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“Where Have All the Groomers Gone?”

“You can’t find qualified groomers anywhere,” says Jackie Barchesky of For Pets Sake on Quaker Lane in Alexandria. “I’ve called the schools; I’ve placed ads to no avail. So I guess I’ll have to train them myself.” Jackie who has been the owner of For Pets Sake for 27 years says, “the tremendous explosion in the pet industry for the past twelve years has brought about the shortage.” Between 1992 and today, the pet industry has grown from a 16 billion dollar a year industry to a 32 billion dollar a year business.

Pet owners no longer look at the animals as pets but as members of their family. Proper grooming is as important for dogs as good diet, exercise and veterinary care. The key desire for most pet owners is to find a groomer with a genuine love for their animal and the right skills to keep their much-loved pet looking and feeling their best.

With the scarcity of qualified groomers, Jackie had decided to start an apprenticeship program to train groomers. To be a successful groomer you must have hands on contact, carefully monitoring the dog and reading them at the same time. The job demands that you spend time with the pet in such a manner that you are aware of the pet’s physical and mental attitude. The groomer holds an essential position as a health care advocate on behalf of the pets they work with. Their hands-on contact and observational skills of your pet makes your groomer the first line of defense in recognizing any potential problems with your pet’s health.

For those considering a career in grooming our apprenticeship program offers several advantages. The apprentice gets a chance to work with all aspects of grooming: bathing, drying, brushing, clipping and shearing. This takes place in a real work shop environment with all the distractions and stresses involved in daily grooming.

If you are considering a career change or not certain college is for you and love dogs this program may be for you. The apprenticeship route allows you to find out if grooming is really for you without spending a large amount of time and money at a grooming school.

If you are interested in a career in grooming, contact Jackie Barchesky of For Pets Sake, 1537 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA. Fax: 703–354-4132.



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