BY KAREN GERHARDINGER | MIRROR REPORTER — If a nickname like Scruffy, Moppy or Fleabag sounds appropriate for your pup, it might be time for a visit to The Dazzled Dog.
Transforming wild-haired canines is a task that Chasidy Nieb-Sadhwani has taken on since her teenage years, but now she has a new home at 212 Farnsworth Rd.
On Thursday, November 2, Chasidy is welcoming humans and dogs alike to stop by her new Waterville salon from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. for a grand opening with treats, raffles and fun activities – as well as a ribbon-cutting with the Waterville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I’ve been working in a groom room since I was 16,” said Chasidy, whose mom, Jayne Fitzgerald, operated Tiny Trims in Whitehouse until retiring 10 years ago.
Chasidy loved grooming dogs and caring for animals, but she also wanted to care for people, so she launched a 22-year career as a nursing aide, until the COVID-19 pandemic had her rethinking her priorities. During the pandemic shutdowns, she was getting calls from friends who needed her dog-grooming services, so she got back into the field, completing a six-month pet groomer certification course in less than two months.
“It was easy because I had so much experience already that I already knew most of the answers,” she said of the class. She worked for a national chain as a groomer for a short time before opening The Dazzled Dog from her Whitehouse home, driving a specially outfitted SUV to clients’ homes to provide grooming services.
“That’s how I created my clientele base,” she said, noting that she now has customers from Waterville and Whitehouse as well as Liberty Center, Bowling Green, Maumee and Perrysburg. Still, she longed for a suitable space with plumbing for the large tubs necessary for dog bathing. Then she got an email from Dr. Rachel Bowlus, owner of the Veterinary Specialty Center of Ohio – the building that is across from Waterville’s Peddlers Alley.
“She put in the plumbing and the floor,” said Chasidy, looking around the open space that is filled with grooming equipment, tubs, a handful of dog kennels, a sewing machine and a photo area.
Unlike some groomers, Chasidy books her clients at specific times, so Fido doesn’t have to wait. A full grooming includes a bath, nail trim, haircut, ear check and gland release if needed. Nail trims are $12.00 and can be fit in without an appointment, but Chasidy recommends calling first.
“I’ve learned tricks to hold them while clipping their nails,” she said, demonstrating on her mini Aussiedoodle, Emerald.
Patient yet firm, Chasidy also showed how she speaks to dogs to get them to listen while she gets them on the table and hooked up to a harness for a safe and effective grooming session.
“It’s not all petting puppies,” she admitted. “They’ll poop on the table, bite and scratch.”
While her customer base is typically longer-haired dogs, Chasidy has trimmed all sorts of critters’ nails – including rabbits, ferrets and even a red fox. Ever the animal lover, she has two ferrets, two dogs, a cat, a bearded dragon, a gecko, frogs and a turtle. Emerald and Bailey, a chihuahua, hang out in the salon to keep Chasidy and the canine customers company.
Keeping up with brushing helps with the grooming process, and she recommends that any long-haired dog get brushed at least twice a week with a metal comb that gets the matting out from the base of the coat.
Once she’s finished with grooming, Chasidy enjoys utilizing her photography skills to take a picture of the after effect. At some point, she plans to sell portraits, bandanas and bows, but for now it’s a perk she offers when time allows.