When I was 42 years old I decided to follow my heart’s desire and become a professional pet groomer. I went to the New York School of Dog Grooming to get certified. But we didn't only groom dogs – we groomed rabbits and other types of animals, so I had to learn all the different animal body types.
After graduating I interviewed at a dog grooming place on Lexington Avenue. My ‘interview dog’ was a big English sheepdog. It was huge and its owner hadn’t taken care of it so it was full of knots of hair. I had to somehow get all the tangles out but still leave the dog looking decent. I must have spent over two hours shampooing the dog and working out the knots and tangles.
When I was done the owner was very pleased. She charged the customer $80, which was a lot of money in those days! I got the job and was so excited I ran all the way home to tell my husband.
I was a pet groomer for the next 30 years…all the way until I was 71 years old. I decided to become a pet groomer because I love animals and I realized I could spend time with them and also get paid! It was a lovely job and I couldn’t imagine having enjoyed my career any more than I did.
Goose Chronicles Outtakes:
“What did you do before becoming a pet groomer?”
“I worked for the Royal Exchange Assurance Company in England for a few years before coming to America”
“What does an ‘Assurance Company’ do?”
“I have no idea.”
“Did you have any famous clients?”
“Many, but one really stands out – Mariah Carey. She came in and wanted to buy something for her dog. But she told the owner she wouldn’t buy anything unless all the employees – even the ones doing the grooming in the back – were out of the store. She said we all had to go outside and wait there until she finished shopping.”
“Did she buy anything?”
“I don’t know – I was standing outside!”
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