS This Morning and CNN.

The news also reached the desks of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” producers early last fall and they inquired if the dog groomers would be interested in doing another segment for their daytime program.

To be considered for an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Brundage did a preliminary Zoom interview with Kelly Clarkson’s producers and agreed to be on the program with Carter and his mother.

“We filmed on Jan. 13 and it aired on Jan. 21,” Brundage said. “It was a Skype call from my house.”

She was not paid for being on the show but said that the segment they were featured on partnered with a company gifting $1,000, so she received $500 and the boy and his mother also received $500.

“I was pretty nervous since it is airing nationally, but I handled it well I think,” Brundage said. “I did get to practice with a producer beforehand which was very helpful. Everyone I dealt with during the experience was fantastic to work with.”

According to Brundage, who started her local dog grooming business in Windham before moving it to Standish and then acquired a second location in Raymond taking over when Julie Chouinard of Dog-Gone Grooming retired in December, she is pleased that her family living out of state did get to watch her appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” when it aired nationally.

“I will obviously remember talking with Kelly Clarkson,” Brundage said. “And it was great to talk with Carter and his mom Kelly as well.”

She says appearing on the Kelly Clarkson Show was a wonderful experience and her advice for those about to appear on television coast to coast is rather simple.

“Just try to relax and enjoy the experience,” Brundage said. “It is easier said than done for sure, though.”

Brundage said that she hopes that the Lavish Dog Day Spa’s rescue of “Cheese Puff” also inspires others to be kind to others.

“I just love how something so simple and fun that we did is turning into such an inspirational story,” she said. <

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