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Pampered pooches

Dog salon services small town

ST. IGNATIUS – Angie Chrisman started cutting hair as a licensed stylist for humans but eventually found dogs easier to deal with — even after being growled at, bit and defecated on.

“Dogs are much easier to work with than people,” said Chrisman, owner of Waggin’ Tails Dog Grooming. 

Canine companions have evolved right down to the need for a good brush, wash and cut but they haven’t acquired the vanity attached with the human style salon services. 

“Dogs are just so much fun and less stress,” she said. “Humans will sit still longer but they complain. Dogs are so loving and they always want to make you happy.”

Chrisman says most dogs don’t seem to mind the beauty treatment once she learns their boundaries. 

“Some dogs just don’t like their tails touched,” she said. “Poodles often don’t like their feet touched. That is why they sometimes bite.” 

Chrisman opened her own grooming salon for dogs almost a year ago after acquiring a few years of experience designing doggy dews with her partner in life and business, Clancy DuBois. 

“He gets them ready with a bath, brush and nails and then I come in and do the grooming which is a cut or a shave,” she said.

Driving by the little shop in the center of a small town, it might be hard to believe enough dogs reside in the area to warrant a place specializing in dog grooming.

“We called the local realtors before moving here and asked if there was a need for groomers in the area,” DuBois said. “They said there was a great one.”

DuBois has family connections to the area and wanted to move back. He sold Chrisman on the idea after showing her the mountains. 

“The community has welcomed us with open arms,” Chrisman said. 

The grooming business quickly grew after folks noticed the Waggin’ Tails Dog Grooming sign on the shop.

“We have over 160 clients and most have more than one dog,” she said.

Even local farm dogs get in on the grooming action.

“Farm dogs get skunked or roll in carcasses,” she said. “We have special shampoo to take away the smell.”

In the past year, the couple remodeled the little shop into a more dog friendly zone with a grooming station and waiting area complete with retail — like a human salon — only the shampoo promises to help with flea problems. 

“Long term, we hope to keep doing what we are doing,” Chrisman said. 

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