My first encountered with AJ was a few years prior at a Madra Mania event. AJ and his friend Emer Murphy came to admire my standard poodle Reeva. I believe both were familiar with Christina O' Brien, my poodles breeder. AJs quick smile and chatty personality made him instantly easy company. He was also an immediate hit with my 2 poodles.
Following this introduction I would later meet Aj at other canine events such as shows and grooming seminars. He would always have words of encouragement or offers of help and quite often he would left holding someone's dog whom he would talk to as if it were his own. I also believe Aj was one of the main instigators of acquiring our "Galway Groomers" what's app group. Somewhere Galway groomers can go ask for help or info on dogs or clients. I for one love the idea of groomers locally based helping and aiding each other in our ever changing profession.
It would be in late November this year where I believe AJ truly manifested the Spirt of Mary Toland. My dad had been unwell and had to spend some time in hospital where he would later under go a procedure for stents. My dad has never bn unwell and It was a worrying time for my sisters and I.
During a brief message to Aj regarding something else I would confide in him my dad's condition and how I was finding it extremely daunting and difficult to keep my grooming appointments. ( my sister and I were covering my father's driving job and I also work part time in a pharmacy) I believe it is routine of AJ to take the last week of November off work so he has adequate rest in the run up to the Christmas period. Upon hearing about my predicament AJ offered to come to my salon, which is over an hour from his home and groom my clients dogs to help me out. I was so touched at this gesture. Being self employed we are all way to familiar with how sacred our holidays are and here AJ was offering up his cherished time off to help me out.
Further to this offering I was later to hear of another kind gesture from AJ this time to one of his clients and a friend of mine. This lady owned a v charismatic boxer who was getting on a bit and to our heart break had a untreatable tumour of size growning in his heart. Although still hail and hearty he was able to attend AJ for his regular grooms. Prior to one of his grooms his owner Informed Aj that she may not be able to bring him and her Chinese crested for their up coming grooming appointments citing financial strain due to increased medical cost in treating her beloved boy. AJ told her not to worry about paying him in this instance and groomed her dogs free of charge, again this single gesture at a time of need touched deep and my friend was to remember such kindness with fondness
AJ is always v encouraging and active on social media when groomers have asked for advice or opinions. His true love of dog grooming and all things canine are plain to be seen in all that his does. I dont think any of us have ever experienced an awkward silence while in conversation with Aj or even just a silence 🤣 and he has an unique way of inspiring, encouraging and aiding fellow groomers. I believe he truly embodies the spirit of Mary Toland. ❤
Kate Mc Namara
We are delighted to announce our
I began my grooming career in 2017 after starting to work in a dog daycare centre, and fell in love instantly with the whole process. I worked there for 2 years grooming part time, gained as much experience as I could, and then 1 year later I set up my own business and salon called K9 Design.
I entered my first grooming competition in 2019 and even though I was super nervous, I got so much encouragement from other local groomers, and I loved it in the end. After that, I started doing workshops and seminars whenever I could, and learned so much from some pretty amazing groomers. I’ve entered at least five grooming competitions since then, both in person and online, and have seen so much progress in my own work, and have even won a few as well which has been amazing fun!
Since becoming a dog groomer, I’ve come to find that it’s an amazing supportive network of kind hearted like-minded people that are always willing to help out, encourage, mentor and teach no matter how long you’ve been in the industry.
With lockdowns and restrictions over the last two years, my first few years in business have been very… interesting to say the least, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my days and can’t wait for the world to regain a bit more normality so that workshops, demo days and seminars can resume, as well as the get togethers between us all.
I am so happy to be apart of such an amazing network and was so excited to have been nominated for The Spirit of Mary Toland Award and have been even more humbled to have won it.
I have recently opened a Doggy Daycare and Home from Home Boarding business on the Kildare/Laois border. A lot of clients have asked if I offer grooming so I would like to explore the opportunity to see if there is anyone interested in setting up a grooming business alongside me, even part-time to begin with. Please contact me on 086 8144655 or email@example.com
Minimum 2 years grooming experience required or relevant qualifications.
Please email CV to
We are looking for a full time and part time groomer to join our expanding team.
We are a passionate salon with a friendly and relaxed vibe . We provide the best care possible for all dogs coming through our doors.
If you have a minimum of 2 years in a busy salon as a groomer and would like to join our team please send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
As puppies we help our new family members to explore our world and how to overcome potentially scary things in the socialisation process. Grooming is another pivotal part of this process. All dogs will require some level of grooming throughout their lives. Whether you have a short haired dog who require regular nail trims and brushing to help reduce shedding or a curly coated Bichon Frise who requires extensive grooming by both you, the owner, as well as professional visits every 4 - 6 weeks. Grooming plays a role in all our pets lives. Grooming also gives you the opportunity to see your dogs coat and skin up close to observe any changes or potential issues such as rashes, parasites, infection or inflammation. Your groomer will often be the first to inform you that your dog requires veterinary treatment for an issue you may have not noticed. This can be life saving for your pet!
Dogs communicate with us through a variety of ways. The most common and often least understood method is through their body language. Fear free groomers are trained to observe and understand that body language to tell us when the dog start to become stress. Through processes called desensitisation and counter conditioning, we can help change how the dog feels about aspects they previously felt were stressful (brushing, washing, drying, nails, clipping) by paring them with something the dog likes (such as a high value treat, toy or even praise). Using these techniques and showing you the owner when and how to implement them, results in pets who enjoy being groomed.
To achieve fear free grooming it so important that the owner understands how to use and correctly implement the techniques the groomer uses (ie timing of when to treat etc). It is also useful to work with a fear free veterinarian who will also implement the same techniques as the owner and groomer.
I work closely with a fantastic local positive based dog groomer as well as fear free certified vets who send me a constant flow of new clients. It has had a dramatic positive impact on my business and has helped me dramatically increase my revenue. Within my first year of business, my books are now full as I cannot keep up with the demand.
Sue Williamson's Book is fantastic as well it's called "take the grr, out of grooming your dog" There's Facebook groups as well!
City & Guilds
Dog Free Seminars
Hairy Nipple Column
HHH's Famous Fables
Know Your Worth
Madra Mania 2020
Personal Web Space
Pet Salon Pathogen Control
Professional Progression Acadamy PPA
Spirit Of Mary Toland Award
Tips For Members Directory
World Grooming Championships