Boys & Girls Club program has youngsters looking to their futures
“Don’t wear lip gloss when you’re grooming pets or you’ll get a moustache,” warned Angela Elmer, who was grooming Charlie Fobes, a 1-year-old shih tzu.
The three were in the grooming parlor of the DAWG Zone on Wednesday morning as part of the Janesville Boys & Girls Club’s DREAM Girls mentoring program.
Eight club members were part of the inaugural Discovering, Recruiting, Educating And Mentoring (DREAM) program last year.
A dentist, cosmetologist, photographer, firefighter, banker and a variety of other professionals volunteered to let the girls job-shadow them after a meet-and-greet. Programming ended with a thank-you dinner and the sharing of stories about their experiences, said Becky Buchanan, club unit director.
DREAM Girls was such a success in 2009 that it was expanded to 10 participants this year, including boys.
“The goal of the program is to get club members thinking about their futures, to gain a greater interest and appreciation for the world of work and learn about becoming responsible citizens,” Buchanan said. “They’re also creating a bond with a positive role model in the community and thinking about the importance of graduating from high school and secondary education.”
Both Dasia and Kylie have pets and love animals, so it’s no surprise they’re interested in careers involving animals.
Dasia, 10, aspires to be a veterinarian while Kylie, 11, is considering becoming a pet groomer.
While watching Charlie get groomed, Dasia said she quickly learned how very careful a groomer has to be to avoid cutting the animal.
“It’s hard to cut fur by the dog’s face around its nose and eyes,” she said.
As Elmer brushed, combed, clipped and thinned Charlie’s fur and hair, she discussed the pros and cons of independent groomer training vs. a grooming school and how much time and money each would take.
Elmer also warned the girls to never leave a dog alone on the grooming table—even for the time it takes to grab tools. She also explained the safety noose connected to Charlie’s leash and demonstrated how it works.
The number of necessary safety measures and tools involved with grooming surprised Kylie.
“You have to be careful about what you do and there are a lot of tools you’re going to need,” she said.
Elmer said grooming from start to finish typically takes one hour.
She finished grooming Charlie by applying an ear cleaning formula to get rid of any water that might have gotten into his ears during his shampoo bath. Then she sprayed a finishing toner—a clean cologne scent—on him.
Now Charlie looked quite dapper—complete with a blue and brown bow holding those hard-to-cut bangs up and out of his eyes.