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Dog groomers, clients happy to be back in business amid emergency order

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick issued an addendum to the current emergency order Monday to allow dog groomers to reopen for business.

Wendy Jadhav, the owner of Grooming by Wendy, a pet shop in Nederland, is relieved to be open and back in business.

“This is our livelihood,” she said. “For most of us small shops, this is what we live on. On the other hand, we provide a real service to pet care. It’s more than fluffing tails and shaving hair.

“We see things owners don’t see and can recommend when a pet needs to go to the vet. For example, fluffing hair out of their ears keeps a dog from getting an ear infection. If the hair matts, they can get a skin rash. It’s more than just them looking pretty. We really do provide essential services to the overall health care of people’s pets.”

Wendy Jadhav, owner of Grooming by Wendy in Nederland, prepares to groom a client’s dog.

Jadhav said she was one of many groomers to reach out to city managers on reversing the order.

“It’s very important,” she said. “I even told the city manager that I have several senior citizens who are physically incapable of even picking up their dogs. We don’t want our elderly to be forgotten. We want to keep their pets healthy and taken care of because right now, for some of them, their pet is their only companion.”

Within a day of reopening her shop, Jadhav maxed out appointments for two weeks.

“Most of my customers are happy that I am open,” she said. “I’ve been grooming some clients’ dogs since they were puppies. I’ve gotten a great response and overwhelming support from my community.”

Grooming by Wendy is offering a curbside drop-off and pick-up Wednesdays through Saturdays by appointment only.

Nederland native Sherri Hebert booked an appointment with Wendy as soon as possible for her senior cocker spaniel-terrier mix Angel.

“[Angel] have extreme allergies. Even though she’s on meds, it still interferes with her health,” Hebert said. “No medicines control it, and wounds/hot spots occur if not seen by Wendy regularly, sometimes in addition to her regular appointments.”

Hebert said she is extremely pleased with the turn of events, as her dog requires weekly appointments for her overall health.

“Wendy takes great COVID-19 preventative measures, which she already had at least two weeks prior to being closed,” she said. “So very happy she is opened.”

Branick’s addendum states that businesses may resume operations as long as they follow federal social distancing guidelines.

Owners must conduct all payments through credit or debit and thoroughly sanitize equipment between uses. Violations of the order can be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to 18 months in jail.

Jadhav said she is doing everything in her power to keep distance and maintain health and safety standards.

“I started cleaning measures weeks before they shut us down,” she said. “I want our patients and their owners to be safe in my care.”

Dog groomers can only schedule one animal per visit and return the customer to its owner outside the place of business. Minimal contact is a huge role in the reopening of the grooming business.

For Sharon Streetman, 58, it’s very important for dog groomers to be open.

“I’m unable to groom my precious schnauzer myself,” she said. “I have a 15-year-old miniature schnauzer, Jessie, who gets groomed every eight weeks. I can give her a bath, but that’s it. Giving her a haircut, nail trim and squeeze the anal gland is what the groomer can do, that I can’t. I’m very glad her groomer is able to reopen. That’s her bread and butter.”