“We ain’t braggin’…but tails are waggin’”
Dog-Gone Grooming and Emily’s Place on Route 302 in Raymond is alive with the wriggling and barking of dogs in all shapes, sizes and colors looking for attention from anyone who enters the building. Owner Julie Chouinard is in her element with 12 dogs, most of them playing around her ankles, while a few of the older ones claim chairs and sleeping pillows for naps.
“I love what I do. I love my clients fuzzy and human,” Chouinard said.
Dog-Gone Grooming was Chouinard’s first business. After working at a veterinarian’s office, she remembers hearing from pet owners that they wished there was a good groomer in the area. Knowing there was a need, she put herself through grooming school. Now, she has expanded and has three full-time, certified groomers she employees (Liz Jackson, Valerie Campbell and Nancy Oringer). She is always taking on new clients for grooming although she admits that in the summer it can get nuts.
She grooms one- to two-pound puppies to 185-pound Newfoundlands. She has a hydraulic table that is rated for 350 pounds for very large dogs or senior dogs with hip problems. Cleanliness is a priority for Chouinard and the building gets cleaned every night and sanitized many times a week, she said.
She also makes sure that the dogs don’t get too stressed out when being groomed. The dogs are not on the table the whole time, she said.
Through the grooming she noticed the need for doggie daycare. Emily’s Place, named after her golden retriever, has been in operation for three years. She accepts small dogs and will soon expand to adolescent, mid-sized dogs and senior dogs of all sizes for which she is creating a senior lounge.
Having the dogs in daycare can alleviate boredom, just by bringing them a couple of days a week, she said. “It’s important like play dates for little kids,” she added.
Chouinard said she interviews every dog before they come to daycare to make sure that Emily’s Place is a good fit.
The most challenging part of Chouinard’s job is managing the dogs. “I make sure that all of the dogs are happy, having fun and getting what they need.”
There is also a small retail section of collars, leashes, jackets and shampoos. Appointments are necessary. For more information call 899-9315, visit www.doggonegrooming.net or visit Facebook.
For six weeks, Emily’s Place will be a drop off center for pet food and treats to be distributed to food pantries in the lakes region.