Editor's Note: Jolie's story caught our eye a few months back when she submitted photos for our groomer's showcase. Not only did she submit a nice writeup about her grooming shop and her rescue dogs, she also mentioned some innovations she made in her shop to keep pets more comfortable during the grooming process.
We were eager to find out more, so we contacted Jolie and she graciously agreed to answer some questions for us and share some photographs of her pets and business. We were thrilled to learn about the good work she's doing for her dogs and for animals in the community, and hope you enjoy reading about the Happy Pet Parlor as much as we did. Thanks :)
Happy Pet Parlor
Elk Grove Village, IL
1. Where did your love for dogs start? Did you have dogs growing up?
"The more I think about it, the more I am convinced I was born with a very strong love and bond to animals. Thankfully, I have animal-loving parents with the patience for a kid who wanted to be a pet doctor for My Little Ponies and cut my sister's hair.
"Not only did we have dogs, cats, bunnies, birds, hamsters, fish, reptiles etc., I would bring home wounded and unwanted animals to fix and find homes for."
2. When did you know that you wanted to be a pet groomer?
"My first aspiration as a child was to become a veterinarian. I knew I wanted to help animals, but the thought of seeing them hurt and possibly die was way too much for me to handle.
"When I was about five years old, I found out about pet groomers. Nobody had told me they existed before! I knew that this was it—cutting dogs' hair was the perfect job.
"I was so sure that I didn't even want to hear any other career suggestions. I was going to be a dog groomer."
3. Can you tell us a little bit about your rescue dogs? What have you learned from working with rescues?
So now I have six rescue dogs of my own.
"Faye is an 11-year-old Mi-Ki. She lost an eye in a car accident, so she is now an advocate for pet seat belts and car seats. Faye is also a therapy dog at the Manor Care Nursing and Rehabiliation Home in Oak Lawn, IL.
"Faye has been with me the longest and I consider her my daughter. She has been to every state in this country and has helped me nurse countless numbers of bottle-fed kittens for the Almost Home Foundation dog and cat rescue.
Paisley (Affinpincher Mix)
"Paisley is a four-year-old affenpincher mix. She was rescued from a horder's basement. She was with her four litter mates in a cage that they had not left their whole life!
"They were in over a foot of their own waste. I am sure you can imagine the health and socialization issues we have had to overcome.
"Paisley will only warm up to a select few people, and she is still scared of some things, but she is full of so much love."
"Sharkington (Sharkey) is a three-year-old chihuahua. His litter was brought into the pet store I was working at. Sharkey was less than a pound and only 6 weeks old when I first saw him. He was so small that I had to worry about him falling down the sewer when we went for walks.
"Now Sharkey is the little papa dog. He cleans all the other dogs' eyes and ears. He also has an obsession with sleeping under blankets, so our other dogs have learned to check blanket piles before they lay down on them."
"Mickey is a 3-year-old boxer. His original family got him from a pet store when he was little. As he got bigger, they kept him in the cage more and more until they decided they didn't want him any more.
His first owner was a nurse where Faye volunteers, so word got around to me that this boxer dog was going to a shelter if she couldn't find a home soon. Faye and I decided to bring him home.
"My boyfriend named him Mickey after the professional boxer Mickey Ward. Mick is mostly lazy, but sometimes crazy and can jump really really high. He is also convinced that he is the size of the small dogs and will try to fit in places/things that they can and it's so funny."
"Gretchen is a two-year-old shih-tzu. We dye her feet and tail pink, so she is known for that in our neighborhood.
"There was a pet store in the area that would kill puppies when they turned 6 months old so they could return the body to the puppy mill and get a new one in its place. Gretchen was already on death row, so they had stopped taking care of her. Her fur was matted across her eyes.
"The pet trainer I work with found her in the back of the shop and bought her for full price. They won't give discounts, since the pup is worth more to them dead than alive at that point. We since have rallied against this awful place and it got shut down.
"Gretchen is now the boss around the house and a sneaky bird hunter in the back yard."
Shaymus (Standard Poodle)
"Shaymus is an eight-month-old standard poodle. His original owners got him from a breeder. They only had him one day before they were ready to drop him off at the nearest shelter!
"Luckily, they found my shop first. Shaymus has been the perfect addition to our family. Mickey is so happy to have another big dog to play with.
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