By Brie Handgraaf The Wilson Daily Times, N.C.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Cyndie Taylor had been grooming pets at a local salon, but recently set out on her own and ordered a $24,000 custom-built trailer to reach clients on the road. SIMS
A trip to the salon is a pampering experience for many women, but for Willow, Zoey and Molly McKinney heading in for a trim often is a stressful ordeal.
Thankfully there is a new service in town to make hair care more enjoyable for these four-legged ladies.
Groom-A-Bull Mobile Pet Salon owner Cyndie Taylor has taken her clippers on the road thanks to the purchase of an all-inclusive trailer.
Taylor bathes, dries and clips dogs and cats of all sizes in the mobile salon while parked in her customers' driveways, and there isn't a shortage of pet owners eager to book appointments for a more comfortable grooming experience.
"The benefit is for our pets, not me. It is about their comfort level," said Michelle McKinney, owner of poodles Willow and Zoey as well as calico cat Molly.
"If you put a cat in a carrier and take them across town, they are stressed out long before you even get to the groomer.
Being able to just take her to see Cyndie in the driveway is fabulous. (Molly, Willow and Zoey) can even look out the window and see our house while they are getting groomed."
While Taylor has been a certified groomer since 2010, she has been entrenched in the world of animals from a young age with years spent at horse, dog and cat shows.
She had been grooming at a local salon, but recently set out on her own and ordered the $24,000 custom-built trailer to reach more clients. While reducing anxiety in pets is a big benefit of the mobile service, Taylor also is able to reach homebound residents like senior citizens.
"This allows people to responsibly care for their pets even if they can't get their dogs to the groomer," Taylor said. "It also is convenient for people who work all the time. Instead of dropping off their dog at the salon at 7 a.m. and leaving it there all day, I can come to them."
Pet parents are required to be on-site during the first grooming appointment, but Taylor can arrange to send a text upon arrival at your home, groom the dog or cat then lock the door behind her as she leaves, sending another courtesy text for pet parents.
"I started Groom-A-Bull because I wanted to give more one-on-one attention to the dogs and cats," she said. "That personal connection is something you just don't get in this day and age. Everything is so fast-paced, so it is nice to have a couple hours to focus on the needs of the dog and the owner."
Unlike at a salon where staff often are balancing the bathing and clipping of multiple pets, Taylor's four-legged clients don't have to be placed in a cage, surrounded by unfamiliar animals while they wait their turn. McKinney said Willow used to shake the whole time during grooming appointments before meeting Taylor.
"Now that Cyndie is grooming on her own, I'll never have to worry about anyone else grooming them and stressing them out," McKinney said. "We love her because you can tell she treats the dogs and cats as if they were her own. She is a wonderful person and a great groomer."
Prices for the convenience of mobile grooming are comparable to traditional groomers with an added fee for out-of-area customers.
"It is worth what you spend in order to make (the pets) more comfortable," McKinney said. "It is very reasonable."
Taylor urged customers of dogs and cats to consider the Groom-A-Bull maintenance packages that schedule appointments every few weeks as desired. She said the general rule of thumb for both is for grooming every four to six weeks.
"Some shorthair cats do get matted, especially if they are older or have a thyroid condition where they don't shed like they should. It can vary based on your preference, but I'd recommend getting cats cut every eight weeks," Taylor said. "I recommend dogs be groomed for health reasons every four weeks or so because that is the average time needed for them to get their toenails trimmed, ears cleaned out and such."
As for Willow, her Wednesday grooming appointment with Taylor was full of smiles. Even while getting shampooed, the "goldendoodle" -- golden retriever and poodle mix -- gave Taylor kisses.
"As soon as I found out that she had mobile grooming available, I immediately booked appointments," McKinney said.
"Grooming is not only a part of taking good care of them, but it also makes them feel better."