Transformation Salon co-owner Grace Watson said her business is more than just a place to coif hair. It is often filled with rescue dogs visiting for socialization, nonprofit organization flyers placed near the cash register and bake sales to raise money for charity.

The salon opened in 2002 and has always donated a portion of proceeds to charity, Grace said. However, she said that in the past four years, one specific charity has become very important to her.

Lizzie’s Hospice House rescues elderly and terminally ill dogs from shelters where they would otherwise be euthanized. Founder Karen Cole met Grace nearly five years ago during a dog rescue event.

Transformation Salon Founded in 2002, the salon is located in Lakeway’s Lohmans Crossing shopping center.[/caption]

“I was impressed with Karen immediately,” Grace said. “I had no idea there was such a need for senior dog rescue.”

Grace’s involvement with Lizzie’s Hospice House began when she and her husband, Patrick, who is a co-owner of the salon, adopted one of the organization’s dogs, Shiloh. As Cole began her nonprofit company, the Watsons decided to help.

Since then, they have hosted dog meet-and-greets, bake sales, raffles and activities, such as letting shy dogs visit the salon to learn to socialize, Grace said.

“These dogs still have so much to give,” Patrick said. “Life matters until the last breath.”

Most of the dogs at Lizzie’s Hospice House are between 10 and 18 years old.  Cole said she takes in the dogs and has their medical issues treated before trying to place them in an adoptive home.  For those with terminal illnesses, she said she focuses on providing a comfortable foster home. Lizzie’s Hospice House keeps about 10 dogs at a time throughout three foster homes, she said.

“My goal is for every dog to be comfortable, happy and held,” Cole said. “These dogs often won’t get adopted—they have expensive problems, and we want to help.”

Cole said she was inspired to start the company when she served on the board of another rescue group that would not accept senior dogs.

“The [rescue group] said it was impossible [to adopt senior dogs],” she said. “It is challenging, but it’s rewarding. Once you give a dog food and medical attention, they spring back to life.”

Cole said many of her adoptive parents include elderly people who want a calmer, trained pet and may not be able to care for a puppy. To ensure a home is the right fit, Lizzie’s Hospice House requires potential adopters have a week trial period with the pet.

“We check back in to make sure it’s going all right,” she said. “We want it to be a positive experience for the dog and the owner.”

The Watsons found donating to an animal-focused charity to be a natural fit for their certified John Paul Mitchell Systems Focus salon.

“Paul Mitchell’s philosophy was always to give back to animals,” Patrick said. “They were the first hair product company that refused to test on animals.”

Patrick said a quote from Paul Mitchell owner John Paul DeJoria is the salon’s main inspiration:
“Success unshared is failure.”

Grace said they have always been “very conscious of the community” and hire staff with the same values.

2300 Lohmans Spur, Ste. 118, Lakeway
Hours: Tue.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.