Bizline: Chris’s Pet Grooming

Published 7:59pm Sunday, May 13, 2012

Name of business: Chris’s Country Pet Grooming

Name of owner: Christine Garcia

Address of business: 56031 M-51 South, Dowagiac (behind Burger King in Silver Creek Plaza — Mr. Wahoo’s, Wash Shed, then Chris’s).

Telephone number: (269) 782-9080

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. I try to go to as many grooming shows as possible and friends still show dogs, so time off allows me to travel. My groomer friends and I get together once a month for dinner to catch up. It’s a small community here. There’s a huge pet grooming school in Jenison, Paragon, with affordable tuition.

Date business opened: 2006

What type of business do you operate — what you sell, services provided? I do every breed, washing and conditioning them. Haircuts. Nail trims, clean their ears, brush their teeth. Dogs and cats (her stray, Stratus like the boats, dozes atop a trellis).

Where are you from and why did you decide to open in Cass County? I grew up in California. My ex-husband is originally from St. Joseph. I’ve been grooming since 1996. I grew up on a ranch with horses and did a lot of rodeo. My parents taught us a lot of responsibility when we were kids (there are five). We were too busy to ever get in trouble.

Why did you choose to open where you did? I was going to put the shop in town, but City Hall wanted retail. Not that they don’t like animals, but they were concerned about smell and barking.

Your motto, ‘We want to make a lifelong friend, not a one-time client’? My very first client, every year she sends me flowers on June 3, the date she first brought me her little dog.

How often should a dog be groomed? Every four, six to eight weeks, depending on the breed and how long it takes for coats to tangle and mat. The problem with shaving high-maintenance breeds short is then they go months without coming in. We’d rather see the dog more often to keep it looking its best. You have to understand canine personalities and behavior. I used to train dogs, like my Pomeranian, Gizmo, who passed away from old age in 2007. He was a therapy dog.

What’s the most rewarding part of your job? Taking a dog that’s a big mess and seeing how happy and thankful I make it.

What are your plans for your company’s future? My mom’s sick and really wants me home, so I’m selling my shop. I have a nice life here, but I have to go. I hope I can sell it to another groomer with a lot of experience. It’s definitely a very rewarding career if you love animals.

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