Yesterday while shopping in my favourite pet store I met a young lady who was working there part time. Upon learning from another employee that I was a groomer, she became quite interested and began questioning me with regard to my career choice. The girl said she had spoken to her high school teacher (you know who you are…) about attending grooming school but her counsellor had informed her that pet grooming was not a real career, it was better to consider it as a hobby. Seriously? I asked her what she thought her teacher would say if she knew that I had a much larger income than she did? How about the fact that I am a business owner?
What amazes me is how willing supposed educators are to pass judgement and perpetuate misinformation with little or no research or knowledge! Would this teacher be surprised to learn that some groomers spend thousands of hours studying breeds, anatomy, health, parasitology, dermatology, nutrition, first aid, as well as many other subjects? How about thousands of dollars on testing, both written and practical, in order to achieve the title of Master? Then we invest tens of thousands of dollars on equipment. Did she consider that some groomers own fleets of mobile units, multiple retail outlets, schools, and employ others? Salon managers, instructors, receptionists, kennel staff, bathers, accountants…
Some of my fellow groomers are authors, teachers, inventors and in former careers have been anything from social workers to corporate executives. They chose to escape their old jobs as drones and enjoy life in a happier, more relaxed environment. In Chilliwack we have a groomer who is a multiple award winning stylist, Groom Team Canada member, instructor, and spokesperson. She’s had the opportunity to travel to Europe and Australia and to work in the film industry. All because of grooming.
So “teacher,” perhaps you should do a little more research next time before you crush someone’s dream. The next time a student mentions wanting to work in the grooming industry, try not to envision a toothless, barefoot, fourth grade dropout hacking away at some defenseless canine with a pair of dollar store scissors and I’ll try not to picture you as a self important elitist.