The Pampered Pooch, a new pet grooming business at 218 Upper East Pond Road in Nobleboro, is Crystal Wynn’s return to her passion.
Wynn makes use of her 25 years of grooming experience as she works with one dog or cat at a time in the home she shares with her own Jack Russell Terrier, Gertrude.
Wynn began working with pets at a veterinary clinic while attending high school in central Maine and returned after college, becoming a veterinary technician. She moved on to an apprenticeship with a Farmingdale groomer and later became salon manager of the Augusta PetSmart.
Wynn has been self-employed since age 17, she said, taking on other jobs along the way as a baker, at a deli counter, owning an ice cream shop, and operating a redemption center.
However, Wynn said she always seems to come back to grooming.
“These are just jobs,” Wynn said of her other experiences. “I said, ‘let’s go back to my passion.’ It’s true that if you find a job you love you never work a day in your life.”
Wynn moved to Nobleboro seven years ago and felt there was a need in the area for pet grooming.
“It’s my passion,” she said, “So why not do it?”
Wynn sees dog grooming as an art that takes a particular way of looking at each subject, considering their hair type, face shape, and proportions. Wynn said this is an eye she has developed over time.
For example, when grooming a cocker spaniel, Wynn feathers its hair downwards to make the dog look slimmer, a visual effect she said is used by competitors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
“When it’s done, it’s a piece of artwork that I’m presenting,” she said. “It’s not just the dog. It’s the artwork. It’s beautiful.”
Wynn works independently with one client at a time. She said this one-on-one experience is calming for the dog, who she requires to be dropped off rather than watched by the owner.
With just her and the dog in the room, the animal focuses on Wynn rather than trying to reach its owner, and the two of them get to know each other without distractions.
She said the experience is “low-key, like a spa day. I want to enjoy your dog.”
“I get to see the energy of the dog, their playfulness, what they like, what they don’t like,” she said. “Each dog is different, right? Some are playful, some are very shy. I get it, but you can bring them out of their shell.”
Her process varies, but she typically gives a dog a “rough draft” first haircut, a wash and dry, and a second trim for the fine details. Services are arranged with each owner and can be as simple as just a bath or a nail trim.
Wynn also grooms cats, though she said she usually limits felines to baths, nail trims, and small haircuts as their skin is paper-thin.
She said her one-on-one approach means her services are faster than those of large salons, and a small dog can be finished in an hour or two.
No matter the animal or their grooming needs, Wynn said, she loves to spend time with them.
“They give me a big smile,” she said. “They’re like a magnet to me.”
To make an appointment at The Pampered Pooch, call 242-0485.