I began my grooming career in 1999 when I applied for a job at Petco as a bather. They just started a grooming training program and I was one of the first in the class. I trained under Terry Tomlinson and Beth Cristiano. Once my training was complete, my home store was basically just me. As the store manager acknowledged he knew nothing about grooming and left all the decisions up to me, I was totally unsupervised. I was able to experiment and find what worked and what didn't without someone looking over my shoulder telling me, " that's not how we do it."
If I had to pick the one situation where the light bulb turned on over my head regarding the role environment played in grooming it because of a lovely shih tzu named Blackie.
Blackie was a dream dog to groom. Every month he was so happy to see me. He just stood there and let me groom him. Except for one time. He struggled, shook, and snapped. I stopped the groom and called mom to come pick him up. I knew something was not right with him. It turned out Blackie's home was burgarlized the day before and the burglars tormented and scared him. Blackie was still in shock.
From that day forward, I consciously made changes here and there. Some of which were poo pooed by other groomers, but by the time I left Petco, I had a thriving business of well behaved pets that had been banned from other shops.
Over the years, I've networked with other like groomers. A rather small group in the beginning, but yet a consistently growing segment of our industry.
So,15 years later and it is with pride that I announce, along with Chris Sertzel, Barbara Bird, Daryl Conner, Sue Palmer, Melissa Jepson, and Lori Guilling, the formation of The Society of Holistic Pet Stylists.
The focus of our association is to offer differing holistic grooming choices in a non judgemental forum. Visit our website at http://www.holisticdoggroomers.com and see if we are a right fit for you.