My Grooming career officially started in 2011, but my life experience was preparing me long before that!
After graduating from Assumption College with my Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, I worked as an outpatient therapist. It soon became evident that my strengths were best used in working with adolescents. This path led me to a residential treatment center working with boys who were emotionally disturbed, psychiatrically disordered and/or severely abused. My calming presence, empathy, and ability to see through the pain, anger, and behavior to make real connections is what made me successful. After 15+ years working with adolescents, I changed my professional focus to that of Human Resources. This change served me well, until life made some unplanned changes of its own.
My husband, Karl, and I adopted our dog, Penny, in 2009, a month before Karl was to have major surgery. Since he was due to be home for a month recuperating, we thought that would be the perfect time to finally welcome a dog into our home. We didn't realize what an impact sweet Penny, a 2 year old lab mix from Tennessee, would have on our lives! Complications during surgery rendered my husband disabled, and Penny truly became our lifeline. Her love, acceptance and warmth were “just what the doctor ordered” to get us through some difficult years. Karl's doing much better now and is a true testament to the healing powers of dogs.
Through that experience I came to realize that life can change on a dime and is too short to not love what you do. So...I BECAME A DOG GROOMER! In 2011 I took a year-long online certification course through Animal Behavior College which included a wealth of information as well as an internship in a grooming salon. Through the learning process it became immediately apparent that this is what I was meant to do and be!
I worked as a Pet Stylist in a high-volume, large chain store where I got to meet some of the most wonderful people and dogs, and gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. I was promoted to Salon Manager after only a year of grooming and soon specialized in the difficult-to-groom (i.e., anxious or unstable) dogs. I quickly learned that one-on-one attention and relationship building is key to being a successful groomer. Unfortunately, in a high-paced environment where you have to constantly stop what you’re doing to answer the phone, assist customers or help another groomer, it was difficult to provide that stable, individualized attention that dogs benefit from. I soon decided there was no time like the present to go out on my own in order to provide the experience that is best for dogs. So, in the Fall of 2015, KAY-9 Luvs & Suds was born!
I’ve found my niche providing mobile dog grooming and pampering. It is the ultimate in convenience, luxury, AND in minimizing stress factors for everyone involved. (Not to mention that I can sing to my heart's content and have conversations with your dog without having to be self-conscious!)
Anyone driving behind me gets to see my Penny!
My pampering mobile!
Where the Suds'n & Luvs'n takes place!
The van at it's home headquarters being charged for the day.