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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Q5: Pet groomer's business is more than just a job

  • Jodie Fritz is the owner of Hair of the Dog Salon, 211 N. 5th St., Leavenworth. Amy Shaffer is a groomer at the business.
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  • Jodie Fritz is the owner of Hair of the Dog Salon, 211 N. 5th St., Leavenworth. Amy Shaffer is a groomer at the business.
    1. Why did you decide to go into the pet care and grooming business and how long have you operated your business?
    We both went into the grooming business because we wanted a rewarding career that was more than just a job.
    Both Amy and I have a life long love of animals and our career path allows us to bring comfort and happiness to the pets we groom, as well as to their families.
    Hair of the Dog originally opened in July of 2009 at our former location and we relocated to our present location, 211 N 5th St, in November of last year.
    Amy relocated to Kansas all the way from Ohio and came on board at the salon in September of 2011.
    2. What services do you offer and what is the most requested service?
    Our grooming services include a bath, with all natural shampoos and conditioners and a blueberry facial, blow dry, brush out, cleaning the ears, trimming nails, and a haircut.
    We groom to breed standard but also, strive to make our clients happy, so if they request a different style we will accommodate that as well.
    We also offer de-shedding, which is great for dog breeds such as, Labrador Retrievers, Pugs, German Shepherds, Beagles, and Golden Retrievers to name a few. Clients that come in every 4-6 weeks for a de-shed benefit the most because the amount of loose dead hair is reduced greatly.
    For our more adventurous clients we also offer our creative grooming services, those include feather extensions, temporary highlights and tatoos, as well as full body color.
    The sky really is the limit when it comes to adding color, whether it's just a splash of color on the ears and/or tail, or the client has a vision of creating a theme on their beloved pet. We work with them on figuring out the best way to create it and make their vision a reality. Some of our most popular services are the always important nail trims, our de-shed service and temporary tatoos.
    3. Your business' philosophy is that pets are important members of families. What advice would you give someone about the best care for a dog or cat?
    Remember that they are pets and to treat them as such, but still treat as family.
    Just like your children need a good healthy diet and excersie, your pets do too.
    Socialization and manners are a good thing and gives your pet the confidence they need.
    Always keep in mind the weather and the extreme heat and cold, if you wouldn't want your children out in it for long periods then please don't leave your pet in the elements, after all they are a member of your family. If they are out in the elements for longer periods be sure to give them plenty of shelter, food and check and replace their water frequently to help make them a little more comfortable.
    Page 2 of 3 - 4. Do most of your pet clientele behave well when they come in for grooming, and if you find yourself with a rowdy character, what do you do to calm him or her down for the session?
    Most of our clients are very well behaved, but we do get the occasional pet that just isn't sure of the grooming process.
    For those pets we simply slow the process down. We give them time to get comfortable with the shop and us, it is important to us that your pet has a great, soothing and comforting experience. We have happy hoodies that cover the ears for those that don't like the sound of the dryer.
    Clippers we can also introduce to them slowly, sometimes we are not able to do a complete groom the first visit, and that's ok with us.
    We don't want to push your pet farther than they are comfortable.
    With patience and time your pet will become ok with the grooming process.
    We have several clients that this process has worked on and are now very excited when they come and visit us.
    5. What's the most rewarding and satisfying part of operating a pet grooming business?
    Every day when we come to work we get to do something that we love and that in itself is a beautiful reward.
    In addition to that, we love to see the shy nervous pets gradually come out of their shell and actually grow to enjoy their time with us and watching our senior clients leave with a bounce back in their step because the hydromassaging bath helped ease their stiffness and soreness.
    It always brings a smile to our faces when they come in all excited to be here because they know that they will have a positive experience with us.
    The entire grooming process is very hands on, which allows us to spot potential health issues early on that we can then bring to their owners attention so that they can seek their veterinarian's professional advice on.
    Bonus question: Who are your most difficult customers: cats or dogs?
    We groom many more dogs than cats, but our kitty clients can be a little more challenging to groom for a couple different reasons.
    Cats are not generally as acclimated or accustomed to the grooming process like the majority of our dog clients are.
    They are also not always handled as much as dogs and with grooming being very much a hands on process, it can become a little overwhelming for our kitty clients.
    Which is why continued education in all aspects of pet grooming is a must.
    We are sure to attend at least two different grooming trade shows, which offer many types of seminars all weekend, annually.
    Page 3 of 3 - We hold ourselves to high standards on attending those seminars as they introduce us to the many different techniques, to ensure that we can handle all of the many challenges a pet may bring to the grooming table.
    — Rimsie McConiga

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