A little piece of heaven on earth – for pets

FALL CITY - A 130-year-old haunted house may seem like an unlikely setting for a pet spa, but somehow it works. Just ask Leo and Mrs. Honey.

FALL CITY – A 130-year-old haunted house may seem like an unlikely setting for a pet spa, but somehow it works. Just ask Leo and Mrs. Honey.

The poodle and pug team that never leave the side of Teri Sahm are quite content living at All Pets Go To Heaven in Fall City.

Sahm, formerly of Carnation, bought the historic home at 35022 S.E. Fall City-Snoqualmie Road about a year ago and started the spa on the home’s six-acre site that includes a huge pool house, just for pets.

“There’s a lot of healing energy on this property, people often comment on that the first time they’re here,” Sahm said. “People immediately feel enveloped in a loving energy.”

The house was formerly home to six generations of the Everett family. The first were homesteaders that settled the land in the 1860s. Most of the family members are buried on the property. Though Sahm is of no relation to the previous property owners, she preserved their story and has one room showcasing some of their belongings, left in the house when she bought it. The home began as a small log cabin and was added onto over the years. The former great room serves as Sahm’s office, where she does everything from organizing doggy birthday parties to lining up therapy sessions for people grieving the loss of a pet.

In fact, it was the experience of losing her own pets that led the one-time Microsoft employee to go into pet care. Sahm was a job relationships manager at the executive level for 20 years with Microsoft when Duchess and Dante, her German shepherds, and Kiki, her 21-year-old cat, passed on.

“When I lost my three pets, I really started doing a lot of research about alternative forms of care and more holistic approaches, concentrating on diet supplements,” said Sahm, who noted she’s always been a health-minded person but had never thought of applying her lifestyle to her pets. “I just dove in and started educating myself. It came to a culmination where I wanted to focus all my efforts on bringing information, in a non-threatening way, to others so they can make their own informed choices.”

Spa treatments and services at All Pets Go To Heaven include canine warm water therapy, self-swim sessions, Bowen bodywork treatments, massage, intuitive communication, doggy birthday parties and educational events. Sahm will be offering pet massage classes in conjunction with the Northwest School of Animal Massage in May and again in the fall.

Sahm was sold on canine warm water therapy when Leo had leg trouble for four months due to a disease. Sahm tried warm water therapy with him and it eventually retrained his leg back into working order. Sahm has an indoor, in-ground swimming pool heated to 94 degrees just for dogs and their owners. The water is treated with bromine instead of chlorine for its gentler effect on dogs’ skin. The pool is kept free of pet hair pile-up by giant filters that are cleaned often. Pet warm water treatment leader Cindy Horsfall of La Paw Spa also works out of the All Pets pool house.

Sahm said the pain of losing a pet can often go much deeper than the loss of a family member because a pet’s love is unconditional.

“It’s much deeper than they realize,” Sahm said. “You shouldn’t feel like you’re not normal because you’re experiencing this loss.”

Animal communicator, psychic and healer Kimberly Dumaine is on hand to connect with pets here and from the beyond to articulate their feelings and help their former owners work through their deaths. Margaret Piela works with All Pets as an experience management counselor, helping people find peace in the midst of grief over specific events, such as the loss of a pet.

Sahm is proposing a pet cemetery on her property to King County that would remain at that site for 100 years to be a special place where people can visit their pets.

Sahm is still in the middle of a permit process with the county to add the cemetery along with a pet hospice center, a crematorium, a “Pawsoleum” and meditation room, ossuaries, scatter gardens, a wall of honor to remember animals who served police and firefighters and a wall of remembrance for those who want to honor their pets from the past. Sahm has been a member of the International Association for Pet Cemeteries for two years and is using the consulting firm, Productivity Inc., to learn how to become a proper pet cemetery operator.

Sahm would also like to add a cafe and espresso bar to the spa’s many amenities. She hopes to turn her kitchen into a commercial kitchen to prepare food for spa customers to enjoy with their pets. From 1957 to 1965, the main floor of her house was the Country Inn Restaurant, run by the original owners of the house. Those who have driven past All Pets Go To Heaven may have noticed a 1968 Silver Streak trailer outside the house. The trailer will soon become Celestial Espresso, complete with doggy treats, organic coffee and tea.

Sahm invites the public to call her for a tour of the house at (425) 222-7221.

“This house has been a part of so many people’s lives, some have driven past it every day, for years,” Sahm said. “I really want people to feel like this is their place.”