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November 2011
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December 2011

The Big Secret

Drum roll please.... So, you want to know what the Big Secret is. Here goes!

What if continuing education was available on your schedule? What if some of the top pet industry speakers were available on your command? What if there was a wide range of topics to choose from?

This is what Pawsitive Educational Training is all about. We are a collaboration of the best the pet industry has to offer. We provide both live online and recorded On Demand webinars.

Our topics include mobile and housecall grooming, marketing, safety, breed specifics, equipment use and maintenance, creative grooming, animal behavior, competition grooming, product choice and uses, cat grooming, alternatives, and so much more.

We are Mary Oquendo, Alyssa Forss, Daryl Conner, Chris Sertzel, Ellen Ehlrich, Dawn Omboy, Kim Raisanen, Sherri Shinsky, Nicole Kallish, Lindsey Dicken, Melissa Jepsen, Derek Hartmann, Barbara Bird, Debi Hilley, Kristie Perry Kingsland and Donna Gleason.

Come visit us at and see how easy and cost effective it is to continue your education. 

This is just the beginning. It will take us a couple of months to get fully up and running and we welcome any suggestions for webinar topics. Most of us are writing them as you read this. 

Keeping Your Mobile Grooming Van On The Road

Unlike our shop siblings, we bring our work environment every where we go. If our vehicles are not kept in good condition, they will break down or worse; cause an accident. When they are in the shop, they are not in someone’s driveway making us money. There are five major components that need our undivided attention. They are your tires, brakes, exterior vehicle lighting, the engine, and our eyes.


The first is your tires. Tires are expensive. To replace my van’s tires will run me anywhere between $800 and $1,000. I want to be sure I get the most life out of them. I rotate every oil change. I don’t use synthetic oil, so that’s about every 3,000 miles. Cars can go about 5,000 miles, but not the vans. They are too heavy. When they are rotated, I have the shop check tire pressure. Improper tire pressure will cause premature wear as well as making it difficult to stop on wet roads. Worn tires are just plain dangerous. It inhibits your ability to stop altogether. I cannot over emphasize the importance of stopping when you intend to. Use the right tire for your weather and road conditions. If you need mud and snow tires, then buy mud and snow tires. Saving a couple hundred on tires is not really a savings if you have to reschedule days because your vehicle can’t negotiate the roads. Also, buying cheaper tires just means you have to buy them more often.


Next is brakes. It’s a wonderful thing when you come to a complete and full stop when you apply the brakes. Not only is it important to inspect your brakes, but also the brakes lines. One of my least favorite mobile grooming experiences involved my brake lines or lack thereof. Something that hubby and I argue about in my apparent inability to retrieve messages left on my cell phone while on the road. I’m busy, if I wanted to answer the phone while working, I wouldn’t be mobile. But of course, he wouldn’t leave me a message unless IT WAS IMPORTANT. Yada yada yada. So, I pull over on the top of a very steep hill to retrieve those four important messages he left me. They were four of the stupidest messages I have yet to hear. But, as I sat there with my foot on the brake, the pedal went ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE FLOOR. The brake lining broke and here I was on top of a hill, the bottom of which was Lake Lillianonah. Not my most fun experience. Good thing I had the tow company on speed dial. 

The moral of this story is to inspect regularly and make sure they physically check the lines.


Onward to your vehicles exterior lighting including your directionals. These lights let other drivers know what you’re doing and to see you in fog and low light. It can be really difficult to see white vehicles in fog. 


Fourth is the engine. What I mean by engine is that if its under the hood, then its the engine. Watch those potholes and rough roads. Besides messing up your suspension and front end, it plays havoc with your vehicles electronic systems. Keep to the recommended scheduled maintenances. In particular, the oil changes, transmission service, and engine tune up. These services become more important as your vehicle ages. I lose more money when my vehicle is in the shop than what the cost of the scheduled maintenance would have been that would have prevented the breakdown in the first place. 

When I ask for an inspection of my vehicle by the shop, I pay for it rather than take them up on their free service. I find that when you pay for it, they are more thorough because their liability increases. I have received free brake jobs because they didn’t notice my brakes were in need of replacement when I paid for the inspection.


And lastly is our eyes. Pay attention to the road conditions, other drivers, and the weather. Is stopped traffic up ahead? Are you taking them off the road to take that phone call? Does that driver really feel the need to cut you off? Are the roads icy or covered in wet leaves?


Our vehicles are our livelihood. Take care of them so they can take care of you.Mobile