Somebody's Gotta Do It: Pet groomer

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Pets are treated like royalty when they enter the Lucky Puppy in Lufkin. Maybe it's because the owner Mark Maddox is a former dog breeder, "Their tails get to wagging. They excited to see their owners when they come pick them up. It changes their personality." He knows the importance of a well groomed pet. It was his love for animals that eventually lured him into the pet grooming business full time.

Sure, there are dog grooming schools that can teach you the trade, but Maddox learned his own way. "I learned the art of dog grooming by studying videotapes in the beginning when we first started. I perfected my craft and now I cater to the client's wishes. I find out exactly how they want their dog cut. How short they want the hair and any special instructions that they have and I just follow those instructions," says Maddox.

Busy is steady. "A typical day is pretty hectic especially with the weather warming up. There's quite a few dogs who don't get groomed a lot in the winter. Then when it starts getting hot, then we start seeing a lot of dogs want to get a lot of people want to have their dogs hair cut short. Keeps them cooler." Maddox says he encourages his customers to bring their pets between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., that way they have the majority of the day to work on them. He says some dogs take more work than others. For example, a pet who is never groomed tends to be more anxious and excited, which means Maddox and his staff have to spend a lot of time settling that animal down before they can get to the actually grooming part of the job.

When he's not grooming the animals, he's busy washing and cleaning, ordering supplies and balancing the books.

"I like to see dogs that get groomed on a regular basis. It's better for the dog. A pet that's not well groomed can cause health problems." Maddox says frequent grooming can help prevent the infestation of fleas and ticks and can help prevent matted fur and sores. He says the worst part of the job is getting a dog that has been neglected. The best part? "To see the transformation into a pretty dog that people are going to let in their house tonight," says Maddox.

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