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Get to know our Groomer

A bit about me … Karen Crockett

Hello, my name is Karen, I joined the Grange retreat team in August 2019 as a Trainee Dog Groomer.

I am an avid animal lover and find that I have a real affinity with them – especially the canine variety.

I have always had pets in my life from small ones including ferrets to tropical fish and piranha, also dogs of various breeds from tiny terriers, to headstrong German Shepherds and Rottweilers. I have also had an abundance of cats over the years which were rescued as strays – this is one of the downfalls of working in Veterinary practice, there is always a little soul looking for a home!

I have previously worked in the Veterinary field as a Receptionist for ten years, spending my first eight and a half years in the charity side of the veterinary profession working for the PDSA and then a further two years within the Private practice in the Essex region.

My last job was working for the NHS for fifteen years as a Senior receptionist/Medical secretary and Medicine dispenser which allowed me a great deal of interaction with the public and senior healthcare professionals alike. I found this role to be very diverse and learned a large number of transferable skills – it definitely helped my understanding and empathetic nature but when the opportunity arose to work with animals again I had to take it!

I took a big leap and left my job and home in sunny Southend behind me to become one of the Grange Retreat team as a Trainee Dog groomer.

I am currently training three days a week with a professional dog groomer developing my practical skills from simple bathing to trimming, clipping and hand stripping. The other two days of the week I work at the Grange Retreat where I have been grooming in our newly refurbished Grooming Parlour.

I am also enrolled on a course via an online training forum where I work through modules including Anatomy and Physiology of canines through to canine interaction and the theory of grooming and breed-specific cuts too. I have found this very interesting so far and am thoroughly enjoying myself.

I was very nervous on my first day, had I done the right thing taking the leap from everything that I knew? Could I learn new skills and keep up with the busy pace of a Grooming Parlour? I needn’t have worried though, my Trainer Louise took me under her wing instantly and I was thrown in at the deep end with her during her very busy days.

Louise is an excellent groomer and teacher, and it wasn’t long (week 2!) before I was doing my first groom! This was a Yorkshire terrier, first of all we bathed her using a mild Aloe vera shampoo.

There are a number of shampoo types that need to be used on different coat types and individual cases from baby fresh, oatmeal, diamond white and dirty dog.

Once she was bathed we then went on to gently towel dry her followed by a warm blow dry to prepare her for grooming. Her body was then clipped, feet trimmed, nails clipped and her head was shaped using scissors and thinning scissors.

To date I have found the role to be very exciting, educational sometimes hard work on the shoulders and arms but I am loving every minute of it and would not change it for the world now.

I have bathed and groomed a variety of dogs so far, from the tiny Yorkshire terrier through to a huge Irish Wolfhound. My experience is growing each week that goes by.

I would really look forward to meeting you and your pet in the future.

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