by SAMANTHA EDWARDS | photos by Alicia Jeanne Photography

Doing Life Together

family_keefe1The Keefe family has lived in San Marcos for just three years, and they couldn’t be happier. Mark and Suzy moved to the area from Leucadia, looking for more space to raise their three children – Rylan (7), Hudson (4), and Finnley (1) – and run Spawtique, their mobile pet grooming business. “We initially loved the peaceful environment and large lot sizes, which give us a little more of a rural feeling even though it’s right in the middle of everything,” said Suzy.

family_keefe6The extra space was much needed. The Keefes love animals; their pets include three dogs, a cat, a pony, four Nigerian Dwarf goats, two rabbits, and 17 chickens. The family came up with the concept of “Hens Helping Hounds” after Rylan saw a puppy in a kennel and became upset when she learned they couldn’t adopt another dog. They now sell their extra chicken eggs and use the money to find pets in need, clean them up, and care for them until they are ready to be adopted out. “My kids are learning that they can use the resources they have on hand to help make the world a better place,” Suzy explained. The family hopes to eventually work with shelters as well, by grooming the dogs to help them become more adoptable.family_keefe3


Parents: Mark Jeffrey Keefe and Suzanne Sebald Korn-Keefe
Children: Rylan Marli Keefe (7), Hudson Robert Keefe (4), Finnley Rowan Keefe (1)
Community: Meadowlark Estates, Lake San Marcos since 2013
Hometowns: Mark – St. Helena, California; Suzy – Cazenovia, New York
Occupations: Owners of Spawtique Mobile Pet Grooming
Pets: Gustavo and Franklin the Boston Terriers, Chuey the Chihuahua, Ziggy the orange tabby, Coco the pony, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, and Cupid the Nigerian Dwarf goats, Shadow and TumTum the Holland Lop bunnies, Dotty the hen and her crew of 16 chickens
Favorite Places to Visit in 92078: Decoy Dockside Dining (the new restaurant on Lake San Marcos), Discovery Lake, Double Peak Park, and Green Thumb Garden Center


family_keefe5 family_keefe2 family_keefe7Even Mark and Suzy’s animal-centric profession is a family affair. Suzy started Spawtique in 2007, and Mark joined her about a year and a half ago after leaving the corporate world. “The kids help out where they can and they see us working hard, caring about the animals, and treating our groomers with respect,” they elaborated. “It’s really a neat family dynamic we have. We all grow, live, work, and learn together.”

“It’s really a neat family dynamic we have. We all grow, live, work, and learn together.”

family_keefe4The Keefes enjoy spending time together and supporting each others’ interests whenever they can. On the weekends, they can often be found working outside together, doing fun projects and chores, watching Rylan ride horses at the barn, playing at the beach, or exploring other areas of San Diego. “We dream of traveling around the country in an RV, teaching the kids along the way,” Mark and Suzy shared. “For now, we stick closer to home most of the time.” But when you love where you live, home isn’t such a bad place to be.