Happy Tails Saipan keeping furbabies’ behinds wagging
Yumiko Brudidge’s pet grooming business is proof that you can turn your passion into a livelihood.
Brudidge always loved dogs. In fact, she has 18 rescue dogs to prove it.
Happy Tails Saipan started off when Brudidge, who is associate vice president of Saipan Cares for Animals, started cutting and pruning pet fur at the non-profit animal clinic.
“I started grooming service at the non-profit when our groomer left Saipan. Because a lot of dogs needed the service. Working with many veterinarians on a non-profit basis, I gained a lot of knowledge and was able to overcome individual personalities through animal rescue,” she said.
Brudidge then made a decision to make her grooming service into a full-scale business when SCfA moved out of its As Gonno facility and relocated to Gualo Rai.
“SCfA can’t do grooming at the new place. All the grooming customers who I did before then contacted me. SCfA clinic always introduces my business to pet owners who really need to groom their pets. Customers then introduced me to their friends who are also pet owners, too.”
Since officially opening in February 2022, Happy Tails Saipan’s dropoff pet grooming business has been doing extremely well with Brudidge grooming as many as 2-3 pets a day.
The grooming service starts at a flat rate of $50 and includes haircut, bath, dryer, nail trim, and ear cleaning. If the grooming extends to more than two hours because your pet has tangled hair, you will have to pay extra.
Brudidge says pet owners with dog breeds with long hair need to be groomed once every 2-3 months. She also shared the importance of regularly cutting pets nails.
“If the hair is tangled, it will cause pain and skin damage to the pet if it is not removed quickly. By cleaning the fur on the surface of the paw, they will not slip when the dog walks. If the nail is longer than the paw, it will damage the joints.”
She also said ear hair can be prevented by regularly plucking them.
“It would be great if the pet owner could do all these things by himself. However, grooming a dog scatters its hair and is not a clean job. They don’t sit still like people do. Taking your pet to a groomer can also help with skin, ear, and other problems,” she added.
Asked what’s the most challenging grooming she ever did, Brudidge said easily it was a dog with a bad case of matting and a multitude of ticks.
“Worst grooming was a dog with chunky matted hair and hundreds of ticks. The dog came to groom for the first time in a year a few days ago, so I remembered. I do not accept grooming of dogs with ticks. Because fallen ticks may land on the next grooming dog.”
She also admitted that dog groomers need to be sort of a dog whisperer.
“Some owners said that their dog is aggressive but mostly they are scared and they only can use their mouth. Some dogs hate nail trimming and I can’t use a nail cutter but I can use a grinder. Some dogs hate face trim by scissors but okay for trimmers. It can also be the opposite. I’m always looking for ways to get them to love grooming a little bit without being scared.”
That doesn’t mean she hasn’t had her share of mishaps in all these years of grooming pets.
“Sometimes I used heavy duty gloves to protect myself. Before one maltese bit my glove more than 50 times until I finished his hair cut,” she said.
Aside from dropoff pet grooming, Happy Tail Saipan can also pick up your pet as long as they’re regular-size ones.
For more information on Happy Tail Saipan or to schedule a grooming appointment, call or WhatsApp Brudidge at (670) 989-3945. Happy Tail Saipan is also on Facebook and you can message Brudidge there.