Lake Zurich groomer can make any pet look good
Eddie receives a trim from Shaggy Paw groomer Lori Fraser of Grayslake on Saturday.| Michelle LaVigne~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 19, 2013 12:58PM
LAKE ZURICH — It doesn’t matter if you have a long-haired Maine Coon, an American Shorthair, a Labrador Retriever or a Shih Tzu — if you own it, Debbie Owen can groom it.
Though working in any line of business for 35 years can eventually turn into a labor of muscle memory, Owen’s passion for cats and dogs still radiates from her voice, demeanor and her pet grooming business, Shaggy Paws, at 446 S. Rand Road.
“In order to be really good at something, and to do your best at it, you have to love it,” Owen said. “This has always been my passion.”
Owen has owned and operated Shaggy Paws in Lake Zurich for about eight years. Prior to that, she worked at other pet grooming businesses in Schaumburg and Palatine, taught classes at the Academy of Dog Grooming Arts in Arlington Heights and was a student at Midwest School of Pet Grooming in Chicago.
Animals brought to Shaggy Paws tend to trust its nurturing groomers and comforting atmosphere, which Owens describes as “open and homey, like Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood.”
Of course, every pet is different, and reading a dog or cat prior to handling is an important skill that Owen says every professional pet groomer should possess.
“Sometimes people don’t tell you if their pet has a tendency to bite or be afraid, so you have to know the animal’s body language,” she said.
Those nervous about how their dog or cat will handle — or be handled — by someone other than their owner can rest assured that Owen’s expertise covers managing nervous or unruly behaviors. Owen explained that while she is skilled at recognizing how a dog or cat will behave upon grooming, it’s helpful for her to know about it beforehand.
Shaggy Paws will oftentimes take walk-in appointments for short-haired dogs and cats with manageable coats, such as Poodles, Shih Tzu and Himalayans. Long-haired pooches and felines, on the other hand, may need to make an appointment in advance — especially if the animal’s coat has become tangled and matted.
Owen said that different dogs and cats should be taken in for grooming regularly. This depends on the animal, but Owen explained that the average time lapse between grooming is four to six weeks.
Regardless, she noted that owners with long-haired animals should brush their coats to further prevent matting and tangling.
“The animals know when they look good, and so they feel good…probably because they get a lot more attention,” Owen said.