Big changes at Gypsum’s Big Dog Car Wash |

Big changes at Gypsum’s Big Dog Car Wash

Connie Steiert
Connie Steiert / Eagle Valley EnterpriseDr. Steve Sheldon poses with with the pet that inspired the "Big Dog" name.

GYPSUM – Big things are happening at Big Dog Truck and Car Wash in Gypsum. New ownership, new, state-of-the art equipment, and one-stop cleaning for owner and pet is in the works.In other words, says owner and veterinarian Dr. Stephen Sheldon, the car wash is “going to the dogs” – but in the best possible way.Sheldon and his wife, Kay, purchased the car wash, located off Highway 6, at 2660 Red Table Road, just east of town, on Dec. 1. Since that time, they say, they have been busy installing equipment to make car washing easier and making plans for the future.Sheldon and wife, who have three kids and “more pets than you can count,” both are veterinarians. They relocated to Eagle County four years ago from South Florida, where they owned and operated an animal hospital. By the time this article appears, Big Dog Truck and Car Wash will have a new, automatic bay that will allow car owners to staying in their car while it’s being washed.”A lot of people stopped by and told us they would use (the car wash) more if it had an automatic bay,” Dr. Sheldon says.

The automatic bay has “touch-less” technology – no brush or rag will ever touch the car. All the bays will accept credit cards, in addition to coins, so customers can pay for the exact how time they use.Additionally, Big Dog has a water-reclaim system with two, 1,000-gallon tanks under the pavement to recycle all the water. The Denver Water Board has already certified the automatic car wash ‘conservation friendly.'”Most people don’t realize it, but car washes are very environmentally friendly,” Sheldon says.Then the animal hospitalPeople will soon be able to stop by Big Dog and wash not only their cars, but also their dogs.

Before animal rights activists get up in arms, owners will not be sending their dogs through the automatic wash. A separate, dog-friendly, self-help wash station will be created next door, at the animal hospital Sheldon and his wife are planning to build on the front of Big Dog’s large lot.The Gypsum-Eagle Animal Hospital is still being designed and the Sheldons hope to break ground this spring. In fact, the animal hospital is the larger reason the Sheldons purchased the car wash in the first place. The name Big Dog actually refers to both the friendly, black standard poodle, Henry, who may greet customers when they pull in to wash their cars. It’s also a reference to the fact that there will soon be several dogs – and cats – on the property.The Gypsum-Eagle Animal Hospital will include a surgery suite, X-ray capabilities and a lab work on site. And, yes, there will be a self-serve, dog wash bay. The coin-operated facility will include a ramp for the dog. “They’re very popular in Denver,” Sheldon says.

Sheldon also plans to hire a groomer. With three-month waiting lists to get your dog groomed in some places upvalley, Sheldon says another groomer is very much needed.This will be Gypsum’s first veterinarian hospital.The Sheldon family also is very community oriented. They help sponsor the hockey program at the local ice rink, and mentor students. At their Florida hospital, seven of their employees went on to become veterinarians.Vail, Colorado

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