Grooming Dogs and Making Friends

| March 8, 2013 | 0 Comments

Gomez grooms Mikey, who has been a client since a puppy.

It’s always a pleasure to meet someone who is passionate about his job and enjoys going to work every day. That’s the case with Salvador Gomez, the head groomer at VCA Hillcrest Animal Hospital, located at 246 West Washington Street. I recently got the opportunity to visit with him and meet some of his canine clients. It was a fun experience because of his attitude and energy.

Gomez got introduced to the canine grooming industry when he was 18 years old. He worked with an afghan breeder and quickly learned the rules and tools of the trade. He observed how dogs of different breeds were to be groomed and also learned how to show dogs.

Now, some years later, Gomez has clients who refer to him as their only groomer. They wouldn’t go to anyone else. You can tell why this is the case. He is calm and communicates with each of his clients, whatever the breed, with extreme patience.

“I create a relationship with my canine clients by moving slowly,” said Gomez. “I want to make them feel comfortable with me and the surroundings.”

Gomez said that his canine clients can sense the energy and feelings of the groomer. They know if this person is comfortable with them and in control. However, you don’t over power a dog.

I asked Gomez what he observes as a groomer. Does he play a role in the health and well-being of his canine clients? He said that he offers advice on breath and teeth issues, and on weight as well. He said, “Keep your dogs lean so they stay healthy.”

When asked how the industry has changed, since he’s been a groomer for over 29 years, Gomez said that techniques haven’t changed. However the tools of the trade have improved, including shampoos for different animal needs, such as dogs with allergies.

I asked if there is a particular breed that is most enjoyable to groom, Gomez paused for a while. He said that for hand scissoring, golden retrievers and labs are the calmest dogs. At the same time, he enjoys all of his canine clients, and every day is unique.

We talked about when dogs or puppies should be introduced to grooming. Gomez said this should happen when they are around three months old. This way, they get accustomed to the groomer, ears cleaned, nails clipped and being bathed. Then he laughed, recalling the many puppies he’s groomed and the fact that he gets wet from all of their energy and excitement. It’s never a dull moment as a groomer.

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Category: Animals

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