PEACEFUL, PAMPERED POOCHES in BSL
Four-Legged Clients are well cared for at this “Cabin in the Woods”
BY: LESLIE FOSTER
In a peaceful home based setting in BSL, Donna Nash the owner of Donna’s Tails A Waggin Pet Grooming, offers grooming services to all dogs under 15 lbs.
Donna had been in the business of lovingly ” fluffing up” our pets since the early 90’s.
Her home based (!) grooming business is a good fit for both her and her client’s pets. She believes that the dogs she grooms really do feel ” right at home ” when they are dropped off for their appointments.
This is quite an accomplishment because more often than not many grooming salons are filled with lots of noise and can be rather kennel like environments.
Having been an owner/ operator for most of her working life, Donna is both highly qualified to care for your dog and give professional advice on the ins and outs of choosing both grooming services and a groomer for your pet. As you read this piece you will be tickled by her funny pet stories and the insights she provides about her business.
So ring in the New Year by giving Donna a call to arrange an appointment for your dog. She’s convinced that you too will become a client at her peaceful “cabin in the woods” grooming salon in BSL!
Happy New Year to All of our 4- legged family members and their human parents.
- Tell us about your business. How did you get your start? What services do you provide? What dog food is your best seller?
- I started my pet grooming business in 1990, working for a veterinarian in Lexington, Kentucky. After a year of grooming mostly Great Pyrenees, Newfoundland’s, Chow Chows and Malamutes, all giant breeds, I thought I would have to quit from ‘sheer’ exhaustion, pun intended. I thought to myself, there has to be a better way. So I custom designed a mini-grooming salon on wheels, inside a high top camping van. I was the first mobile groomer in Lexington.
Since then, I have had two grooming salons, worked in a boarding kennel, and will finish out my career in the bottom half of my home. I have discovered it to be the most peaceful environment for my clients and me!
I currently provide grooming services, including nail trim, ear cleaning, shampooing and trimming for dogs, 15 pounds or less. After 26 years in this profession, I had to scale back a bit and pace myself? In today’s economy, I need to hang in there another 15 years at least. Here’s a clue, I started my grooming career at age 29. Do the math!
I don’t sell any retail products. If a customer likes something I’m using, I give them a sample and tell them where they can purchase it themselves.
- Do dog groomers require special training or a license?
- It is ideal for groomers to have specialized training. Our furry little friends can certainly tell the difference. There are grooming schools nationwide. It is not however, required. States have not ventured into this field yet, as they have cosmetology for example, and set up guidelines or testing. The grooming profession itself has established levels of certification and is highly recommended, but not mandatory. Again, for the safety and well being of our pets, it is important for owners to question any groomer regarding their history and experience. If transparency is not a virtue, beware!
- Do dogs “like” the grooming process do you think?
- Most dogs really do enjoy the grooming process. As with anything else, you have the exceptions. In my home grooming environment, the dogs are definitely more relaxed than in any other I have operated in…the couch, refrigerator and play toys probably remind them of “their home”.
- Do you use organic shampoos and products?
- My products include the “finest of organic surfactants, herbal extracts, and natural oils”, statement taken straight off the label! Some ingredients include Aloe Vera Gel, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil, Vitamins A, D & E, and Calendula Oil.
- Are you associated with a Veterinarian practice?
- I am not directly associated with a veterinarian practice, but have a great relationship with all of them in the local area. They have been an encouraging resource when questions arise during what one of my clients’ calls “Fluffy’s mini-exam”, while pets are being groomed. I was taught to go beyond the average grooming visit, and examine skin issues, feel for abnormal growths, and be alert to any ear infections, discharges, or gum disease. By doing so I have saved many lives.
- In your opinion how often should the average family dog be professionally groomed?
- Regarding frequency of grooming, my experience concludes that the average family pet is happier and healthier if they can see a professional groomer at least once every two months. The extent of the service doesn’t have to break the bank every time. I encourage my clients to just pop in with “Fluffy” for a quick brush out, nail trim or comb out so they learn to enjoy the visit, receive what may be needed that particular day, and everybody’s happy! My in between visits range from free to a minimal charge, I like to reward diligence when owners take a pro-active approach to their pets well being.
- How should dog owners choose a groomer?
- Dog owners are best served when choosing a groomer by asking at least three local pet professional providers in the area whom they recommend. Veterinarians in particular are well aware of “accidents” in the grooming shops, and where they occur most frequently. Pet store owners also hear the good, bad, and the ugly when it comes to groomers. Keep in mind, NO groomer is exempt from accidents; but GOOD groomers keep them few and far between.
- You must have lots of funny stories! Share a couple with our readers!
- Funny stories…hum? #1) When I had my grooming van, I could pull into a certain lady’s driveway and open my side doors. She would then open her front door, and a huge black and white Springer Spaniel would bound out to my van, jump in; then jump UP on to the grooming table; all before I could say, “Hi Jester, how are you today?” He was hilarious and very special! #2) I had a client come in with a Yorkie mix dog one day. It was a senior dog, and acted old, tired, and depressed. The owner actually thought it was going to be her last grooming, and was preparing herself for the worst. She had let the dog’s coat grow out excessively, and it was matted. After I finished grooming her, it was as if new life was breathed into her little body. She pranced around like the Glamour Shot crew was on their way. The little ole’ pup lived another two years, and the haircut was declared the saving factor. She kept her trimmed exactly the same way till her last breath.
- What are the most common and un-common pet names you’ve heard!
- The most common pet names I have heard over the years are: Bella, Daisy, Charlie, and Bo. The most uncommon pet names are Farfel, Brinee, Panda, and Killian. All of which have very distinct and loving personalities.
- Seriously now, do dogs really resemble their owners?
- Do dogs really resemble their owners? In many cases, the resemblance is more in the personality than appearance…THAT is a true statement! However, you can always find a pair of look-a-likes in any group. It is fun to try.
And for fun:
- What’s your favorite food?
- My favorite food today could be Pad Thai; tomorrow you would find me asking for a creamy chicken alfredo; and the next day a grilled salmon. I LOVE FOOD!
- Your favorite music?
- My favorite music would be found in the Christian arena…anything inspired by God, Messianic or otherwise. I even have a few original compositions of my own.
- Your favorite place to travel?
- My favorite place to travel would have to be Uganda, Africa. The people are warm and giving; and much of the land is lush and beautiful.
- Your favorite book?
- My favorite book is The Holy Bible. There is no other book that lives and breathes its message.
- Your favorite thing about Southport?
- My favorite thing about Southport would be the generosity of people and businesses when things get tough. As a local evangelist, our ministry reaches out to families in need, spiritually and physically. My experience is, when someone needs help, Southport rallies. We took approximately 65 garbage bags full of clothes to Lumberton, NC after hurricane Matthew narrowly missed us, but devastated their area. THANK YOU SOUTHPORT!