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Hairy day

August 18, 2012
dsp By Vicki Johnson - Staff Writer (vjohnson@advertiser-tribune.com) , The Advertiser-Tribune

T

here are dogs barking everywhere.

The computer guy has finished setting up the new Internet system and email accounts.

Article Photos

PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Sherri Glass clips a dog named Cassie.

A bookkeeper is wondering about the weekend's revenue.

Customers are milling about in the retail section.

Assistants have questions about a dog.

And she's answering the phone via a headset she uses to keep her hands grooming the dog in front of her.

A day in the life of Sherri Glass, who is remarkably good at multitasking as her attention is drawn in many directions simultaneously as she runs her businesses, Groomer's Corner and Cornerstone Pet Grooming Academy, Clyde.

"The pet industry has just exploded in the last 10 years," said Glass, of Green Springs. "As people delay having children, or have children grow and leave the nest, they replace them with dogs.

"They treat their animals as children," she said. "They keep them in the house, and since they're underfoot, they want them to smell good and not shed. So they get regular grooming."

Glass said she got involved with dogs after her husband, then a law enforcement officer, had a heart attack.

"I was a stay-at-home mom with four kids," she said. "It was an eye opener. What would I do if he was disabled or wasn't here?"

Her husband was part of a canine unit and she often attended training sessions with him.

At one point, a veterinarian asked her to work in his office as a groomer.

"I sheered sheep as a girl in 4-H, so I thought, why not?" she said.

Glass went to dog-grooming school in 1993 at the Academy of Canine Design in Fort Wayne.

Although no certification is required to groom dogs, she encourages people to ask a groomer for proof of training before trusting him or her with a dog.

"There's a proper way to do everything," she said. "I was fortunate to have a certified master groomer as an instructor."

She started her own shop in 1997 after working for the veterinarian for three years. In 2001 she moved to the store's present location.

But Glass said continuing education is important and she attends a couple of shows each year. She and assistant Lori Doebel recently returned from Pet Quest near Cincinnati.

"Dog grooming changes every year," she said. "You have to keep up with it."

About 15 dogs and cats a day, five days a week, rotate through the grooming shop.

Clients come from Clyde, Fremont, Bellevue, Tiffin, Oak Harbor, Port Clinton, Akron, Norwalk and Sandusky.

"Not everybody does cats," she said. And they cost more.

"Cat bites are very dangerous," she said. "You have to get antibiotics right away because of the horrible bacteria in their mouths."

She said that's information everybody should know.

When a pet arrives, it is assigned a "condo" on the wall and awaits its turn for her assistant to give it a bath. Each cage gets a card with the dog's name, identifying information, pickup time and other needed information.

After the bath and drying, Glass takes over for grooming.

She said it's important to introduce grooming to dogs when they're very young - within the first two months of life.

"They're never too young to groom," she said. "It's a kindness to the dog. And it's a kindness to the groomer in the long run, too."

However, she said not everybody gets their dogs groomed early enough - and some are rescues that have an unknown background - which makes grooming more difficult.

"It's never, ever the dog's fault," she said.

Not often, but once in a while, they get a dog that threatens the safety of the staff - and they have to send it home ungroomed.

Temperamental dogs are usually the result of breeding bad-tempered dogs.

"Temperamentalism is strongly hereditary," she said.

After she gained experience in her first years, Glass said, she started the academy to train more people in the art and practicality of dog grooming.

She provides training to two or three people at a time. Each person gets 720 hours of instruction.

"They get a lot of hands-on," she said. They learn how to properly use equipment such as clippers, blades and nail clippers.

Students who have attended classes hail from Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Japan and Tiffin as well as many parts of Ohio.

A diploma or GED is required by the state to attend, and a tetanus shot is required by her.

There are no other qualifications, but an artistic flair can be helpful.

"The main thing is a genuine love of dogs," she said.

The hardest part of grooming is losing them when they die, she said.

"It's a very rewarding career," she said. "You get to know your clients like family."

 
 

 

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