I became interested in dog grooming one day when I took my own dogs into a little shop called “Lynda’s” to be groomed. I thought it was just so neat. My first thoughts as I walked into her shop were “Wow, so this is how it is done.” I noticed a table with bright lights around it and above it and standing in the middle was a beautiful, large poodle. This poodle looked like something out of Hollywood. Her shop was so cozy and neat and clean. Her cages were full of fluffy groomed dogs, and best of all, her shop was attached to her house. I thought “Boy, this would be the life.” I had been a Dental Assistant for the past 19 years and I was always gone. I never got to see my kids get on or off the school bus, never got to plan a nice meal for dinner, everything was always RUSH, RUSH, RUSH! I had finally found something that struck my interest. I could make money grooming dogs and be at home to care for my family at the same time. I had slowly burnt out on Dental Assisting, doing the same thing over and over and over, day after day after day. One night my husband was reading the Akron Beacon Journal. He said “Hey Jan, you said you were interested in dog grooming. Well, here’s an ad for a school in Medina.” I immediately called the number and a lady named Nancy answered the phone. She made me feel so welcome and I was so-o-o excited about getting started. I was just a little nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. “What should I wear?” “Will there be 10 other people in my class?” Then the big question everyone worries about when starting a new job or going to a new school… “ Who will I sit by at lunch?” When I arrived at Nancy’s school she met me at the door and introduced me to her whole family and all her animals and made me so relaxed. Little did I know that I would be the only student. I was thrilled to death when she told me that it would be one on one teaching. She took my information and we got started. My lessons were 8 hours long and every time I left I couldn’t wait to go back. I couldn’t wait to learn this new trade and I knew deep down that this is what I really wanted to do. Nancy was very thorough and she praised and complimented me very time I did something. She made me feel very confident and convinced me that I was going to be a very successful , professional dog groomer. Well, many, many, many months went by. I did all my home work, studied my books, took my tests and worked very hard at my new career and made it all the way through dog grooming school. I had a few ups and downs also. There was a time when I got a very stinky, matted, mean, skunked dog. Nancy watched very carefully as I began to work on the dog. She did not say a word, until she saw me ready to pull my hair out after one solid hour of trying to comb out this HEAVILY matted coat. I looked at her almost in tears and said “Nancy, what do I do?” She was testing me, to see which way I was going to go with this. She explained to me that the key to successful grooming is COMMON SENSE. Without this, you will get nowhere! From that moment on I was a changed person. I listened carefully to Nancy’s instructions and I would take it from there. I felt more and more confident with every dog she would throw at me. I knew I was going to groom that dog and what he would look like when he was finished before I even started. It is so true! If you use common sense, you will succeed! People aren’t that picky! If you put a cute little face on that dog and proportion the rest of his body (according to the proper clip for that type of dog) people are going to love it! I learned to always be very friendly to your customers and especially to their dogs, do your very best on the grooming and your can’t go wrong. I have opened up my own dog grooming business and I now have 25 of my very own customers. People seem very pleased when they leave my shop, they always say they will be back, they are spreading the word and referring more and more people to me and this is very rewarding to me. This tells me that I am a good groomer and that I was taught very well. So I must be doing right. My vision is coming true. I now have my own little shop with the bright lights and tables and dogs in the cages and yep! It’s attached to my house. So I can have my little business and watch my family grow at the same time! So don’t give up! Keep pushing yourself through school. And most of all … listen to Nancy! She really does know what she is talking about!!!