I have been an animal lover for as long as I can remember. My first puppy, when I was 5, was an adorable German Shepard pup. Chrissy became my life-long bond and the connection with animals had begun. She was my best friend, and protector. While Chrissy and I were out for a bike ride, I was attacked by a large and aggressive dog. Chrissy defended me without hesitation which established the reality and strength of the dog-human bond that day. She miraculously escaped without a scratch.
I had many animals when I was a kid as we lived on a small hobby farm in the country. We had horses, chickens, bunnies, goats, cats and a pig. Living with all of these other animals was very exciting. They strengthened my love of all creatures although it revealed to me how much I preferred to share my time and dedication with my dogs.
One day, my mother, Susan, brought home a dog from her popular grooming salon and pet-care centre, that had been abandoned and mistreated and needed a good home. I got to be a part of a successful rescue mission and we placed the dog in a friendly and caring country home where he was free to run.
At a very young age, I was enthralled with the grooming side of pet care. I would take time from school to help out in the salon. I always had a passion for helping others. After a few years of doing various other jobs to earn money, it was not a satisfying outlet for my need and passion for helping others. Also, nothing could ever be as rewarding as when a customer’s pet, frightened during the start of the grooming process, trusts me enough to get through it together. I cannot express the elation I feel when it is over and I get a playful kiss and then the dog enjoys a fun romp around the salon.
Committed to working with dogs and their pet parents, my mother was confident that I was ready to follow in her footsteps, passed the family pet grooming business of 30 years, down to me and my new family. My wife Nicole, who had been working in the salon while getting her teaching degree, was so excited about this opportunity to work with dogs as well, she switched from a profession with children to one of caring for dogs (as well as looking after our own children). In fact, our children are an integral part of the salon as they interact with the dogs in a gentle manner, as a substitute for traditional daycare. They brighten up everyone’s day and are also responsible for putting smiles on the dogs’ faces.
With the knowledge and sentiment that we have about working with the dogs and dealing with the concerns and needs of their pet parents, Happy Dogs Grooming is on the same path as my mother, Susan’s legacy. That is, to become known as the one place in the city, for dog lovers and owners, to take their precious pets to be groomed, cared for, played with, cuddled and made to smile.