As a young girl, I recall my Dad suggesting that I wash the neighbor’s dogs for extra money since I liked to brush and bathe our dogs. I just loved a clean dog. I never even knew what a groomer was until I was 16, bored and looking for something to do with my summer. I happened upon a yellow pages ad for a grooming salon that also stated they would teach people how to groom dogs. So I inquired. The program was 5 weeks long and you had to pay $100 per week for the education – it took almost my life's savings at 16 years of age.
Thankfully, I proved to be relatively good at it and was offered a job for the rest of the summer. I subsequently participated in a high school work program where I went to school for half a day and worked a few half days and Saturdays my senior year. As it turned out, I paid for my college education by grooming summers and holidays.
While in college, I met a chemistry professor who bred, showed and competed in obedience with his Shelties. He allowed me to train and show one of his Shelties, named Rocky. Showing Rocky turned into an opportunity to show the school mascot – a Bull Dog. Next thing you know I am hooked. I have been showing dogs in obedience, agility, conformation and water trials for the last 30 years. The exposure to training in all these venues has given me a good understanding of dog behavior and how they learn.
I don't even remember the year, but somewhere along the way, I became curious about cats and enjoy the challenge of grooming most cats. (Some cats just won't tolerate grooming and need to be sedated by a veterinarian to be groomed.) Please realize, cats are more difficult to work on and when a groomer is bitten or scratched, the injuries are more dangerous for several reasons. First cats have extremely sharp teeth and claws that puncture the skin easily. They also have lots of bacteria in their mouths and on their claws which almost always requires the groomer to go on antibiotics to prevent a serious infection.
Copyright by Cynthia Suszycki
My parents met while my father was in Japan serving in the United States Air Force. I was born in Japan and we moved to the U.S. when I was a preschooler. After living in Indiana for a few years our family moved to the Chicago area. I am proud of my multi-cultural background and the adventures my mother and father brought to raising my brother, sister and me.
As a child I enjoyed being around animals and my family, including aunts, uncles and cousins, always had pets. I had the opportunity to learn to ride and care for horses. After graduating from school I felt a strong desire to choose a career working with animals. After learning from and working with an experienced groomer, I joined Shear Comfort nearly twenty years ago.
I am very comfortable working with many different dog breeds and their temperaments. At Shear Comfort we see so many dogs from many origins and it is exciting to groom each dog to the breed specifics. And, one of the most exciting aspects of pet grooming is customizing the cut and style of each dog at the request of our customers. Owners often like to change styles to suit their lifestyle, whether it’s lots of outdoor activity, traveling with their dogs, senior dogs who need extra TLC. I often say to my coworkers that I enjoy greeting our customers everyday and am very proud of how wonderful each dog looks after devoting my time and energy to their care.
During my spare time I have fun training and competing with my Portuguese Water Dog, Tricks, in obedience and agility meets. She is full of energy and thrives on competition, swimming in the lake, playing with her Frisbee and going for long hikes. During the spring and summer we add water training and competitions to our repertoire and busy schedule!
I look forward to meeting you at Shear Comfort.
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