By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

Kevin Hissong, on left, and Mark Sullivan are the owners of the new S&H Building Supply. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Some people say that when one door closes, another one opens. For Mark Sullivan and Kevin Hissong it wasn’t just a door that opened, but an entire building supply business.

When Don’s Windows, Doors and More closed their doors earlier this year, Sullivan and Hissong saw the need in the community for another building supply and opened S&H Building Supply on Jan. 24.

“I worked at Don’s for the past four years, the last two as manager, so it was a good fit,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan stated they carry a full line of supplies including windows, doors, roofing material, dimensional lumber, plywood, sheetrock, decking, fencing, pavers, tools, glues and hardware.

In the event that the materials someone needs are not on hand, S&H has a truck delivery every week.

S&H also offers free delivery, on-site visits and free estimates, and they are currently in the process of developing tool rentals.

Despite the economy and the time of year, Sullivan said they have had a tremendous response from the public. “I think our biggest asset is customer service,” Sullivan said. “People like to be greeted when they come though the door and we do that. A $5 ticket is as important to us as a $500 one.”

Sullivan added that the coffee is always on and there’s even dog biscuits for the pets.

As with many fledgling businesses, Sullivan, Hissong and their employees put everything they can back into it to make it a success. “Our goal is to employ three to five families,” Hissong said.

Sullivan and Hissong also try to help out the community as much as they can. They, along with others, help transport loads from Ontario to the Harney County Food Bank, support the local All-American Boxing Club and are a member of the Harney County Chamber of Commerce.

Plans are also under way to hold workshops, and a grand opening in the spring when the weather is a little more cooperative. “We’ll have vendors and reps here, products, giveaways and a barbecue,” Sullivan said.

S&H Building Supply is located at 302 South Broadway, and while it may seem a little way off the beaten path, Sullivan said people have no trouble finding them. “We’ve got new customers coming in every day and we’re always willing to sit down and visit with them about what they need,” Sullivan stated. “And our No. 1 priority is customer service.”

S&H is open Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and they can also be reached at 541-573-3900.

The Burns Hilander wrestling team accomplished something no other high school in the state of Oregon can claim: 10 consecutive state titles. (Photo by TINY PEDERSEN)

Hilanders put five into finals at state tournament

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

With two individual champions and a total of 10 state placers, the Burns wrestling team won their 10th straight Class 3A state title Feb. 25-26 at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

George Swartzlender takes down Jake Batease of Grant Union in the finals at 285 pounds. (Photo by TINY PEDERSEN)

The Hilanders racked up 193 points to easily out-distance Nyssa who finished with 134 points.

Dayton placed third with 132.5 points, followed by Myrtle Point with 110 and Riverside with 91.

Landon Hanner of Burns placed first in the 215-pound weight class, and George Swartzlender captured gold at 285.

Hanner won his first three matches by fall and then defeated Zack Stegman of Grant Union 7-4 in the championship match.

Swartzlender capped off his undefeated season with three more victories at the state tournament.

He received a bye in the first round and then won his three matches by fall to become a three-time state champion.

Three Hilanders reached the title matches in their respective weight classes, but came up short in the finals. Placing second for Burns were Brennan Bailey at 135 pounds, Jay Masterson at 145 and Jake Swindlehurst at 189.

The Hilanders’ Cody Bennett wrestled to a third-place finish at 130 pounds, fourth places went to Matson Gahley at 152 and Raymond Wright at 160, Seth Nonnenmacher placed fifth at 125 and Jake Yayan was sixth at 171.

Burns head coach Mark Hofman received the 3A Coach of the Year award, shared by his assistants Ray Cate, Dally Swindlehurst, Mike Ribeiro and Ben Cate.

Individual match results for the Hilanders are as follows:

112 — Thomas Cain lost by fall (2:46); won by fall (4:45); lost by fall (4:34).

125 — Nonnenmacher won by fall (4:16); won by decision 5-4; lost by decision 6-1; lost by decision 7-5; won by major decision 17-6.

130 — Bennett received a bye; won by decision 7-5; lost by major decision 9-1; won by fall (1:31); won by fall (5:15).

135 — Bailey won by fall (1:46); won by decision 3-2; won by decision 8-2; lost by decision 8-2.

145 — Masterson won by technical fall (6:00); won by fall (1:40); won by fall (:40); lost by decision 1-0.

152 — Gahley received a bye; lost by major decision 12-2; won by fall (4:02); won by decision 5-2; won by decision 3-2 OT; lost by decision 6-1. Beau Blackburn received a bye; lost by fall (5:34); lost by major decision 14-1.

160 — Wright won by fall (1:43); won by fall (1:24); lost by major decision 15-5; won by fall (4:40); lost by technical fall (3:42).

171 — Yaryan lost by fall (5:43); won by major decision 12-3; won by fall (4:34); lost by decision 6-2; lost by decision 4-0.

189 — Swindlehurst won by fall (1:50); won by fall (2:40); won by major decision 12-4; lost by decision 12-9.

215 — Hanner won by fall (:44); won by fall (1:02); won by fall (4:27); won by decision 7-4.

285 — Swartzlender received a bye; won by fall (:35); won by fall (:28); won by fall (1:25).

Time for a trim

Posted on February 16th in Feature Story,News

Tree trimmer Bill Winn has been working on the trees in Hines Parks, which have a noticeably different look. (Photo by RANDY PARKS)

Several rotten limbs had fallen in recent wind and snow storms

In December 2010, with input from the city engineer and multiple sources, the Hines City Council voted to have the trees in the main park trimmed and/or taken out, due to safety concerns.

Although many of the trees look healthy on the outside of the base, up above, there was serious rot and dead sections. Some of the tallest of the 80-year-old trees were about 100 feet tall and this winter’s wind storms did great damage to those. “It’s a wonder some little kid in the park hasn’t gotten hurt, and that the dead limbs over the highway haven’t fallen on a car,” Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala said last week.

Winn’s Tree Service, which addressed some of the same issues with the trees at Hines Middle School about five years ago, has been working steadily on the trees to reduce the risks to the public. “I wish people could see the deep holes and splits I’m finding at levels of 30 and 40 feet,” Bill Winn said Monday. “If the rotted holes weren’t full of ice on a couple of the worst trees, I could fit my whole chain saw inside the tree. Many of the trees are carrying far too much weight for the bases to safely carry.”

Recent wind and snow storms have taken a toll on the Hines Park trees. The Hines Council made the decision to trim the trees to prevent more limbs from falling and injuring cars or people. This photo shows the internal rot on a cut limb. (Submitted photo)

Winn is attempting to leave the tops of the trees “crowned,” which encourages healthy growth, but previous trimming projects — in the 1960s and 1980s —created some unhealthy “stubs” and pockets or rot, about mid-way on the trees, which have to be addressed.

Harney County Parole & Probation crew members, supervised by Darrell Williams, and Hines city maintenance crew have cleaned up the limbs as the project progressed. The smaller limbs were chipped on-site and hauled away. Local residents have utilized the firewood-sized pieces.

Three Lombardy trees and a cottonwood have been completely removed. Crews hope to finish the project this week.

61st Awards Banquet

Posted on February 2nd in Feature Story

The Memorial Building at the fairgrounds was all decked out to honor Harney County’s best and brightest for the 61st annual awards banquet on Jan. 29. Bill Wilber and Joyce Moser served as the evening’s emcees and led the festivities, which included dinner, drawings and of course the main event, the presentation of awards. (Photo by LAUREN BROWN)

Drumroll: And the awards go to …

Man of the Year — Kevin Johnston

Woman of the Year — Debbie Ausmus

Senior Man of the Year — Don Opie

Senior Woman of the Year — Janet Yekel

Boss of the Year — Cheryl Hancock

Grassman of the Year — John and Laura SwordY

oung Rancher of the Year — Herb Davis III

Business Person of the Year — Jon Zieber

Distinguished Service Award — Bill Renwick

Educator of the Year — Jimmy Zamora

Burns Student of the Year — Gabe Bentz

Crane Student of the Year — Josh Williams

Hiking above the clouds

Posted on January 26th in Feature Story,News

Debbie Penick of Hines traveled to Tanzania, Africa, to tackle Mt. Kilimanjaro

The steepness of the rock on Mt. Kilimanjaro is evident on the Western breach, pictured here. (Submitted photo)

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

For Christmas, 2010, Debbie Penick got 19,000 feet of climbing, seven days of hiking and the opportunity to sleep in a tent in sub-zero temperatures.

You may be thinking, “not the best Christmas gifts.” Think again. These were all part of a two-week vacation to Tanzania, during which Penick climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and went on a safari through the Serengeti.

Early last year, Penick’s friend, Marty Vavra and his daughter SaraBeth, told her what her Christmas present would be. “What an amazing surprise,” said Penick. “I learned about it in February, as I needed to obtain all my vaccinations — nine, including yellow fever — obtain my passport and gear and begin training.”

And, train she did. “I hiked and climbed as much as possible, including Radar Hill and Mt. Emily in La Grande. When winter arrived I used a treadmill and took cardio-kickboxing classes from Evan at Martial Arts America. He was very supportive and encouraging — I groaned every time he made us do lunges, but they certainly paid off during the climb on the mountain.”

Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest freestanding mountain in the world, rising 19,298 feet above

Debbie Penick, far left, bottom row, spent seven days hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. (Submitted photo)

Tanzania, Africa. The trek Penick and her two cohorts took is called the Lemosho-Shira Plateau route, which includes the western breach ascent. The western breach is considered the most dangerous and most difficult of the non-technical routes. Penick said the travel brochure she had forgot to mention the “most dangerous” and “most difficult” part of the climb, although she said her itinerary did mention that the route was “best climbed by using hands and feet.”

The climb went through four stages of  vegetation, beginning in the rainforest and ending at the glacial summit. Traveling up the mountain with four professional guides and 44 porters, Penick said it took her group seven days to summit.

On the second day of the climb, in the Shira Plateau area at 11,500 feet, Penick said a storm set in and their camp was dusted in snow during the night, followed by a day of rain and wind. “For the next several days we had clouds and light rain during the afternoons. Once we got above the clouds, there was no rain, just wind and bitter cold.”

Penick and the others in her climbing group were prepared for the cold, as they had been instructed to bring a four-layer “clothing system.” The layers included a moisture-control base layer, a softshell for wind/water resistance, a hard shell such as Gore-Tex which is windproof, and waterproof and an insulating layer of down or synthetic fill. Penick said she also included two layers of thermal underwear, especially for sleeping.

There was a 22-pound weight limit for each hiker’s personal gear bags that would be carried by the porters. Penick said anything beyond that weight had to be carried by the hikers themselves. “The average backpack weight was 15 pounds. We carried two or three liters of water, rain coat and pants, jackets, hat and gloves.”

All of the food and essential supplies were provided by the travel company. In spite of the distance and the terrain, Penick said each evening’s meals were hot and delicious and all food was fresh.

Along with being fed well, she said each hiker’s health was well monitored  by their guides.

After hiking for five days, Penick said the last two days were, by far, the toughest. On Jan. 1, the group arrived at  Summit Crater camp, at an altitude of 18,500 feet. The hike for the day had begun at 4:30 a.m., lasted nearly 10 hours and they had ascended 1.6 miles. With a fear of heights, Penick said the day climbing a rock face was “a real challenge” for her. “Many of the steps had to be chopped out of ice, and we were up on the rock face about 1,300 feet.”

Due to the altitude, the last two days were also challenging due to lack of oxygen — the air at that height is only 50 percent oxygen. Many of the hikers experienced headaches and a loss of appetite.

“You had to move very slowly to avoid shortness of breath, dizziness and headache and nausea.”

The group broke camp so early on the final two days of climbing that it was still dark. This required using headlamps to see.

On the seventh  day of climbing, Penick and her party reached the summit of Kilimanjaro, greeted  only by a sign at Uhuru Peak  congratulating them on their accomplishment. All nine people who had began the trek finished, which, according to statistics, is unusual as 50 percent of those who attempt to make the climb fail.

Along with the Vavras, Penick made the climb with a Canadian CPA and four of his family members, and a married couple who are both in the U.S. Army. “There was a wide variety of ages and levels of physical fitness,” she said. With all of her pre-trip planning, Penick said the most important preparation she had made was mental.

After descending back to the Moivaro Lodge, Penick’s adventure continued with a five-day safari through Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. “It was spring,” said Penick. “So the herds were migrating and babies were being born. We saw many twin cubs — cheetah, leopard and lion. What a sight!”

The safari also took Penick to the Olduvai Gorge where Drs. Mary and Louis Leakey did their archeological research on early man.

On Jan. 9, Penick returned to Oregon, flying into Portland. Her Christmas gift of cold, hiking for hours and overcoming a fear of heights had come to an end; and according to Penick, “My gift turned out to be the adventure of a lifetime.”

Sam’s to the rescue

Posted on January 19th in Feature Story,News

The Peasley family takes over towing business, gas station

Kenny and Pennie Peasley bought Sam’s Service and took over the business on Nov. 1. It has been a busy couple of months for the towing business. Parents Pennie and Kenny pose for a photo with their four children from left, Shealyne, 11, Shelby, 18 months, Kevin, 6, and Kaden, 4, at Sam’s Service at 596 N. Broadway in downtown Burns. (Photo by LAUREN BROWN )

By Lauren Brown
Burns Times-Herald

Kenny and Pennie Peasley of Burns hit the ground running when they became the new owners of Sam’s Service on Nov. 1.

Pennie said that typically things slow down in December, but this year with all the early snow, they’ve had plenty of business to keep them busy.

Both Kenny and Pennie had ties to Sam’s Service before they bought it last fall. Pennie has been the bookkeeper there for the last two years, and Kenny had worked on and off for Sam Glerup for years. However, both were also juggling other jobs and a family — they have four kids together. Kenny worked for the Bureau of Land Management and Pennie worked full time at Harney District Hospital.

“We drove by (Sam’s Service) one day and Kenny said, ‘I’m going to own that place one of these days,’ ” Pennie said.

Little did she know how true that declaration would become. “We always talked about what-if, and then what-if slapped us in the face,” she said with a grin.

Now Pennie provides in-home day care while managing the books for Sam’s Service (though she is still a casual employee at the hospital) while Kenny works full time at the station with two other full-time employees and one part-timer.

In addition to providing motorists with roadside assistance, the business offers vehicle repair and maintenance and also sells gas. Pennie said they are in the process of obtaining their license to sell diesel as well. They also provide service for AAA members, perform oil changes and tune-ups and sell batteries.

Kenny enjoys the variety of the work. “You’re not doing the same thing every day,” he said. “It’s always changing.”

With the snow storms this winter, they have been especially busy. They’ve been called out to help motorists who have slid off the road as well as tow trucks up and down hills. They towed many out of towners who would rather be pulled through the snowy roads than drive themselves.

While Sam Glerup no longer owns the business, the Peasleys are leaving the business name the same for now out of respect for the former owner.

Pennie said that their young boys love the fact they now own the business. They received “Sam’s Service” sweatshirts for Christmas and thought that was just about the greatest present ever. “The phone will ring and the boys will say, ‘Sam’s Service to the rescue!’ ” she said.

The Peasleys applied for and received grant money through the Harney County beautification program and plan to paint, install new signage and spruce things up in general this spring.

“The last year has just been a whirlwind,” Pennie said. “There’s been a lot of support from the whole community, and it’s really exciting for our families to see us do something like this.”

Training in the desert

Posted on December 29th in Feature Story

Air National Guard practices missions in Riley to simulate Afghanistan terrain

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

Dec. 9, 2010, 13:00 hours — During a debriefing meeting Master Sgt. Gerald Case updated the 304th and 142nd Air National Guard Units on the current situations in the surrounding area. The squadrons were made aware of all insurgent activity, the battlefield conditions and other pertinent information.

A humvee approaches two “contractors” who called in an accident and alerted military personnel with a flare. Earlier this month, the 304th and 142nd Air National Guard Units used the Riley area to simulate incidents that might happen in combat. (Photo by DEBBIE RANEY)

When the meeting was adjourned, the soldiers readied themselves for an upcoming mission. Several of the members of the two Air Force Units made a quick walk over to the Riley Store to purchase snacks and drinks. Yes, the Riley, Ore., Store.

Forty-three members of the United States Air Force were camped in Riley for a week training in numerous search and rescue scenarios. The two squadrons who were participating in the training are based out of Portland, and are trained for combat search and rescue.

Master Sgt. Edward Peters explained why the training was taking place in Riley. “This is the type of terrain we need to train in. It’s an ideal location for every scenario we run.”

Over a week’s time, the scenarios set up for search and rescue training included vehicle accidents with a multitude of injuries, injuries sustained from enemy attacks and downed aircraft. All of the scenarios were created to mimic actual military situations that occurred in a hostile area, most from actual 304th rescues recently performed in Afghanistan.

The camp that was set up in Riley acted as base for the rescue crews. Along with the basic sleeping barracks and cook shack, there was also a tent where the planning for each day’s missions was completed. Satellite maps were used to develop “accident” sites and scenarios.

The camp also included a medical tent, complete with a simulated victim, SimMan.

The SimMan patient has realistic anatomy and clinical functionality, which is controlled through computer. The operator, Technical Sgt. Bobbi Kennedy, can create medical conditions on SimMan that are consistent with the accident scenarios planned for the rescue training. The software allows Kennedy to regulate SimMan’s breathing, pulse and temperature. In addition, it is designed to allow for CPR, bronchoscopy, needle and surgical cricothyrotomy and test tube insertion. Immediate technical feedback is available during SimMan’s rescues, which allows Kennedy to more effectively train the soldiers.

Medical training scenarios also involved real “victims.” Victims had predetermined injuries, designed by the planning team. The injuries over the week ranged from amputations to hypothermia, from broken bones to seizures.

The extraction equipment used by the rescue team resembles the equipment used by most city or county fire and rescue teams, it’s just a lot bigger and more advanced.

Technical Sgt. Ian Johnson leads the extraction team. He explained that there are always two sets of equipment ready to go — the light REDS and the Heavy REDS. REDS is an acronym for rapid extraction devise system. Depending on the severity of the situation, Johnson can immediately access what equipment is needed. The object of the extrication crew is to get the victims out and away from danger as quickly as possible. Again, the units train to be in hostile, military areas. Safety and security is at the top of each mission’s objective.

Though the units do train for military rescue, they have been called to take part in many civilian rescues as well.

The units performed search and rescue missions immediately following the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980, and provided assistance to Florida following Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The units have also provided support for space shuttle launches and to the Air Force Fighter Weapons School. The 304th saved the life of a lost climber on Mt. Hood in 2006.

On the afternoon of Dec. 9, the rescue teams were called out to a vehicle accident, about 10 miles west of Riley. “American Contractors” working in the country had come upon a wrecked Cutlass, and called in the report. Following the coordinates given, the rescue crews found the wreck and proceeded to extract the two victims from the car.

During the rescue armed patrolmen encompassed the area, all identification was verified and the accident site was made secure and safe for the medical and extraction teams. All procedures were adhered to as if the units were truly working in an unsafe region.

Back at the medical tent, SimMan had been programmed to have numerous wounds that would be consistent with a vehicle roll-over, including hypothermia since the temperature was only in the teens that afternoon.

Although the 304th and 142nd were only performing simulated rescues in Riley, both units knew first-hand that every move they made needed to be acted on as if the situation were real. There have been many times when the soldiers weren’t on a hill in Harney County, but one in Afghanistan, and the chances of enemy attack were too real.

Looking around the tent at the soldiers being debriefed on the morning of Dec. 9, Master Sgt. Edwards said, “They have been to all parts of the world. There are a lot of heroes in this group.”

After 32 years, longtime city administrator says fond farewell

Pam Mather

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The City of Hines has a new City Administrator.

After holding an executive session on Monday, Dec. 13, the Hines Common Council voted the following day at their regular meeting to offer the position to Joan Davies, who said she would accept.

Davies will be replacing Pam Mather who is retiring as of Jan. 1.

Mather addressed the council and audience at the end of the meeting and thanked them for the opportunity to serve the community for the past 32 years. Mather stated that during her tenure as administrator and recorder, she had performed 130 marriages since 1990, had worked with eight different mayors, 60 council members, three fire chiefs, nine police chiefs, five treasurers, six maintenance men and 19 police officers. “I’ll miss you all,” Mather said.

Mathers was given a standing ovation by those in attendance for her many years of service.


City Engineer Amy Woodruff was in attendance to discuss the options the city had to deal with the trees at Hines Park. She said last fall the council had put together a list of specifications to have the trees trimmed or removed, depending on the health of the tree.

Joan Davies

The job was put out to bid, and the only bid received was too costly for the city.

After some discussion, the council agreed by consensus to have trees pruned, and one by the restrooms removed as it posed a safety hazard. The bid would be structured so it would be a per unit or per tree cost, and the city would have the work performed with money available. The council made a motion to offer the job to Bill Winn, a local contractor, and it passed unanimously.

Woodruff also discussed putting in a new water main along South Saginaw. Cost of the project was estimated at between $80,000 and $100,000.

Mather told the council the city currently had $41,550 saved for the project.

Woodruff said the city had three options: do nothing now and keep saving toward the project; do half of the project; apply for grants and/or loans.

The council asked Woodruff to get an estimate on what doing half the project would cost and they would revisit the issue at a later meeting and make a decision.


In other business, the council:

• approved Resolution No. 2113 regarding applying for a Special City Allotment Grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation to install a six-foot wide pedestrian path along the south side of West Barnes;

• the council voted to present city employees with $30 beef certificates as Christmas bonuses, approved sponsoring a table at the annual Harney County Chamber of Commerce banquet and agreed to hold the lighting contest on Dec. 20.

By Debbie Raney
Burns Times-Herald

Ken Bentz

In celebration of the 2010 Harney County Fair Rodeo and Race Meet, and in anticipation of the 2011 event, the annual Harney County Volunteer Christmas party was held on Dec. 12.

The evening included the announcement of Ken Bentz as the 2011 Fair Grand Marshal. Bentz has been a resident of the county since his discharge from the U.S. Navy after World War II, when he moved to the White Horse Ranch in Southern Harney County. Bentz moved to Drewsey in 1961, and while raising seven children with his wife, Anne, Bentz served as Harney County Commissioner, and in the words of Fair Manager Don Slone, “has been a true friend of the Harney County Fair for many years.”

Voting for the theme for the 2011 was held during the volunteer dinner. With six possible themes on the ballot, the winning theme was “We know how to work and we know how to play, we’re from the country and we like it that way.” The winning theme was submitted by Tara Woodworth.

The fair queen for 2011, Brandi Carlon, was also presented during the evening. Carlon will represent Harney County throughout the year at various rodeos and events in the Northwest.

Outgoing fair board members Shirley Beaubien and Wayne Evans were given appreciation for their service to the community. Beaubien had volunteered her time to the Harney County Fair for 18 years, and Evans had served for eight.

Bathed & brushed

Posted on December 8th in Feature Story,News

With 25 years experience raising and showing dogs, Lauri Travis  decided to start her own business, Hi Desert By Design Pet Grooming

By Lauren Brown
Burns Times-Herald

Pet stylist Lauri Travis cleans the ears of a basset hound named Omar while grooming him on Dec. 1. (Photo by LAUREN BROWN)

When Louisiana-Pacific shut down in Hines, Burns resident Lauri Travis’ LP’s environmental manager found herself without a job.

She didn’t want to move, so she decided to take one of her passions and turn it into a job. Over the last 25 years, Travis has bred, raised and shown Great Danes and boxers. She loves dogs, and chose to study to become a pet stylist. “I’ve been grooming dogs for a long time, but just my own,” she said.

She trained for seven months at the Pet Grooming Academy in Albany, where she progressed through three levels of training: bathing, roughing (combing out) and finishing. She opened Hi Desert By Design Pet Grooming about two and a half months ago in a building behind her house that has been outfitted with a grooming station, large stainless steel sink, propane water heater and kennels.

Because of her lifelong experience raising dogs, Travis knew she had a leg up on learning how to be a groomer. “I was ahead of the game as far as handling dogs and dog behavior,” she said. While she was well versed in working with large breed dogs, she gained quite a bit of experience working with smaller dogs at the academy in Albany. Over the course of her seven-month training stint, she groomed hundreds of dogs and worked with the “most ornery of the ornery,” she said.

Travis acknowledged that the groomers already working in Harney County are great, however most are booked for weeks out and some aren’t taking new clients. That’s why she felt there was a need for another pet groomer in town. Also, she said some groomers don’t want to handle the bigger breeds. “I like the big dogs,” she said.

At Hi Desert By Design, Travis offers a bath and brush (which includes a nail trim and ear cleaning),  the basic grooming package or a full groom. A full groom includes, among other things, a nail trim, feet trim, brush out, bath, trim, comb through, under arm shave, bandanna and doggie cologne.

As part of the bath and brush package, Omar got his nails trimmed and his ears cleaned in addition to a bath and brush. (Photo by LAUREN BROWN)

Prices range from $20 to $60 depending the nature of the cut and the size of the dog. Hand scissoring, de-matting and heavy undercoat removal are extra. Travis also performs nail trims only for $10.

Travis uses detergent-free, biodegradable shampoos and pampers dogs with a blueberry facial scrub that is easy on the eyes. “It’s a great product,” she said. “I could get it in my eyes and it wouldn’t hurt. Everything is humane and safe.”

People are often surprised how long it takes to groom a dog, Travis noted. A standard bath and brush can take two hours while, for example, grooming a standard poodle with a specific breed cut, can take anywhere from four to eight hours. Most regular clients get their dogs groomed every six to eight weeks, though clients who have dogs with longer coats may get them groomed more often.

Working ranch dogs may only get groomed once or twice per year, but Travis said that border collies and Australian shepherds do have coats that mat easily, so it is beneficial to have them groomed periodically.

Because of her 25 years of dog breeding experience, Travis said she can also talk about dog nutrition with clients. She sells a line of high quality dog food called “Dog Lovers Gold” as well as fish oil supplements.

Travis said that while the current economy has taken its toll on many businesses, the pet industry doesn’t get hit as hard because many folks are still willing to make sure their beloved pets are cared for. She said dogs are great companions and it’s been proven that they help lower their owners’ blood pressure. “Dogs are like kids to a lot of people, and they need to be able to trust you (as a groomer),” Travis said. “They need to feel that their dog is pampered, cared for and safe.”

She said that each dog is different. “You have to adjust for each one. We had an older dog in here, and we really took our time. He needed to take breaks and lay down at certain points,” she said. “Most of my clients’ dogs love to come here.”

Travis’ grooming business is located in Burns. To schedule an appointment, call her at 541-961-1028. For more information, check out her website at

Whaddya Think?

Which is your favorite Sunday afternoon activity?
  • Watching football (35%)
  • Taking a walk/drive (20%)
  • Napping (18%)
  • Reading (14%)
  • Baking (9%)
  • Playing family games (4%)

85 total vote(s)

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Destination Harney County 2012


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