WHEATLAND – Is your canine friend looking a bit rough around the edges? Becky Cholensky has recently opened up a dog grooming service here in Wheatland – Sarpy Creek Farm.
Cholensky grew up in Montana and was a nuclear engineer in the military based in Virgina. After leaving the service, she headed back to the west and worked as an electrician. However, once her daughter was born, she wanted to run her own business so she could be with her during the day. Her love of dogs steered her towards attending an online grooming school based out of California, Animal Behavior College (ABC). She completed the two-year online program that included an apprenticeship in Gering, Neb. She drove to Gering three times a week for six months to complete the requirement for graduation. Cholensky is now certified as a professional dog groomer.
“I like people who care about their dogs and I really enjoy meeting them, dogs and their owners,” explained Cholensky. “We try to be as low stress as we can. We don’t put dogs in kennels, and we take the cues from the dogs as to what they can handle and take it slow. You have to know what you’re doing or you could hurt the animal.”
She slowly introduces dogs to each-other so there aren’t aggression problems and are comfortable around eachother. There is a sunroom they can play or nap in and there is also a dark closet with blankets if a dog prefers to be alone in a quiet place. She waits until the dogs are comfortable with their surroundings before the grooming process begins. Sometimes, several breaks are needed to keep the dog calm and happy. There is even a window seat so pets may look out the window while they are being groomed.
“You have to figure out what the dog wants,” Cholensky said with a kind smile. “We want them to have a good time and most of the dogs love coming here.”
Cholensky spoke of a rescue pit bull that had been abused and when he first started coming to her shop it took four hours to clip his nails. Now, after many months of patient care, it only takes a few minutes and he isn’t frightened anymore.
Dogs with longer hair get mats in their coat. Some mats happen with regular movement, and others build up over time without brushing. They can cause skin irritation and infection which is painful for the canine. Grooming involves bathing, brushing, cleaning of teeth, checking of eyes, haircut, trimming of hair on legs and paws, along with cleaning the area in and around the ears. Even short-haired dogs benefit from a regular grooming schedule.
Medical issues may also be discovered during a session that might not be noticeable to the owner.
Sarpy Creek Farm specializes in dogs that are scared of groomers and they never sedate the animals. She tries to be as flexible as possible to accommodate busy schedules.
Owners have their choice of four scents: argan oil, lavender and chamomile, ginger orange and cucumber and tea tree oil. Boarding is also available. Call (406) 839-3015 and set up an appointment for your best friend today.