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About Onyva


When Lisa and Merritt and their Saint Bernadoodle, Satchel, moved to the Back Bay, they became full members of the Boston dog community—

strolling down Newbury and Charles Street, enjoying early morning walks on the Esplanade, and romping (that was mostly Satchel) on the Boston Common and in Peter’s Park. Satchel, a people and treat-loving creature, became the quintessential city dog, quickly identifying the best treats and dog friends on every route.

Boston winter arrived with its abundance of snow, slush, salt, and mud. Satchel’s thick coat and paws were constantly wet and dirty; the apartment was constantly wet and dirty. To make matters worse, Satchel’s skin became damp and itchy — an unhealthy dog-cleaning dilemma. This situation reared its furry head the same time that Lisa retired from her job as a professor of European Literature. Not content to follow Satchel around all day with mop in hand, Lisa decided to start a new kind of dog grooming service, one that welcomed all dogs whenever they needed it: every month, every week or every day. She also wanted to create a space for dog-loving neighbors to gather — to connect with likeminded humans, to visit local art exhibits, or just use the WiFi.

Thus, ONYVA was born

Lisa and Merritt rented a space on Newbury Street, just blocks away from their apartment. Architects were hired. Drawings were drafted. All seemed to be going smoothly. But all was NOT going smoothly in Lisa and Merritt’s minds. Because each time they went out with Satchel, they could not help but notice that there were an ever-increasing number of people living on the street. The COVID pandemic had taken a terrible toll on the entire city, but especially on its most needy residents. So they resolved to make ONYVA a business dedicated not only to the dignity of dogs, but also to the dignity of their unhoused human neighbors. They searched for a charity to partner with, and discovered ShowerUp, a mobile van offering free showers to those in need. They decided that each time a dog was washed at ONYVA, a percentage of the service charge would go to support ShowerUp.

ONYVA is dedicated to the Boston community of pets and their people, and to creating moments of pure, clean, joy. Lisa and Merritt (and of course Satchel), and the entire ONYVA team cannot wait to welcome you and your dog to our beautiful new space on Newbury Street. To share anecdotes and information about life as urban dog owners. And to see your smile when your soft, sweet-smelling pup runs into your arms.

Dog grooming. Reimagined.