What do you do?
Cathy Thompson

Where do you work and what is your title?
       Westside Dog Grooming. Iím the owner and groomer.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
       I groom dogís coats. I keep them safe (from the time they arrive until they go home) and happy. Iím responsible not only for bathing & clipping the dogs but for their emotional well being. They are the real clients. I comfort the scared, enthuse the unwilling, praise, praise, praise! Iím a bit of a dog whisperer. I do it all! Cleaning, answering the phones, etc. I clean all day long.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
        I started at the Westside Animal Clinic, but Iíve been at this location since 1987.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
       Of course I like the dogs. Every day itís a different ďpack.Ē I love the art. I love scissoring the coats. Scissoring as an art form is disappearing from the grooming industry. I like working with the ďchallengesĒ Ė dogs that have fear and trust issues. I build relationships with them. I talk to them all day long and incite their enthusiasm for their grooming situation. Dogs would rather roll in manure and call it good.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
       Educate owners and people on what this business entails. Itís labor-intensive. Itís hard on our bodies and itís emotionally draining. Itís also fast paced.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
       It gave me the basics. I was lucky to have been trained by an excellent groomer from the ďold days.Ē Her husband was a canine officer in the police department so I received all kinds of great education. But in the long run, itís years and years of grooming dogs which is the real education.
What makes working on the Westside special?
       The Westside still has the small-town charm. The people are a lot different than other areas. More casual, laid back.

ďWhat do you do?Ē is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesnít live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.