I have two dogs and a cat, and whenever it’s time to bathe, clip or clean them, they usually run around the house trying desperately to escape, jump out of the bath tub three or four times and shake smelly dog water all over the house, which is why I make my husband do it. So when I went to Karen’s Grooming Parlor on Tuesday, I was expecting a long day of chasing animals and trying to avoid the wet dog smell.
Luckily for me, I learned that Karen Crowell is one of those people that animals seem to instantly like, and she had the dog grooming routine down to a science.
Our job for the day was to groom two Pomeranians. I arrived just as the dogs and their owner were walking in the door. The owner sat with Karen and described the temperament of the dogs and what she wanted done for each. It reminded me of my own conversations with my hair dresser.
When the woman left, we went to work. (Well, I guess it was more like Karen went to work, while I played with her Cocker Spaniel, Max.) She placed the older Pomeranian, Smiley, on a small work table and began to brush his coat. While she worked, she told me about how she started in the business. “I’m basically a dog too,” Karen said with a laugh. “I can read them, and I talk to them.” She explained that she had always loved animals and knew that she wanted to do something with them.
In 1991, after attending the Pedigree Career Institute in Boston, Karen opened her first shop out of her parents’ basement. For the last three years, Karen has been operating her grooming parlor out of her home on Crandall Street.
When the combing process was finished, we placed the dog in the bathtub, which was equipped with a small hook on which to clip leashes. Karen explained the leash helps to keep the dog standing while in the tub.
I helped Karen hose down the little dog and get washing. Karen shared a couple tips, like if you hold onto a dog’s neck, it won’t shake off all that excess water, and if you have multiple dogs, you should always use the same soap on all of them...