A new business recently opened in Glencoe, Illinois. Love Fur Dogs, owned and operated by Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, International Certified Master Groomer, was founded on the belief that pets play a unique and therapeutic role in the lives of people everywhere. Their mission includes a special devotion to serving clients with special needs, pet or human.
Pet grooming is a job that anyone can do, regardless of disability, provided they are able to patiently and lovingly handle and work with dogs (and sometimes cats).
Jennifer’s own daughter struggled throughout life with mental disabilities. She overcame her struggles and turned her love of animals into a career. This inspired Jennifer to seek a way for more adults with disabilities to find a career that would be both financially stable and rewarding.
Pet grooming is a job that anyone can do, regardless of disability, provided they are able to patiently and lovingly handle and work with dogs (and sometimes cats). Grooming jobs are in high demand, and the pay is good. A beginning groomer can expect to make around $18/ hour while an experienced groomer can make $30/hour. No college degrees or diplomas are required, just a commitment to learn to care for pets.
Love Fur Dogs and their vocational school to train groomers, the American Academy of Grooming, specially welcome adults with disabilities as well as pets with varying levels of abilities. Almost half of dogs groomers see are seniors. These pets can struggle with aches and pains, temperature sensitivity, as well as experience a diminished tolerance to standing or sitting and other physical problems. The school trains their groomers to recognize and accommodate the needs of these animals.
The benefits of working in animal care are well documented. The human-dog bond can be a very therapeutic one since both the physical contact with dogs and the emotional relationship that can develop with them are helpful to many people with different disabilities. Temple Grandin, is a perfect example of someone who has become legendary for innovative work with animals, work made possible by her differing abilities.