Washington Court House’s Good Dog Groomery
Story and photos by Jennifer Woods
The Good Dog Groomery aims to keep all its clients — both the two- and the four-legged — happy and safe.
There are only two groomers that run the business yet they manage over 960 clients and are open for more. Those groomers are Catherine Yeoman (also the owner) and Amber Osborne.
The company has been in operation since 2014. According to Yeoman, she purchased the company in March 2019 from the original owner, Jackie Peacock.
“She did a wonderful job getting the business to where it needed to be,” Yeoman said. “We kept all the products and services the same. Nothing changed other than the owner.”
Yeoman lives in Fayette County with her husband and their two sons. Prior to purchasing the business, she worked in various careers within health care for 12 years. The reason she shifted her focus was because animals are her passion.
”Their welfare is very important to me,” she said.
Yeoman and Osborne are both actively involved with the Fayette Regional Humane Society.
“I do their grooming. Grooming for the dogs that come in that are surrendered or found,” explained Yeoman. “I do it because I want to give back. The humane society is very critical to our community and they help a ton of people. They are not-for-profit so we give back any way we can to the humane society and their mission.”
That grooming is done as a donation and is not charged to the FRHS. Yeoman is on the board for the FRHS and has fostered for the organization since 2012. Osborne also assists with rescues and fostering.
“Amber has been here since May of 2019,” said Yeoman. “She is very knowledgeable with dogs on their behavior and she also does dog training. She has several animals on her own. She has had pet rats to the basic dog — so she’s had quite a bit.”
There are three cats that live at the groomery and interact with customers. Two of these cats were rescues through the humane society. They can occasionally be seen walking or sleeping in the store-front windows.
A “Spa Session” the ladies offer to clients includes a blueberry facial, a lavender bath, a blow out, a hair cut, paw pads and nail trim along with a sanitary (cleaning up the dogs’ privates). This session is done by appointment-only Mondays-Fridays. The cost starts at $35 but varies depending on breed, size and condition of fur.
”Our prices are based off weight and breed,” said Yeoman. “If a matted dog comes in here, that’s going to cost more than a dog that is well-groomed. Short haired is again based off the size because of the amount of product we’d have to use and the amount of time. So the bigger the dog, the more the product and the more time. I do Neapolitan Mastiffs that are about 130 pounds, and I start them at $95.”
It typically takes an hour and a half per appointment, depending on how easy the dog is to work with.
“What kind of sets us apart from other groomers is if the dog stresses out, we won’t force them through the groom. We will stop,” explained Yeoman. “We will educate the parents on what would be helpful for their next grooming session.”
One of the things suggested to pet owners is to speak to their veterinarian to determine a dosage of Benadryl to give prior to the appointment. If Benadryl doesn’t work, the veterinarian could suggest a different method.
“We aim to have one-on-one time with each client,” said Yeoman. “We do it as much as we can, but sometimes we get behind when taking pictures or playing with them.”
This one-on-one time means they will try to keep dogs out of crates as much as possible. So as soon as the dogs enter the shop, they go straight to the back for their bath, blow dry, then to the grooming table and at that point get picked up by their owners.
The blueberry shampoo used for facials, according to Osborne, is an actual facial cleanser made with oatmeal and blueberry so it’s similar to baby shampoo.
“If you use shampoo that is not made for (facials) then it will burn and irritate the eyes,” said Osborne. “So they get a facial and then they get a scrub down with Dawn Professional.”
Osborne explained they use Dawn as it kills germs and bacteria on the dog’s skin. After the Dawn, a lavender shampoo is used to soften fur.
“Then we make sure the soap is rinsed out really good because leaving soap will actually dry them out or irritate them. Sometimes the fragrance will irritate them so we need to make sure they are rinsed out really good. Then, if they let us, we use our high-powered industrial dryer.”
That dryer is the “blow out” portion of the session. It is connected to a hose which can be used to dry the dog’s fur. As it dries, the air also blows out the loose and dead fur. This especially helps with longer-haired dogs like Huskies or Australian Shepherds who are shedding heavily.
“Some dogs don’t care for this,” explained Osborne. “Sometimes, if they get anxious with this, they might use the bathroom in the tub or they’ll start jumping and biting. If … it’s causing bad anxiety, we don’t want to stress them out.”
Those who can’t handle the blow out are put in the “drying crate” where there is a towel to lay on and two fans to help dry fur. Although this takes twice as long as the blow out, it allows dogs to dry with less anxiety.
Once dried, the dogs are taken to the grooming table. At the end of the grooming session, dogs are dressed with either a bow or bandanna unless their owners request that be skipped.
In an attempt to help with the one-on-one process, owners are called shortly before the grooming is complete to give them time to arrive to pick up their four-legged family members.
The computer system used at the business allows individualized plans to be created. According to Yeoman, notes can be made on the various files in the system regarding “the dogs’ behavior, personality, how we cut them, techniques that work and don’t work, keep track of their birthday, all kinds of stuff.”
Another feature of the system allows clients to schedule grooming appointments on a specific day extended through several visits. According to Yeoman, 85 percent of their clients are booked through 2020 as they know which day of the week works best for their schedule. Most of them schedule appointments for every 2-12 weeks.
During the session, pet owners are welcome to stay with their four-legged family members who have separation anxiety but Yeoman warned sometimes their presence makes it worse.
To help with safety and sanitary purposes, in order to become a client, pets must be flea-free and proof of vaccinations must be given. Yeoman explained they also keep veterinary information on file just in case anything is needed.
They also offer nail trimmings for $10. Nail trimming is a simple walk-in and doesn’t require proof of vaccinations. One of the tools utilized for nail trimmings is a Dremel which allows nails to be filed down.
Grooming appointments can be made for cats, although they cost significantly more because wounds left from their bites and scratches can be more dangerous.
Good Dog Groomery
222 E. Court St., Washington Court House
Facebook: The Good Dog Groomery