This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley.

During lockdown beauty salons and hairdressers had to close their doors and regular customers spent hours sat in front of their own mirrors trying to control their ever growing barnets and plaiting their armpit hair.

However one hairdresser was busier than ever – but unfortunately she would only accept you as a client if you were covered in fur and sat still if promised a treat.

Although various vets and kennels offer very good grooming services, Feniks is the only dedicated grooming salon in the Fethiye area. As the salon’s fanbase continues to grow I thought it was time to introduce you to the lady behind the dog brush.

Meet Gönül

The lady in question is an attractive and bubbly 48-year-old called Gönül whose love of animals hits you full in the face as soon as you walk into the premises. Be warned though – if you ask her to show you photos of some of her work make sure you’ve got a comfy seat and a cuppa as it seems she has taken photos of every dog she’s ever met and she loves every single one of them

Gönül started her grooming career in the early ’90’s whilst working as an assistant in a vets in Istanbul. At that time there wasn’t any specific training available so she very much learnt on the job and discovered that she had a talent for keeping animals calm.

Why Fethiye?

During her career she visited Fethiye many times and, like most of us, fell in love with the area. Scroll forward 25 years and, despite her friends thinking she was crazy, Gönül moved her whole life to Fethiye, including her four cats and former street dog, Foxy. A year later in November 2018 Feniks Pet Shop & Dog Grooming was born.

I’m Already A Big Fan

My dog, Cookie, is already one of her clients. Like many dogs she gets stressed as soon as she walks into a vet clinic and often has to be sedated to be treated or groomed. But not so at Feniks. I’m not quite sure whether there’s a magic wand involved or if Gönül is a true dog whisperer but Cookie practically melts into her arms, offering up her paws to have her nails done, sitting with a big grin in the bath and standing tall and proud, looking and smelling like a princess after an hour of pampering. And apparently she’s not the only one.

In fact in testament to her skills, Gönül has only been bitten twice in 25 years. The first time by a Rottweiler of all things and the second time more recently by a regular client who was simply hot and bored.

All In A Days Work

Although Feniks’ primary business is dog grooming, Gönül has done the occasional cat (brave girl), she’s been asked about doing rabbits but has yet to try it and she would really like to get her hands on something bigger such as a horse although she might need a bigger bath tub for that one!

Speaking of bath tubs, Gönül has lost count of the times she’s actually ended up in the tub with a client but she doesn’t care, as long as she gets the job done. Of course, having a veterinary background means she’s also able to spot little things like grass seed wounds, sores from ear mites or fleas or teeth and gum problems which is an added bonus.

The Future

Gönül has no plans to expand her empire. At the moment she sees around five clients a day and sells a small selection of pet food and accessories. It would be easy to move to bigger premises and employ an assistant but she does the job because she loves being in contact with animals, the money is just an added bonus.

More Information

You’ll find Feniks just down the road from the Hayed shop in Çalış. Opening hours are 10am to 7pm Monday to Saturday. Prices vary depending on size and condition of dog and visits are by appointment only. If you would like to find out more about Feniks and see lots of photos of cute dogs then please follow the Facebook page:

Feniks Petshop&Grooming

Or you can contact Gönül on +90 544 556 2520

Hair Of The Dog