The modest white frame building on Lower Huntington Road gives few clues about the true breadth of service offered by the people who work inside. More than just bathing and brushing, Waynedale Grooming offers a window into the whole world of holistic pet care.
Owner Lynn Swager knew early on that she wanted to work with dogs. She’s been focused since her high school years, when she started part-time with a local veterinarian, learning on the job. She reinforced that experience with solid academic training, earning an Associate’s degree in Canine Science from Newbury College in Boston.
Returning to Fort Wayne after college, she purchased a salon in 1989. Some of those customers are still with Lynn today, although, as she says, “. . . they’re bringing different dogs, now.”
Groomer Patrice Reider joined a few years later. “I trained her,” Lynn reports. “She’s been with me 15 or 16 years now.” The personalized training allows both women to work to the same high standard. Every animal leaves the shop with a scissor finish, and the attention to detail shows. That turns into a whole lot of clipping, as an average of sixty animals passing through the shop each week.
Lynn and Patrice also have fun with their charges. There’s often a special touch, be it a winter scarf or a bag of wholesome treats. They’ve even done customized dyes (temporary, of course), ranging from blue horseshoes drawn on the pets of Colts fans to total coverage for a holiday. “When the people are into it, we have fun,” Lynn smiles.
But the welfare of their canine charges is always the number one issue. Lynn and Patrice are concerned with their clients’ total well-being. Knowing that grooming can be a stress for dogs, Lynn prepares a soothing environment, using aromatherapy to help calm each pet. She adopted the practice after training at a week-long workshop in Washington state in June of 2009.
Lynn stays current with trends in the industry through professional associations and journals. She’s a member of the International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, and subscribes to their newsletter, as well as to publications such as Groomer to Groomer and The Whole Dog Journal.
Both Lynn and Patrice attend a workshop or seminar every year. “I try to keep up to date,” Lynn says. “Not just with grooming, but everything that pertains.”
A full line of nutritional and grooming products are available at the shop, and every product stocked on the shelf is in use in the salon. The non-drying, non-detergent shampoos can make a world of difference for a dog with irritations or allergies.
Lynn advocates raw and natural feeding, and is happy to discuss nutrition with pet owners. She communicates with her veterinarian, and even refers to a regional veterinary chiropractor. She sells a range of products that reflect her commitment to natural, quality pet nutrition, including Honest Kitchen freeze-dried raw pet food, Free Range dog chews, and Charlee Bear treats, a low-cal product that’s perfect for use as a training reward. In addition, owners can find supplements such as vitamins, fish oils, and probiotics from Animal Essentials.
To inquire about services or to schedule an appointment, call Waynedale Grooming at 747-5483, from 8AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday, and Saturday mornings. Visit the shop at 2715 Lower Huntington Road, in the second block west of Bluffton Road, downtown Waynedale.
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