|A little settling in before the clip |
With a poodle cross
who needs constant clipping, but suffers from separation anxiety after a very
bad start in life, it was very important to me to find a groomer that he felt
comfortable with. Luckily, we soon met Linda Webb– and her little dog Chloe. In
fact, although I had already written the character of Nelly, Mona’s little dog
who welcomes animals to the Rainbow Street Shelter, I hadn’t ever met a dog
whose character was so exactly what I’d described.
Linda doesn’t have a
web site, but she’s in Bittern, on the Mornington Peninsula. Her email is webby53(at)optusnet.com.au
and her mobile is 0423 564 333.
How would you describe working as a dog
A. I find working as a dog groomer is both rewarding and
challenging. You need to have a love of dogs and be very
patient. I love seeing the transformation from when the dog first
arrives to when I have finished grooming – it helps to be a little artistic and
have a good eye for detail. It’s not all bubbles and
bows. You have to have patience and a caring nature. Some dogs are
very easy to groom, others not so – they can be boisterous, over exited, timid,
stubborn or just down- right naughty. You have to try different
approaches with the different personalities, but with a lot of perseverance you
can win them over and they soon realise that even though they would rather be
digging a hole or chasing a cat, the hair cut comes first.
was the path - or the passion(!) - that led you to it?
|Do the clients actually have to sit on me?|
A. I became a dog groomer by chance, although I had previously given thought to
taking it up as a profession. I had worked as a PCA in Aged Care and
Dementia and was needing a change due to family reasons. After
cousin who owned a pet shop she advised me that a staff member had walked out
and left her short staffed over the busy Christmas period. Next
thing I know I was working in a pet shop and before long found myself in the
grooming room washing and drying dogs. I then did a bit of trimming
here and there and it wasn’t long before I decided that I wanted to learn
properly so I commenced a full time 6 month course and qualified as a
groomer. I then worked for a lady who has been grooming for 30 plus
years. The experience with her was invaluable. After
gaining my confidence and honing my skills I decided it was time to start my
own little business at home. I took over a third of my husbands’
shed, much to his dismay and L.J’s Dog Grooming began.
|Some clients are grubbier than other|
What is the best, and the worst thing about it?
|But they come out looking beautiful|
A. One of the best things about being a groomer is when you know
you have the dogs total trust. When this happens they seem to
understand that they are in safe hands and we form a bond. They
will put a paw on my arm or lick my face – it really is quite
special. It is also the best feeling after I have groomed a
dog for the first time and the owners tell me how happy they are with the
result. The worst thing is seeing the state that some dogs arrive in –
flea infested, mattered and in poor health. It’s these dogs that
get some special attention, because it’s something that they don’t normally
part of the job is when a dog that has been coming for some time and we have
developed a close friendship and then to be told by the owner that this might
be the last grooming due to deteriorating health.
|Even if the well-groomed look doesn't last long|
you have pets as a child?
A. I had several pets as a child, a Labrador named Penny, a
Fox Terrier named George. I had several cats over the years but unfortunately mum was inclined to back over them with the car. I also
had a tortoise and a number of budgies.
|Chloe in her Christmas outfit|
Chloe have a story, of how she came to you, or anything else?
A. Our daughter Casey desperately wanted a Cavalier King Charles
Spaniel but we decided that we would try and get a dog from the Peninsula
Animal Shelter. We only wanted a small dog and enquired about a
half a dozen times but unfortunately she had her heart set on a
cavy. Out of the blue one day, my husband rang them to see what was
available and after going through the list they informed him that they had a 9
month old female Cavalier. We raced down straight away and when we
set eyes on her, we knew that she was meant for us. The name Chloe
came from the person who donated the enclosure she was kept in at the
shelter. She is a gentle loving little dog who has a calming effect
on some of the more boisterous dogs who come to be groomed. Yes she
is on the payroll – she greets the client when they first arrive and then
settles in for a nap. If the need be, she will walk over and look
up at them as if to say “we will not tolerate any of that nonsense
here.” It doesn’t matter what size of dog.
husband also says that when he looks into her eyes, he can see the spirit of
our previous dog Lassie – a loving and faithful German Sheppard.
Christmas holidays when we go on holidays with the caravan, Chloe always knows
what is going on and sits at the front door waiting to be put into her travel
cage in the car – she has been known to patiently sit there for 3 hours whilst
we get ready. She also knows when there is a luggage bag on the
floor that someone is heading off, so not to be left behind she will hop into
the bag and look at me as if to say “not without me you don’t”
would your pet tell us about you?
A. I think Chloe would say that I am a very caring person,
who loves nature, spending time with family and friends, walking with her along
the beach and providing a serene work environment for all four legged
you were an animal, what would you be?
A. I’d have to say a dog, living at 2623
Frankston-Flinders Road, Bittern – it’s a pretty good life for the fortunate
ones that live in a caring environment and who are considered part of the
advice for people wanting a pet?
A. Research. Make sure you read up about the type
you want, whether it be a mouse cat or dog. They all have different
needs. If choosing a dog, things to consider are – will it fit into
our live style and home. Does it need daily exercise or a big back yard –
is it suitable for young children. Does it need regular
grooming. Will I be able to train the dog. Another
important consideration is how expensive will it be keep – food, grooming, vet
bills etc., Never purchase a pet on the spur of the moment
A. There are many, but most recently read
book that I thoroughly enjoyed was the true story of deaf, albino Great Dane
called ‘Amazing Gracie” by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff. Through
her finicky eating habits she inspired her owner to start a chain of Dog
Bakeries. It’s a story with lots of laughs and lots of tears – it’s
a lovely read.
Labels: animal careers and carers, Dog Grooming Bittern, Dog Grooming Mornington Peninsula, Rainbow Street Animal Shelter series;, Rainbow Street Pets