WHEATLAND – George Burns once said that if he had his life to live over again, he wouldn’t have enough time. The same can be said for Leah Maguire, the native New Mexico girl who is currently the groomer who works at Dr. Daniel Harnish’s veterinary clinic. One would say her dish is full.
In addition to handling the chores of a ranch, mothering two children, and working at Drube Hardware Store, she considers her main job to be a groomer. Her story began in New Mexico where she was community home-schooled by a coalition of concerned mothers who took turns team-teaching. After her high school graduation in 2009, she migrated north and the adventure began.
“I just needed a change,” she said. “I’d always had this weird obsession with Montana growing up and all I knew about it was what I saw in the news. I’ve still never been to Montana.”
The obsession did, however point her in a northerly direction and a funny thing that happened on the way to Montana was that she stopped and settled in Wyoming.
“Wyoming was the closest I could get, and I had two people that I knew here,” she said. “I just wanted to see what was out there and it was the best decision in my life. I love Wyoming.”
Maguire found a job that was right up her alley just north of Wheatland.
“I found a really great job in Casper and so it pinpointed my direction,” Maguire said. “I was the department head of the grooming department at a big animal hospital for three and a half years before I came to Wheatland.”
Maguire was very active in 4-H as a child and has been working and grooming her own animals for years, which paved the way for her eventually training and showing dogs competitively as well as being a groomer in New Mexico. The hands-on way that she is with animals and her business savvy that is wise beyond her years made Altitude Veterinary Hospital a very popular and sought-after grooming establishment in Casper.
“I loved it,” she said. “It was fantastic. I kind of came into that hospital with their grooming department being a very minor part of their operation and was able to help them grow that and grow my clientele and it became a really fun thing to see it do really well. It gave me the confidence that I could do this on my own one day.”
Everything was going great in Casper, and they people loved Maguire. Life, they say is what happens when you least expect it. The introduction of Colt Thayer into her life caused not only a directional change, but a life change as well. Together they are raising two children, running their own little ranch and both working outside the home.
Thayer works for Brook Shepard as a rancher and the couple is also busy with their calf, chickens, geese, turkeys and children. They work together and separately to contribute to the life that they’ve carved out for each other and for their family.
As to working again as a groomer in Wheatland, Maguire was the instigator and sought out Dr. Harnish who did have a groomer at one time, but when he was contacted had an open grooming area.
“I kind of hunted him down before I moved to Wheatland,” Maguire said. “He wasn’t super keen on having me, and not real motivated to have me come out here and work. It had been several years since someone had been in this space grooming dogs. He hadn’t felt the need to fill that void. I came along from a big veterinary hospital with a grooming department, and I was like, this is mutually beneficial.”
Maguire offers full service for pets and can be contacted at (307) 315-3003 for an appointment.