My first dog was a cockapoo named Penny. She arrived when I was about five years old because my mother thought every child should have a dog. My mom took Penny to a groomer friend  and the normally happy-go-lucky Penny bit the lady requiring quite a few stitches! Mom was horrified that her little dog would do such a thing and decided that from then on she'd just figure out how to groom Penny herself. This entailed sitting on the floor for hours on end with a cheap pair of clippers and kitchen  scissors, trying to convince Penny that she was only trying to make her more comfortable. Baths were even more of a disaster. I watched and learned. 

When I was in my teens, I fell in love with the Westies owned by a neighbor. Under her direction, I acquired a dog named April and began grooming and showing her in local dog shows. Puppies followed and my poor dog developed allergies which made her chew out her hair. I'd often get up in the middle of the night to bathe her as it was the only thing that seemed to give her relief.

Time passed and I graduated from high school and business school. I worked for a few years in administrative positions, learning how to start my own business someday. I got married and decided it was time to do something different so I enrolled in the Maryland School of Dog Grooming in Silver Spring. I continued to work at the school for a year after graduation, helping to teach the new students and grooming dogs.  I then went on to become the owner of Doggie Depot in Beltsville.  After four years and pregnant with my second child, I sold the shop and moved to Middletown where I groomed out of my house for the next several years. I had another child and we had grown out of our house. We moved to Hagerstown and I thought I'd just give up grooming because I was so busy with my family. When I started telling my clients that I was moving, most of them said they'd drive to my new location so I kept grooming. Many of these folks are still clients even though they're on their second or third dog since I've known them.

While in grooming school, I wanted to get another dog, but was afraid of the allergies that seemed to be prevalent in many terriers. I loved the terrier personality and decided on a very rare and endangered breed, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. I've had them ever since. 


About Janet

Briarpatch Pet Salon