When I was 10, Santa Claus brought me my first dog in the form of a miniature poodle! I remember it being an ordeal for my mother to get "Bentley" groomed, because she never liked the way the dog looked afterward. Being industrious, she acquired a book, a brush, a clipper, and a pair of scissors, all to no avail on her part, but I couldn't help being fascinated. I seemed taken to the grooming experience by the sheer enjoyment of "attempting" to make him look the way my mother envisioned him. I loved the artistry of creating the images I saw in the grooming book and in magazines of poodles being proudly walked on Park Avenue. I cringe now as I look back at how that poor dog looked due my early attempts in hair design, but "practice makes perfect", & after 2 miniatures, my mother bought our first standard poodle. It wasn't long before the notion struck me that this "side kick" could be turned into a way to support myself and my equines, and actually ENJOY what I do! With the help of standard poodle breeders, I was able to learn the finer points of grooming, and was sent my first real clients. Soon my business outgrew my family's basement, and in 1980, with the help of my parents, I founded Colechester Kennels in Chadds Ford, PA. It still operates today, as a family owned and operated boarding and grooming kennel, where my sister heads the grooming. Over the years, my sister and I became heavily involved with showing and breeding standard poodles, and we had many champions and several big time winners at such prestigious shows as Madison Square Garden. In 1985, I married, moved to Berwyn PA, had 2 children, and in 1990, launched yet another successful grooming business out of our newly renovated basement, and called it "Best Of Breed Dog Grooming". When our children left for college, my horse addiction drew me to Wellington FL in 2009, and where my husband and I now call "home". It's presently 2014, and I'm now very excited to share my experience with you in reopening Best Of Breed Dog Grooming here in Wellington!
The Grooming Experience
When someone leaves their dog in my care, I'm greatly aware of the responsibility that that person has entrusted me with. After all, it's much the same as leaving one's child at a daycare. This being said, I work with each owner to provide the grooming service in a timely fashion. Some people find it convenient to drop their dog off at opening time, and pick up after work, others prefer to drop their dog off at an appointed time, and pick up directly after their dog is finished, or after work. No matter what the owner's needs are, I'm usually flexible. In saying this, I typically do not encourage an owner to stay for the grooming procedure. Dogs are highly domesticated individuals, and are keenly sensitive to their human's emotions. Like a human child, if mom and dad are nervous about the pending experience, then don't expect your dog to look forward to it either. If someone needs to be convinced, I will make an occasional exception to this rule, depending on the circumstances. In these cases, nervous humans usually become weaned from their dogs pretty quickly when they see how their dog takes to the routine. Being a mother of canine and equine "children", I totally understand about the apprehension of entrusting someone with our "babies", and for this reason, your dog will be gently handled and respected by me only, as I do not hire employees. I take age (puppies and seniors), previous grooming experience, and other special needs into consideration, but in general, every dog gets a break by getting walked before, sometimes during, and always after the grooming. Prescription shampoos are welcomed, and in some cases, owners send their dog's pee-pee pads, if thats what the dog is trained to use. After the grooming, every dog is offered water and a treat as a way of thanking them for their cooperation. After all these years, I've never met the dog who doesn't like a fuss made after being beautified, so each one is made to feel like the most important and beautiful dog in the world! It's truly rewarding to see the waging tails of pride when they know how special they look!
Dogs are no different than humans when it comes to being greeted and treated with a cheerful and guiding attitude. I'm a firm believer in setting the stage for this by providing a cheerful, bright, and clean facility to where people can happily bring their canine buddies, and not feel remorse in leaving them for an hour or for the afternoon to be coiffured. I take pride in providing a private, happy, comfortable, and safe atmosphere for all involved, including myself. All clipper blades and scissors are cleaned and disinfected between dogs, and no dog ever has to stand on a dirty grooming table. Dogs will always be dogs, and any occasional accident that may occur, is promptly "cleaned" up with an antibacterial cleanser.
Pricing Policy & Hours
Pricing is available upon request, and is governed according to breed, overall condition of the coat, and frequency of grooming.
I usually limit myself to grooming only small and medium sized dogs, but there are always exceptions. As a rule, I can accept up to a 60 lb. dog. Standard poodles are usually the largest breed I'll groom. My pricing always reflects a "complete" grooming, which includes a bath, blow dry, complete brushing, nails, and any breed related clipping and scissoring. I encourage my clients to make an advanced appointment at the time of pick-up, so that there is no wait time for each grooming, and to insure that your dog always looks at his or her best. I always send a reminder note to each dog the week before a scheduled appointment. As with any appointment based business, if a cancellation is necessary, I appreciate being notified NO LESS THAN 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE of the scheduled appointment.