Quakenbrück. The offer ranges from pedicure to washing and haircutting. The walls are decorated with photos, care products and small accessories are displayed in a showcase. Monika Rondorf’s customers leave the hairdressing salon with animal care: whether poodle, hovawart or dachshund – even four-legged friends want to look pretty.
There is a height-adjustable table in the middle, a bathtub and washbasin are also available. Even a large mirror hangs on the wall, in front of it numerous tools for cutting, shaving, brushing and washing.
Since 2001, the dog lover with her hairdresser’s shop “Happy Dog” has been making sure that the hairstyle sits with the little companions. Monika Rondorf also takes care of long claws and matted shaggy hair.
Her workplace on the first floor of the house An der Mühle 48A, together with the veterinary practice Artland on the ground floor, is a contact point for dogs in matters of care and health of all kinds.
“The owners leave their dog downstairs, and after vaccination, for example, I bring him up for a haircut,” says Monika Rondorf explaining the principle of the cooperation. “Of course, everyone can stay with us during the grooming. Sometimes, however, the mistress or master also likes to go to the hairdresser during this time”.
In the first place everything revolves around the dog. Trust is the be-all and end-all, emphasises Monika Rondorf. Unknown surroundings, unknown procedures – that is not pleasant for dogs either. Getting to know each other is part of it. Often a short walk helps to break the ice, says the dog hairdresser.
There are few common tips on how to care for your dog, one of the most important one are that rough methods do not work. She briefly demonstrates the purpose of the so-called gallows, a construction that takes away the room to move of the tied up dog and should make cutting easier. “Basically, I don’t need him. It really can be done without – assuming mutual trust.” So if you want to be beautiful, you do not have to suffer at all.
She can only do her job well if the dog is not afraid of being touched and feels comfortable. “It is the same customer principle as with humans. Only those who are satisfied will come back.”
In general, this kind of job does not only demand dog knowledge: “There are always unexpected situations that you have not yet experienced. I hear many stories here. If I can perhaps help in one or the other case, I am of course happy. But sometimes it’s also simply a matter of listening. People want someone to talk to.”
With sympathy, authenticity and the right mixture of praise and blame Monika Rondorf dedicates herself to dog and human.
How does one come to such an extraordinary profession?
The background is the first visit to a grooming salon with her own bitch, more than ten years ago. It shaped: too expensive, too impersonal. Monika Rondorf decides to try it herself – and to do better.
With a diploma and certificate from a technical school for dog care according to the guidelines of the FCI, the largest umbrella organisation for animal breeds and breeding, she opens her own salon. And thus turns her hobby into her profession.
That has worked: The dog groomer has been around for ten years.