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Pet grooming brought to your driveway

A new pet service rolled into town about two weeks ago. Bluegrass Mobile Grooming, owned by Danielle Burchell, features pet grooming for dogs 20 pounds and under, as well as cats, in clients’ driveways. The business serves the Danville and Harrodsburg areas, according to its website. Burchell said the service aims to bring a luxurious experience for the pet with convenience for the client.

She said clients can do whatever they need while she grooms their pets, and there’s no kennel environment, so pets get a one-on-one experience. This also helps them stay calm because there’s no noise from other animals, she said, and it can be helpful for pets who get anxious during a car ride and need sedation since she brings the service right to the client and serves only non-sedated animals.

“It’s kind of a devoted attention experience,” she said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the service is also useful, she said, because it can be a no-contact service if clients desire. She said especially for people who enjoy delivery and pickup services, Bluegrass Mobile Grooming is great for them and anyone looking for convenience. She said groomings take about an hour to an hour and a half, and unlike many other mobile grooming services, her van has its own electricity and water and doesn’t need to use anything from clients’ homes.

To get Bluegrass Mobile Grooming underway took about 12 weeks, Burchell said. Prior to the business, Burchell has had about two years of experience with pet grooming. Before that, she was a vet assistant for about two years.

“I liked vet medicine, but it has some sad parts to it, so I wanted to be with animals and make them feel good,” she said.

So she pursued grooming. She said she has an entrepreneurial spirit as well, and in the past five years she’s wanted to start her own business. When she went through school to learn about pet grooming, she saw a few mobiles and knew it was what she wanted to do. If someone had told her five years ago that she would start a mobile grooming service, she said she wouldn’t have thought it possible, but she said people can do what they set their minds on, which is what she did. She got her hands on any information about starting a business she could and saved money to start her mobile grooming business, she said.

Part of getting the business started was the build of the van, which features a logo depicting Burchell’s cat, Mr. Morris, a dog grooming station and a Catty Shack Vac for cat grooming.

The Catty Shack Vac provides an enclosed space for cats behind glass, which Burchell said can make them feel more comfortable. They can nestle into a corner while she sticks her hands through two holes in the glass to groom them, and she keeps towels over their faces and ears so they aren’t stressed by the noise, while a vacuum sucks fur from the enclosed space to keep it from blowing around into the cats’ faces. Burchell said geriatric or anxious dogs can also use the Catty Shack Vac if it makes them more comfortable.

Burchell’s own cat is what inspired her to pursue cat grooming in addition to dog grooming. She also did a program through the National Cat Groomers Institute through which she learned how to properly maneuver, hold and groom cats. She said it’s a misconception that cats groom themselves — they need soap and water, which makes for a happier cat, and grooming helps with shedding for both dogs and cats.

Burchell is a self-described gentle person, and she said she thinks the animals can feel that. She said especially because it’s a one-on-one environment with her hands on the animals the whole time they’re in the van, the animals learn the van is not a stressful environment. Even with some of the scared animals, after a couple of groomings they start to learn her van is a stress-free place, she said, and they become excited when they see her.

“I think the animals all seem to know that, ‘hey, this is a happy time — this is kind of like a me time,’” Burchell said. “And a lot of them act like that. It’s really funny.”

Burchell said she has to wear a lot of different hats for her career — she has a love for people, a love for animals and is an entrepreneur and businesswoman, and part of how she establishes loyalty with clients and pets is she sees them on a regular schedule, about every two to six weeks, rather than just once a year or so.

“It’s more of a relationship with my client, and it’s a more tight-knit relationship with the animal as well,” she said.

She also always wants clients to know she cares about the comfort of their pets, she said. Her focus is on “humanity, not vanity.” She doesn’t do show cuts for pet shows and grooms pets according to what will make them more comfortable and help with their well-being, not for aesthetic reasons, she said.

She also said her van is environmentally-friendly. The van makes more limited emissions compared to many other mobile grooming vehicles, all the water she uses goes into a dirty tank that she uses to water her lawn with every night, and the shampoos she uses are natural, she said.

“That’s kind of cool because I don’t know a lot of people that can say what they do for a living they can water their lawn with,” she said with a laugh.

More information about the business, pricing, services and contact information can be found at bluegrassmobilegrooming.com.