By Carol Masshardt

It’s a new name and a new, but familiar owner, Jenna Spaudling, 33, in a reconfigured, but the same space as the popular Broadway Dog Spa. It is a time to congratulate former owner, Michelle McDonnell, who opened on December 16, 2005, and retired at the end of March, and to welcome into her new role, trusted groomer, Jenna.

Michelle set a standard for a work ethic and searched for talent over her years. “I can be a micromanager, I know that, but didn’t have to be with Jenna. She’s ready to take over.”

And Jenna has been preparing for  this step over most of her life.

“I started volunteering at Alliance for Animals when I was six years old,” she said “and worked there and haven’t stopped being with animals ever since. I worked with Michelle at Broadway Dog Spa for four years and had time to get ready for this. It was a small space that requires teamwork, and we did well together. My goal is always to honor dogs, take care of them and prevent any stress.”

Similarly, Michelle McDonnell’s love of dogs began naturally and early. I have loved dogs since I was a child, even dogs that people hated, or dogs that hated people. I worked at what is now Dewberry from age 19 and started Broadway Dog Spa after years of experience. It was good to be an owner. There is responsibility but it was freeing, “she said. “Now, it is just time, it is very physical work, and I can feel it in my hands.”

Jenna has a vision, and it includes hiring a few people, groomers, and a bather, and eventually offering some retail products such as leashes, collars, toys, and treats. Right now, she has the excitement and task of getting ready to welcome back all the dogs she is groomed, plus many of Michelle’s and to be open to new customers.

“I’m confident,” she said, in a typically even-tempered manner. “I have the support of family and friends and customers in the community, and also learned a strong work ethic long ago from my mother so this is the right step.”

“My biggest concern is to be able to meet the demand, but only to it with consideration of the dogs. Once I hire staff it should be easier to take new dogs,” she said.

We know South Boston is home to many dogs, and many need grooming.

Michelle McDonnell knows first-hand how people take joy in getting a dog, and then can be surprised with what it takes to take care of them.

“There are so many doodles, and they do mat, so regular grooming is more important than people may think. Everyone likes fluffy, but that’s only part of it,’ she said based on years of experience, including the COVID period and surge in dogs.

“I think people in South Boston we are willing to invest in their dogs,” said Jenna.” “I’m competitively priced and fair so I want people to be able to keep up with the grooming,” she said.

Two strong women, one a business owner before many others, and another taking the helm and making it her own is part of the fabric of South Boston.

In May, Boston’s Groomer plans to open, and Seamus, Chase, Gracie, Wilson, Cooper, Maya, Jurgi, Cordory, Lilly, Rosie, and Sissy and all their dog “cousins” may not recognize the new design, but they will know the loving, calm and expert care.

Thank you, Michelle McDonnell and congratulations, Jenna Spaulding!

(Carol Masshardt can be reached at


Left, Jenna Spaulding , right, Michelle McDonnell